Every year, we spend millions of dollars collectively on beauty creams, serums, lotions, and treatments in search of clear, wrinkle-free skin. While products can definitely help in your quest, what we often don't consider is how important our diet is to skin health. As they say, you are what you eat! Here are some ideas for eating your way to radiant skin:
1. Vitamin A from Cartenoids: deals with inflammation, encourages cell turnover (for natural exfoliation) and strengthens your skin's defenses against clogged pores. Add a spinach or kale salad with tomatoes to your daily diet and see what happens. Reap all the benefits of vitamin A by pairing it with zinc, which helps the transportation of vitamin A from your liver to all of your tissues, including your skin.
2. Which brings us to Zinc: an acne combatant, zinc helps regulate sebum production, stopping shine and preventing more breakouts. Add 1 cup chickpeas or 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds to that salad we were talking about for skin that glows without looking greasy.
3. Omega-3s: The right oils can help replenish lipid-starved skin from the inside, sealing in moisture and soothing inflammation that can result from dryness. Consider adding flax oil to the dressing in the aforementioned salad to quench your skin.
4. Whole Grains: if you (or your teen) have acne prone skin, try this experiment. Cut refined carbs from your diet in favor of high-fiber grains and let's talk in 12 weeks. If you don't have half as many pimples by then... well, we'll be surprised. All those processed carbs cause your pancreas to send out a surge of insulin, triggering a hormonal reaction that increases oil production and tells cells to multiply — all of which gridlocks those pores.
5. Ahh, Probiotics: these beneficial bacterias help keep skin soft. When your intestines are working right, they can better absorb all of the nutrients your skin needs from your diet. Keeping that salad in mind, you can get your probiotic fix by adding a helping of tempeh or fermented veggies such as pickles or sauerkraut. Or, if you're on the train, have a kombucha on the side!