Want more radiantly healthy-looking skin? Feed it! Research has shown that eating more of these five foods can help us to a beautiful complexion from the inside out, without resorting to costly skincare products or formulas.
In general, eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, protein, and whole grains will result in healthier skin, but the nutrients and compounds found in these five foods are particularly helpful:
Organic green tea – All teas are rich in skin-loving antioxidants, but anti-inflammatory substances called catechins in green tea are thought to be especially beneficial. According to Dr. Ray Shahelian, a study of 2,200 adults showed that regular green-tea drinkers (one or more cups per day) were 20 to 30 percent less likely to develop basal or squamous cell skin cancer than non-green-tea drinkers. A recent study by the director of research in the department of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University, Hasan Mukhtar, agreed that drinking green tea may be helpful for warding off skin cancer and the visible signs of aging. Drink up!
Olive oil – Despite all the hype about the supposed benefits of fat-free diets, it turns out that we need essential fatty acids for good health as well as for more elastic, dewy skin. Yes, certain kinds of fats are bad for us, so rather than using saturated or hydrogenated fats for cooking and eating, switch to extra-virgin organic olive oil: it is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. “Good” fats strengthen our cell membranes, helping our skin to look nourished and radiant.
Walnuts — The omega-3 oils in walnuts (or in salmon, if you are a fish-eater) are vitally important for flexible, plump, younger-looking skin. Flaxseed oil is another great choice for Omega-3 oils, but be sure not to heat it; try it in salad dressings instead.
Berries – Pick a peck of berries to benefit from their powerful antioxidants. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, acai berries–they’re all delicious, and they give our complexions a healthy boost with phytochemicals that protect skin cells.
Dark leafy greens – The vitamin A found in dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are great for clearing up acne and promoting skin repair. Vitamin-rich veggie alternatives include carrots and broccoli.
And here is a sixth “best food:” drinking enough WATER is an all-important key to beautiful skin, since even mild dehydration can result in visible aging and dryness. Drinking alcohol, caffeine, and sodas can be dehydrating, so be sure to get plenty of pure water for healthier skin–not to mention healthier kidneys!
By Cait Johnson, Managing Producer, Care2 Green Living.