I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve looked in the mirror and thought, “how can I better my skin”? I’ve tried millions of different creams, serums, moisturizers and cleansers and very few have given me the results they had promised. To tell you the truth, I don’t have bad skin but I’m a firm believer in prevention and I stand by the saying “there’s always room for improvement.” In all my product sampling and research, the only way that I’ve been able to get positive results is by taking a closer look at the kind of food I consume on a daily basis.
No, I am not about to prescribe a diet. I can’t diet; I love food way too much. But there are specific foods that can help you out; fruits and vegetables more specifically. Get ready because this is an inside out approach to beauty. You really are what you eat! So here is a list of five foods to put you on the trend-hungry fast track to beautiful skin.
Blueberries are considered to be one of the best super foods. The term ‘superfood’ refers to foods that have health promoting properties. “Blueberries are high in antioxidants”, says health coach and wellness expert Chanelle White. “The antioxidants in blueberries protect skin cells and support collagen health, resulting in a smooth and youthful appearance”. If I’m not eating them by the handful, I’m using them as a topping for yogurt, cereal, oatmeal or salad. Chanelle recommends eating 6 oz. of blueberries each day along with a balanced diet of whole foods. “Within 4-6 weeks you should notice skin with a natural glow and smooth appearance.”
In the last few years I’ve really grown to love avocados. They’ve become a grocery staple in my home and not just for their taste but also the added bonus of health benefits. “Counteracting winter dryness means more than just finding a good moisturizer. Hydrating your skin from the inside out with avocado, one of the healthiest sources of fat in nature, helps your skin stay supple and reduces redness and inflammation”, says Jolene Hart; certified health coach and author of Eat Pretty. “Avocado is a fat and protein source that burns quickly for energy, so don’t get caught up in calorie counting”! They’re are packed with vitamins and there’s so many ways to enjoy them. From sandwiches to salads and soups, they’ve proven to be versatile and useful in the pantry. I personally love adding them to smoothies or just eating them raw with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Kale is another ‘superfood’ and great source of beauty vitamins. Its super crunchy and has a slightly bitter taste. I usually chop it up and add it to homemade soup or mix it with other organic leafy greens like arugula and spinach for salads. Sometimes I start my day with a green smoothie that includes kale, apple, pear, spinach, celery, romaine, banana, avocado, blueberry and a squeeze of lemon. It sounds rough, but it’s delicious and filling. Jolene says that “one serving of kale (about a cup) has over 200% of your daily vitamin A needs (important for keeping skin smooth, glowing and blemish-free) and over 100% of your daily vitamin C needs (a serious collagen-builder that fights signs of aging)”. Try it and I guarantee you be able to see and feel the results.
Beets are full of great vitamins and nutrients that support your skin and they taste delicious too. I love cooking with them mainly because they’re a great source of energy to me. They’ve also been known to lower blood pressure and improve overall mental health. Beets are most commonly used and recognized in salads but you can also add them into the juicer with any of your other favorite veggies and fruits. Jolene also says “this detoxifying veggie naturally cleanses the body by supporting our lymphatic system (a plus for radiant, glowing skin). It also contains a phytochemical that helps maintain skin elasticity and fight UV damage.”
When I’m on the go it can be hard to find nutritious snacks to hold me over in between meals. As part of the solution, I’ve been purchasing nuts and
seeds and making my own trail mixes at home. I try different variations but always include raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, cranberries and my favorite, walnuts. I’m not the biggest fish eater so eating walnuts helps me get in my daily dose of omega-3’s. According to Marie Veronique, another well-recognized health expert, “eating ½ cup of raw and unprocessed walnuts has almost the total daily value
of Omega 3s. Omega 3s helps smooth complexion and helps your skin fight breakouts”.
This is just a small list to get you started. There are many more fruits and veggies known for their skin improving and overall wellness abilities. The trick is to be disciplined enough to get them into your system on a fairly regular basis. It can be difficult initially so try putting your own spin on snacks and meals by integrating them slowly. Do you have any tips on foods or recipes that target skin? Please share them in the comment section below! I’d love to try some of them out.
image sources: walnuts - www.alkalinelifestyle.com //avocados - www.earlsorganic.com // blueberries - www.usnews.com // beets - www.aliabaadfarms.com // kale - www.mindbodygreen.com