There is more to skin care and beautiful skin than the lotions and potions applied religiously in the morning and at night. Having beautiful skin is not just about what you put ON your body it is also about what you put IN your body. Treating blemishes and fighting wrinkles may not be enough to help you have a glowing complexion. Many of the nutrients you need to be healthy on the inside also keep you beautiful on the outside. The best part is that they are readily available and you can pick them up on your trip to the grocery store!
Here are the Top 5 Foods you should eat if you want beautiful skin and good health.
1. Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a phytochemical, an active compound found in plants. Lycopene is important for skin because it helps to eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays and protect your skin from sun damage. Tomatoes are the best source of the anti-aging antioxidant Lycopene. The Lycopene in tomatoes is more easily absorbed by your body when it is cooked so have a little extra marinara sauce or tomato bisque.
2. Spinach. Dark leafy vegetables like spinach reduce the likelihood of cancer cell growth. The folates in dark leafy greens help repair and maintain DNA improving your cell’s ability to regenerate. Spinach is also full of water that penetrates cell membranes to help you and your skin stay hydrated, making your skin look plumper and less wrinkled.
3. Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C and beta-carotene. Vitamin C helps to smooth wrinkles and is essential for collagen production. The more collagen you have the less noticeable lines and wrinkles appear by helping to keep skin firm. Additionally, like Lycopene, the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes is an antioxidant that fights the aging process. Beta-carotene is also found in carrots, pumpkins and squash.
4. Salmon. Like most fish, salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids in fish help to reduce inflammation and to keep cells strong. Strong cells successfully hold on to moisture keeping your skin hydrated. Salmon and tuna and have an extra benefit. They contain selenium, a nutrient that helps preserve elastin. Elastin is a protein that keeps your skin smooth and tight. Cooked or raw, add a little more fish to your diet. Flax seeds are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids if you are looking for a vegetarian option.
5. Nuts. Almonds and Walnuts, in particular, have lots of vitamin E, an effective sun protectant. Just 20 nuts a day can reduce the possibility of sunburn. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect skin cells from UV light that generate free radicals that can cause cell damage. Sun protection is key to having great skin.
Lots of foods offer an extra dose of sun protection. Tomatoes and nuts are two already mentioned. In addition, dark chocolate, carrots, and green tea all have properties that contribute to reducing your risk of damage during sun exposure. That doesn’t mean you should stop wearing sunscreen! Nutrition is just an added bonus. Apply sunscreen daily to avoid the risk of sun damage.
Beautiful skin on the outside, start with the inside! The next time you’re at the grocery store, make one or two healthier food choices. It’s a win-win for you and your skin!