Want vibrant, glowing skin? What you eat is just as important, if not more important than the products you use on the surface. Our skin is a window to our health. And the foods that promote healthy skin also promote a healthy body overall.
Here are a few suggestions to achieve a glowing complexion:
- Hydrate: Drinking plenty of water is important in keeping your skin hydrated and smooth. It is also key to eliminating toxins. Sorry, coffee and alcohol do not count! They actually can cause dehydration. Pure water or herbal tea is best for hydration. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. If water seems boring to you, brighten it up by adding in cucumber, frozen berries, lemon, or lime. Not only will it add some flavor, but it will also increase the nutrient content.
- Fiber: Fiber is essential to ridding your body of toxins and keeping your skin healthy. People who suffer from skin problems may also be suffering from constipation. Fiber is a key ingredient in supporting our elimination organs. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes are all great sources of fiber. If you are in need of extra fiber, I suggest you grind up flax or chia seeds and sprinkle them on your salads, add them to smoothies, or just mix with water.
- Antioxidants: To get vibrant skin eat vibrant food! Remember, you are what you eat and digest. Incorporating raw, colorful foods will help you achieve that healthy glow due to antioxidants, which help to slow down cellular aging and are natural sun protectors. Most dermatologists recommend making sure you are getting enough of the major antioxidants, vitamins, A, C, and E, to keep your skin wrinkle free. Here are some food sources for these antioxidants:
- Vitamin A: Carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes swiss chard
- Vitamin C: Cantaloupe, bell peppers, oranges, kiwis, strawberries, broccoli, kale Vitamin E: Nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus
- Essential Fatty Acids: We’ve all heard that the Omega 3 fatty acids are important for heart and joint health, but they are also key to keeping your skin smooth. Without fat, vitamins, A, D, E, and K are not easily absorbed to nourish the body and skin. Some excellent sources of good fats are in their whole food form, like nuts, seeds, coconut, avocado, and olives. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids is 1.1 grams for women and 1.6 grams for men. There are 2.7 grams in a ¼ cup of walnuts and 1.6 grams in a tablespoons of flaxseeds.
Luckily, it’s easy to benefit from these nutrients on a daily basis by incorporating more raw foods into your diet. These natural sources are readily available this time of year, often from our own gardens or at the local farmers market.
- Almonds – Have a lot of vitamin E which protects against sun damage.
- Chia Seeds – Rich in omega 3, which erases blemishes, softens wrinkles and helps to keep skin hydrated.
- Tomatoes – Have lycopene, an antioxidant that eliminates skin-aging free radicals from UV exposure.
- Watermelon – Watermelon consumption helps keep your skin hydrated.
- Sweet potatoes – Packed with carotenoids and vitamin C which boost collagen production.
- Citrus – A great source of vitamin C, which fights inflammation.
- Peppers – Spicy peppers have a lot of capsaicin, a compound that improves circulation and helps the release of toxins from the skin.
- Olive and Safflower Oils – The omega 6 fatty acids in these oils keep skin supple.
- Coconut Oil – This oil is great for skin both internally and externally. It provides some sun protection, fights bacteria, and helps soften skin.
- Sunflower Seeds – These seeds are rich in selenium which preserves elastin to keep skin smooth and tight.
- Sesame Seeds – Contain zinc, which can reduce the oily sebum that leads to clogged pores.
- Carrots – These are filled with vitamin A, which prevents the overproduction of skin cells that can lead to clogged pores.
- Whole Grains – Rich in B vitamins that help cells in processing fats to hydrate and revitalize skin.
- Apples – Contain quercetin, an antioxidant in the peel that protects against sun damage.
- Walnuts – Full of vitamins B and E, which help fight off free radicals that can cause wrinkles.
Want a little help jumpstarting cleaner eating with more raw foods? For just $99, you can pick up a Clean Eating Punch Card at Root, good for 5 entrees + 5 juices, smoothies or double-size health shots, each bursting with raw food goodness. Enjoy a Very Berry Antioxidant Smoothie or Skin Toner Juice, paired with an Eight Greens Bowl or a Shitake Mushroom Wrap – the choice is yours!