Skin issues are definitely not skin-deep. As the largest organ in our body, skin reflects the condition inside our body. Sometimes, the best way to relieve skin problems is the fix the root cause so that they can be taken care of once and for all.
I see so many women who spend a huge amount of money on creams that tout the benefits of improved look and feel of their skin, however, the answer to most skin conditions is through proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
While it is likely that you think about how nutrition affects your internal health and your weight, you may not realize that eating the right foods can also improve the quality of your skin. And all of these amazing skin care products are found right in your local grocery store.
Here are my top 5 Tasty Ways to Have Healthy and Beautiful Skin
- Fish, Seafood and Coconut Oil, Oh My!
An international study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that people who ate diets high in fish and seafood had less skin wrinkling. O.M.G.!! Get me a plate of salmon right now! The reason that is given for this, is because the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and seafood slow down the wrinkling process. Some research shows that wrinkle development is rooted in inflammation and those inflammatory chemicals can severely affect the collagen of your skin. Omega 3’s help reduce the production of those chemicals.
Coconut oil is another beneficial fat. It doesn’t contain Omega 3’s, but it is the best source of medium chain fatty acids. The MCFA’s that are found in Coconut Oil are highly beneficial because they are quickly digested and produce energy. When ingested through the regular consumption of coconut oil, these fats deposit under the skin, thus keeping it healthy and smooth, giving it an even tone and reducing the appearance of the pores.
To use the words of popular commercial for hot sauce, when using Coconut Oil, use that **** on everything. Use it in your bath, on your skin and hair, and cook and bake with it as well – try replacing oil or butter with an equal amount of coconut oil. Coconut oil will help moisturize your skin and prevent wrinkles.
Oh yes darlin’, I said chocolate. But remember, not all chocolate is created equal. The chocolate that is going to help you have healthy and beautiful skin is Dark Chocolate, specifically the type with 70% or more of cocoa. (hopefully you’ll choose the fair trade type as well). The reason that Dark Chocolate is so beneficial is because it contains flavonoids. Flavonoids are anti-oxidants which help protect the skin from sun damage, specifically UV damage which can cause wrinkles, helps fight free radicals (goodbye sun spots!) and increases the flow of blood which helps to give your skin that youthful dewy look. Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce stress. And we all know that stress causes those awful worry lines. The high percentage of cocoa in dark chocolate helps reduce stress hormones. Less stress hormones means less collagen breakdown in the skin and fewer wrinkles!
Research shows that two to three ounces of 70-plus percent dark chocolate a week is all you need to reap the health benefits,” Be sure you’re choosing the right chocolate though. Most dark chocolate bars with 70 percent or more cocoa clearly label it on the front of the package, but if you’re not sure, read the label and ingredients carefully. If the first ingredient is milk or sugar, the bar is not going to have 70 percent or more cocoa content.
Another great source of anti-oxidants are deeply coloured berries such as blueberries, pomegranates and cherries. They are loaded with antioxidants, which help your body fight off blemishes and are rich in antioxidant anthocyanins, which help protect you from fine lines and dryness.
- Rice, Rice, Baby
If you were to go and check the packaging of your skin products, you’re likely going to see included in the list of ingredients something called ceramides. These are lipid molecules, which help your skin maintain its moisture.
Many skin care lines tout the benefits of ceramides in their product and often command high prices for including this in their creams and lotions. But did you know that ceramides can also be found in foods such as brown rice? Clinical studies show that when you eat naturally occurring ceramides, they get incorporated into the outer layer of your skin. This helps your skin not only maintain hydration, but the studies show that the ceramides you eat significantly improve hydration.
Other great food sources that are are relatively rich in ceramides include wheat germ, and vegetables like spinach and beets.
- Learn your ABC’s
Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin. It exists naturally in liver, butter and eggs; and its precursor, beta-carotene, is in colorful vegetables such as red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach. The body then turns those beta-carotene into skin-smoothing retinol. Again, how many skin care products have you seen that boast Retinol as an ingredient? Much better to get this naturally!
Not only is Vitamin B essential for general health and well being, it is also essential for healthy skin. The highest content of Vitamin B is found in fish such as salmon, trout, tuna and cod. Lamb, beef, poultry, eggs and dairy food also contain a high amount of Vitamin B as well as certain fruits, vegetables and legumes are good sources of Vitamin B. Avocadoes, pomegranates, dates, watermelons, and some berries are high in B complex vitamins. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, potatoes, and squashes also contain significant amounts. Legumes like soy beans, kidney beans and lentils also contain Vitamin B in significant amounts.
Did you know that strawberries have more anti-aging vitamin C per serving than oranges or grapefruit? Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that people who eat foods rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who don’t. This is because Vitamin C fights free radicals, which damage cells and break down collagen, leading to fine lines. In addition to eating Vitamin C rich foods daily, try applying a natural berry mask once or twice a week for smoother, better-hydrated skin.
Another good source of Vitamin C is tomatoes. Tomatoes also contain lycopene which has been shown to protect the skin from sun damage.
- Avoid Caffeine, Sugar and Alcohol, and keep that water flowing..
While water doesn’t directly affect the moisture in your skin, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and like any other part of the body is made up of cells. Skin cells are made of water, and without proper hydration, will not function at their best. Stay hydrated with pure, filtered water and herbal teas. Many people often report that by increasing their water intake, their skin has a more radiant glow. Those who suffer from acne have reported the same results. Clear, glowing skin may not happen overnight, but increasing your water intake over even a few weeks should be enough for you to see how hydration affects your own skin.
You may have heard this before, but Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can move fluid out of the body, worsening dehydration. Try to do your best to limit alcohol, coffee and non herbal teas.
So, are your taste buds all fired up and ready? Let me know below in the comments, which tip you found the tastiest to help you get your skin gorgeous and sexy!