Your diet is skin deep...
What you eat is written all over your face. Think you're getting a balanced diet? Take a look in the mirror just to be sure.
As the old adage goes, we are what we eat, and nothing reflects that sentiment more than your skin. When you're slashing calories from your diet, it's important not to slash skin-boosting vitamins and minerals. Dieters' skin can sometimes look sallow, discoloured and dry.
So what treats should you feed your skin?
Low-fat dairy products provide nourishing vitamin A, essential to the health of skin cells. Low-fat yogurt is a particular standout for its high concentration of A, plus its beneficial bacteria that helps digestion. Anything that makes the body more efficient at excreting waste is going to make skin more radiant.
Antioxidant powerhouses like dark berries reduce free radicals sustained from sun damage, reducing your risk of skin cancer and guarding against premature aging. Fewer free radicals also mean a clearer complexion.
Healthy fats and oils, such as those found in salmon, walnuts, flax and canola oil help skin hold moisture and create healthy cell membranes, important for nutrient absorption. Good-quality olive oil is particularly beneficial because it keeps skin lubricated and improves its overall appearance.
But not all oils are created equally. Many lose those healthy qualities when commercially processed, so it's important to look for extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed oil or expeller-processed oil.
Be careful with fat intake - while healthful, oil is still fat, so limit your consumption to about 2 tablespoons per day.
Don't forget to wash down all those healthful foods with plenty of water, which keeps skin hydrated and helps you sweat more efficiently.
While winter is nearly here, with the help of nourishing, antioxidant-packed fruits, vegetables and "healthy" fats, we can moisturize and replenish our skin and provide our bodies with health-promoting nutrients. Incorporate the foods we've listed below into your daily diet and you'll have that gorgeous 'glow' back in no time.
Fabulous Fresh Fruit
Berries: Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are rich in flavonoids, a type of antioxidants that help delay the aging process and strengthen collagen in the skin. Berries are also high in vitamin C, which helps maintain capillary walls & promote skin elasticity & plumpness.
Kiwi: Kiwis are high in vitamin C and antioxidants to promote skin elasticity and smoothness.
Mango: Mangoes are high in vitamin A, C, & E and rich in antioxidants. Eat them moderation however, as mangoes are high in calories and sugar!
Citrus fruit: Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes all help cleanse our digestive systems and clear the skin. Citrus fruits also boast a wealth of vitamin C.
Eat Your Veggies
Broccoli: A nutrient-rich cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is high in fiber, iron, antioxidants, folate and vitamins A, C and B2 - all of which promote healthy skin, hair and nails and prevent premature signs of aging. Broccoli also helps stimulate the digestive system, liver and kidneys to remove toxins internally, encouraging the external effect of beautiful, smooth skin.
Beets: Beets are pack powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, and aid in stimulating the digestive system and immune function. Their benefits shine through from the inside-out by reviving dull skin and promoting renewal and repair.
Salmon, tuna, flaxseed, avocado, walnuts, and olive oil: 'Healthy' fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in the items above, help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Such fats provide skin cells with nourishing moisture and oil to help prevent wrinkles and dryness. Healthy as they are, these fats still are high in calories so you'll want to watch the amount you're consuming - keep these serving sizes in mind: salmon & tuna (size of a deck of cards), 1/5 an avocado (2-3 thin slices), half-dozen walnuts, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil per meal.