Foods for Glowing Vibrant Skin
Most of your skin’s health and its ability to react to stress, damage, and the environment rely more on lifestyle than on what you slather on your face. We treat each part of the body as distinct and separate, buying different products for hands, face, feet, and bodies or taking pills to work on one specific ill. This is how the medical, pharmaceutical, and beauty product worlds see us, as just specific parts that require attention.
Your face is not you alone, neither is your foot or your kidney. The heart is not the only part requiring attention when blood pressure starts climbing. The individual parts of the body are all interconnected, tied together with countless cells that are all relying on you to feed them well so they can be their best. It shouldn’t surprise you that the things you should do to improve heart health, control weight, and lower your risk for developing diseases are the same things you should do for better skin.
That’s right; you now know where this is headed. You need to exercise, get enough sleep, and eat healthier. If any aspect of your health is suffering, it means your body as a whole is suffering and these three simple things will help minimize or eliminate the cause.
Exercise does wonders for the entire body. It improves heart function; keeps veins young, elastic, and fit; and improves how cells burn energy. It increases circulation efficiency which keeps the cells furthest from the heart, like the skin, well nourished. Exercise also helps the body flush away toxins and oily residue that cause clogs, blemishes, and damage.
We’ve all heard of beauty sleep. This isn’t something made up by some coy actress in the 1950’s. Beauty and sleep are tied together. Sleep lets your body recover from the stress and mayhem of the day. It is a time to renew and conserve energy. The body produces growth hormones during sleep to facilitate the use of amino acids as they repair bone, muscle, and tissues, including the skin. During sleep, the skin’s metabolic activities actually rise as it fixes the damage that built up during the day.
Foods are the building blocks that our bodies use to grow, develop, and repair. Healthy, plant-based foods provide the energy and nutrients to do so well. If we aren’t eating good foods, we are starving our cells or just not giving them the proper tools they need to function properly. Here are a few of the best foods to keep you looking young and your skin at its finest.
Almonds – Almonds are packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that defends against sun damage. Nuts also help us maintain healthy weight. Those who eat several servings a week are less likely to gain extra pounds.
Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids that erase blemishes, soften wrinkles, and help keep the skin hydrated and supple.
Tomatoes – Lycopene, the compound that gives tomatoes their rich color, is a powerful antioxidant that eliminates skin-aging free radicals from ultraviolet exposure.
Sweet Potatoes – These orange tubers are packed with carotenoids and vitamin C which boost collagen production. Collagen controls the strength, firmness, and flexibility of the skin.
Citrus – Citrus are another good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C also fights inflammation.
Peppers – Red bell peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange, along with other antioxidants. The spicier peppers come packed with capsaicin, a compound that improves circulation and promotes the release of toxins from the skin.
Spinach – Spinach is rich in folate, a B vitamin that aids in the repair of DNA and may reduce the risk of skin cancer. Greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, and asparagus all are rich in vitamin A, iron, and vitamin K. Iron aids circulation by carrying vital oxygen. Vitamin K may help prevent varicose veins.
Olive and Safflower Oils – The omega 6 fatty acids in these oils keep skin supple. Use them in moderation though.
Sunflower Seeds – These seeds are rich in selenium which preserves elastin to keep skin smooth and tight. Selenium acts as an antioxidant too. They also contain vitamin E which works well with selenium to enhance the effects of both.
Sesame Seeds – Sesame seeds contain zinc which can reduce the oily sebum that leads to clogged pores.
Carrots – These roots are filled with vitamin A. Vitamin A prevents the overproduction of skin cells which can lead to skin cancer and also contributes to clogged pores.
Dark Chocolate – The flavanols in chocolate act as antioxidants, provide sun protection, and reduce the roughness of skin for healthier appearance and feel.
Whole Grains – Whole grains are rich in B vitamins that assist cells in processing fats to hydrate and revitalize skin. The complex carbohydrates mixed with fiber in whole grains are digested and absorbed slowly and don’t create sugar spikes that contribute to acne. Refined and processed sugars do, and should be avoided.
Strawberries – These are another vitamin C rich fruit that may also lower the risks of skin cancer.
Apples – Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant in the peel that protects against sun damage.
Avoid smoking and prolonged exposure to the sun. These both damage the skin and make it age faster. A few minutes of sun a day is healthy as it creates vitamin D, a powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogen, but wear sunscreen if you will be in the sun longer than that. Avoid stimulants like refined sugar and caffeine. These upset balances in hormone levels and mess with circulation. They also make it difficult for the body to get the rest it needs to repair. Remember the simple three: exercise, sleep, and eat well for healthy skin.
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photo credit of little girl: simmbarb