We all know there’s truth to the saying “You are what you eat”. It’s not always easy to resist sugary temptations, but I’ve found that if you take little steps to eating healthy, pretty soon it becomes a way of eating and you never even feel like it’s a diet anymore. As you start to eat better, your body (and mind) feels better and there’s no double-stuffed chocolate dipped cookie that can beat that.
We all want beautiful skin and makeup can only help so much so you really need to try to get as many vitamins and nutrients as possible in the foods you eat. Many people rely on supplements to take the place of healthy foods. I think this list has a few healthy foods that we all can enjoy.
Tips to Keep your Skin Looking Young and Healthy
Don’t smoke: Smoking reduces the skin’s natural elasticity by breaking down collagen and causing the tiny blood vessels in the skin to tighten, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients the skin cells receive.
Manage stress: Stress and anxiety increase the hormone cortisol, which causes inflammation that breaks down collagen.
Cut back on sugar: Sugar also damages collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep the skin firm and elastic.
Limit Alcohol: Alcohol dehydrates you leaving your skin old and tired looking.
Get enough sleep: Besides leading to dark circles, not getting enough sleep will age your skin. When you are asleep your body is regenerating. Not getting enough sleep cuts this critical repair time short.
Wear sunscreen: Sun exposure is the #1 cause of aging skin. Not only does exposure to the suns UV ray increase your risk of skin cancer, they damage the elastin fibers that keep the skin firm, and are responsible for age or liver spots on sun-exposed areas. Most of the changes seen in aging skin are caused by a lifetime of sun damage.
Now let’s look at some of the best foods to keep your skin beautiful
Blueberries are an excellent source of phytochemicals, that act as antioxidants to shield against free radicals which damage collagen. They are also high in vitamin C.
Avocados are also a good source of antioxidants, plus they are rich in vitamins A,D, and E. They also contain oleic acid which is one of the good fats. It can lower cholesterol and has been shown to slow the development of heart disease. Avocados also contain biotin which helps prevent dry skin, brittle hair and nails.
Sweet Potatoes or Yams
Sweet potatoes and yams are loaded with beta-carotene, which besides giving them their beautiful orange color, protects against the UV rays of the sun. They are also a good source of vitamin C.
Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E and good fats which are beneficial for your hair and skin. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Adding a handful of almonds daily is a easy way to get your vitamin E.
Salmon is a high protein food with one of the richest concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help to keep your skin supple and moisturized.
It’s also a good source of vitamin D and selenium, a important mineral for antioxidant protection. Farm raised salmon does not have the nutritional value of wild salmon since they are fed mostly soy. They also contain more contaminants due to the fact that they are kept in pens.
Flax and Sunflower Seeds
You can also get your omega 3’s from flax and sunflower seeds. The oil in flax seeds has a high lignan and omega 3 content. The lignan can promote healthy bowel function. The omega 3’s will help keep your skin, hair, and nails supple and strong. If you have dry cuticles or heels and nails that break easily, you may benefit from adding flax to your diet. Flax seeds must be ground to release the oil. You can do this with a coffee grinder.
Keep them in the freezer to prevent them from going rancid. A easy way to get your daily flax is to buy a good flax oil and add a tablespoon to your favorite juice or shake. Sunflower seeds also contain the essential fatty acids that are good for your skin and hair. They also contain the antioxidant vitamin E and it’s so easy to eat a handful every day.
Carrots are loaded with vitamin A and beta carotene. Vitamin A can help with breakouts and many skin diseases such as eczema. Carrots also contain vitamin C which aids collagen production in the body. Beta carotene protects against the sun’s UV rays.
Cantaloupe also contains vitamins A, C and beta carotene, which protect against sun damage. It also contains potassium which helps support your metabolism. Cantaloupe is also a good source of dietary fiber and is a great hydrator for your skin.
Next to water, green tea may be the best thing you can drink. Green tea contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea. The green tea polyphenols can help to slow down the development of some signs of aging as well as protection from UV rays.
Green tea can also increase your brain function, lower your cholesterol, increase fat burning, and improve physical performance. It may also reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. With all the benefits of green tea, what’s not to love? It’s recommended to drink 3-4 cups per day.