Better Eating Leads to Better Skin

By: KELLY SHERIDAN

Breaking out recently? Skin looking less than its best? While you may attribute dull, pasty skin to the harshness of wintry weather and stress of the holiday season, the complexion culprit may be in your diet. While it may seem impossible to achieve a glow during these chilly months, selecting nutrient-rich meals may be the key to brightening your skin.

It makes sense that you can only expect your body to look as good as you treat it. If you hit the junk food aisle regularly and skip the produce section, your body is going to reflect your poor nutrition choices. While diet obviously affects your size and shape, it can impact the face as well. You already knew you could eat your way to higher energy levels and a smaller pants size, but now you have another reason to load up on nutrients – it can give your skin a healthy, natural glow!

Check out this go-to list of nutrient-rich, complexion-boosting superfoods and a few healthy tips for including them in your lifestyle:

Almonds: Did you know almonds are seeds, not nuts? They’re also loaded with vitamin E, an antioxidant which helps to protect skin cells from UV rays and other cell-damaging environmental factors. Eating about 14 mg (20 almonds) is sufficient to reap the benefits of this super snack. Snack on a handful of raw almonds or sprinkle them on cereal or yogurt. Almond butter is also a great way to get vitamin E.

Flaxseeds: These tiny seeds are a big source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can eliminate spots and fine lines. They have also been shown to decrease skin irritation and redness, and increase hydration in skin. Flaxseeds can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sprinkle them on oatmeal, yogurt, steamed veggies or salads to get your daily dose. Flaxseed oil can also be used when making veggies.

Green Tea: What can’t this super beverage do? When served hot, green tea releases catechins, which are antioxidants known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that drinking 2 to 6 cups a day may help to prevent skin cancer and reverse the effects of sun damage on skin. White tea can also deliver these properties, so drink up!

Whole Grains: Foods made with whole grains contain niacin, a component which helps decrease the redness typically seen in acne and rosacea. You don’t need to make an extra effort to include whole grains in your daily diet; simply replace white pasta or bread with the whole grain varieties. Neither taste very different and both deliver numerous health benefits.

Spinach: It has been suggested that the folate in these leafy greens may help to maintain and repair DNA. This increases the cells’ abilities to multiply, which decreases the chance that cancer-cell growth will occur. It’s also easy to fit a healthy amount of spinach into a daily diet by working it into your favorite dishes. Spinach can be used in place of lettuce on a sandwich, as a pasta topping, or mixed into stir-fry dishes. It’s also great as a salad base, particularly with grilled chicken, cranberries, walnuts and goat cheese – my favorite!

Oranges: If dark under-eye circles are a chronic problem for you, it’s time to stock up on oranges. This citrus favorite is packed with vitamin C which strengthens the collagen, or the supportive structure of the skin. This eliminates the hollows in the skin and therefore rids the skin of shadows. Eat an orange with breakfast, lunch or dinner or sip some OJ to gain the benefits of this fruit.

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Categories: Home, Sections, Your Nutrition

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  1. Merry, Merry! « Running with Balance - December 25, 2012

    […] Better Eating Leads to Better Skin […]

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