The Best and Worst Foods for Your Skin

By Lizzy Thompson

I am sure most of you have heard the saying, “Beauty comes from within.” Not only is this statement speaking a figurative truth, but it is also quite literal. What you put into your body vastly affects your skin’s appearance. This list will show you five foods and drinks to start adding to or increasing in your diet and a few foods to cut out in order to keep your skin healthy and glowing!


1. Dark Leafy Greens

Most of the greens in this category (including kale, spinach, broccoli, collard greens and many more) have antioxidant powers that help your skin to fight its ongoing battle against aging. Among many other essential vitamins and minerals, they contain adequate amounts of zinc. According to the experts, this mineral has been shown to disable impaired collagen (a protein fiber that keeps skin firm and elastic), making room for new collagen and, in turn, more youthful skin.

2. Avocados

Everyone has heard of the many benefits of avocados, and healthy skin is right there at the top that list.  This food is sure to leave your skin feeling just like its texture–buttery smooth.  Avocados contain ample amounts of essential fatty acids and B vitamins that will undoubtedly nourish your skin from the inside out.

Avocados are especially rich in niacin (AKA vitamin B3), which is an anti-inflammatory that soothes irritated, red skin and provides even color and smooth texture.

3. Berries and Plums

Not only are berries and plums simply delicious (and low-calorie to boot), but they promise to leave your skin with a glow that would make the moon jealous. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has reported that blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums contain “the highest antioxidant capacity of any food.”

Free radicals, which can come from overexposure to the sun and pollution, damage the cell membranes of the skin. The antioxidant punch that these fruits pack can protect the cells from this type of damage. Therefore, when the cells are protected from damage and degeneration, your skin is able to appear younger, longer.


1. Milk

The link between dairy and acne dates back to the 1960s. In fact, before prescription medications became so effective in treating acne, doctors used to treat acne by recommending that patients cut out milk. More recently, in 2010, a review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found a strong connection between the intake of dairy products and acne breakouts.

So, what’s the connection?  Omaha dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger reveals, “Much of the milk that we drink is produced by pregnant cows and contains high levels of hormones that can send oil glands into overdrive.” This is not great news for anyone with sensitive skin.

Start by skipping the skim milk, which has the highest inflammatory properties and has shown the strongest link to acne.  If you need a healthy alternative, try adding almond milk to your grocery list. It is still high in calcium and vitamin D and just as delicious as dairy milk.

2. Sugar

When a team of nutritionists and dermatologists investigated the scientific connection between our skin and what we eat, they came away with a pretty compelling case against a diet high in sugar (soda, candy, honey) and simple carbs (pasta, cupcakes, bagels). Eating a great deal of these foods can throw off your insulin levels, which, in turn, leads to inflammation both inside and outside the body.

3. Sodium-rich foods

The American diet is extremely high in sodium, which can result in too much water retention. This puffiness that ensues will be most noticeable under the eyes, where the skin is extremely thin. Consequently, it doesn’t take much to induce swelling in that area. To keep those pesky bags away, avoid snacks like potato chips, crackers, and popcorn. Most brands of these foods contain high amounts of sodium.

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Categories: Home, Your Nutrition

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