Good Eats for Healthier Skin

by in Healthy Tips, July 14, 2009

Creams are helpful on the outside, but don’t count out what goes inside your body when you’re looking to keep your skin clear and fresh. Here are some foods to pile on your plate and ones to avoid.

Strawberries, Red Peppers, Kiwi
These fruits and veggies are packed with vitamin C, an antioxidant shown to prevent damage to the skin and possibly help prevent aging. Vitamin C also helps form collagen, which supports the skin’s structure and keeps it smooth.
Other vitamin C-rich foods: Potatoes, tomatoes, citrus fruit, broccoli
Recipe to try: Green Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Carrots, Apricots, Spinach
The antioxidant beta-carotene is in these fresh foods. Beta-carotene converts in the body to vitamin A, which we need to create new and healthy skin cells. It also protects your skin from bacteria and viruses and keeps it hydrated.
Other beta-carotene-rich foods: Collard greens, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes
Recipe to try: Glazed Mini Carrots

Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Olive Oil
Rounding out the antioxidants are the vitamin E-rich foods. This vitamin protects cell membranes from free-radical damage, especially brought on by UV rays. Of course, sun screen helps, but a serving of nuts and seeds every so often can help strengthen your cells from the inside.
Other vitamin E-rich foods: Mangoes, peanuts, chicken breast
Recipe to try: Cumin-Roasted Almonds

At least half your body is made from water (50 to 60%) and that includes your skin. Not drinking enough water can dehydrate and give off that pruney look (no one wants that). Instead, keep your skin radiant by sipping water throughout the day. No need to chug gallons — you also get water from other sources such as fresh fruits and veggies.
Other hydrating sources: Sparkling water or seltzer, fresh juices
Recipe to try: Refreshing Berry Spritzer

Flaxseed, Salmon, Tuna
All rich in omega-3 fats, these foods help prevent inflammation (who needs puffy skin?). Their heart-healthy oils also keep skin nice and shiny. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that elderly folks who consumed higher amounts of fish and veggies throughout their life had fewer wrinkles. It could be the combo of the omega-3s in fish plus antioxidant-rich veggies, though researchers can’t say for sure right now.
Other omega-3 foods: Sardines, walnuts, tofu
Recipe to try: Saucy Salmon

Foods To Skip
Alcohol is not your skin’s friend — especially in excess. All alcohol, including wine, liquor and beer, should be limited to 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men daily. Sweets such as cookies, cakes and candies have been said to increase acne breakout. Just remember this: If you’re binging on carb- and fat-laden goodies, you’re probably skipping other healthier stuff like fruits and veggies and not getting the antioxidants and nutritional benefits you need. There’s also conflicting research on milk — some evidence shows that milk contributes to acne. But researchers aren’t sure if the hormones in the milk are the real culprit. Your best bet is to purchase hormone-free milk and stick to 2 servings of dairy per day.

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Comments (42)

  1. Brandi says:

    Great article! It's always good to be reminded of what we should be doing. Our skin truly does reflect what's happening on the inside.

  2. Audrey says:

    We want to go on a low Fat,Sugar,and salt diet. Where can i find how much of these we need per day and the converion chart for grams and teas.,or table spoons

  3. Patt says:

    Enjoyed your BERRY Article!

    I freeze the blueberries – during a HOT day, I eat then like they are. Also do grapes the same..


  4. T.C. says:

    I don't smoke, drink alcohol, little 2 no sweetsand acid intake. But i still breakout on my forehead, I'v had Dermatology treatment, But u cant use that suff forever. Any Ideas? T.C.

  5. Stacy says:

    Sometimes my hair gel or whatever I put on my hair breaks my forehead out when my bangs touch my forehead all day. Also, if I sweat a lot it will break out. Just a thought.

  6. James Love says:

    You neglected a major source of micronutrients and things like agar (it's the basis for nail hardener. Sushi wrapper can be many time more nutricious than the rice and stuff it holds or is sitting on top of it. Don't like the idea of sushi, but the Nori sheets and crumble them over salads and in a few weeks you won't believe how much difference there is in your hair and nails.

  7. jo nance says:

    i have lots of kids and stepkids. seems that the ones who ate better, less sugary foods, had better skins always. never underestimate the power of simply washing your face three times a day with something like neutrogena and then using a drug store astringent . cuts that oil and bacteria.

  8. wikiderm says:

    Author says
    "But researchers aren’t sure if the hormones in the milk are the real culprit. Your best bet is to purchase hormone-free milk and stick to 2 servings of dairy per day."
    There is NO SUCH THING as hormone-free milk. Even your mother's milk contains hormones – over 60 of them. That's what made you grow. And that is what makes baby cows grow – hundreds of pounds/kilos in a few months. And that is what makes oil glands grow, and plug up.
    We researchers are pretty sure about this (in the lab) but to prove it we need to do a 'blinded' study that has both real milk with its natural hormones and REAL hormone-free milk (when we can design and make one) to compare the results.

  9. cher says:

    I don't think milk causes acne. I drink probably, sometimes a gallon in a day. Yes, I drink alot of milk. I never get acne. I also eat alot of dairy. No acne. I have always heard that acne is caused from your pores being clogged. I always remove my makeup before I go to bed. I use vaseline to remove it. I never wash my face with soap. I put essential oils on my face. Like Lavender and Frankincense, etc… then I apply coconut oils on my face every day. The only time I have ever noticed that I got acne is when I didn't clean the makeup off my face.

  10. SueAtkinson says:

    Great article-thanks!

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