One of the most covetable beauty traits, in my opinion, is being blessed with naturally clear, glowy skin. But we all know that even the luckiest of ladies might get a blemish or two once in a while, and bad nutrition might be to blame. Pesky pimples are never any fun so you might be surprised to learn that making some small swaps in your daily diet can be the key to clearer skin. For today’s Tuesday Ten, I researched acne-fighting food properties that are proven to help beat blemishes or keep them at bay (sources listed at the bottom of this blog post). Not only are these things good for your skin, they’re good for your figure as well (I’m talking to you, Bikini Boot Campers). Be sure to check out my list below and keep these healthy staples in mind the next time you hit the grocery store…
- Foods with omega-3 fatty acids. This includes salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids have been known to give skin an almost instant glow. These foods can also help reduce inflammation, so any blemishes you do have won’t be quite so red. I love making grilled salmon for dinner. Adding flaxseed to a fresh fruit smoothie is another simple way to boost your omega-3s.
- Antioxidant filled foods. It’s no surprise that antioxidant foods are great for your health, but they also give your skin an extra dose of goodness too. Antioxidant rich foods like cherries, berries, green tea and spinach attack free radicals in your body that cause skin damage and breakouts. Eating a handful of berries or a spinach salad is a yummy way to add antioxidants into your daily food routine.
- Foods rich in selenium. Brazil nuts, almonds, onion, garlic, and whole grains are all sources of selenium, which is also a powerful antioxidant. These foods help preserve your skin’s elasticity and reduce inflammation. Just eating a handful of almonds a day is an easy way to up your selenium intake.
- Foods rich in vitamin C. Melons, oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries all boost your immune system and strengthen your cell walls. These foods will help protect your skin from acne scarring and activate healing powers to amend damaged or irritated skin.
- Foods rich in vitamin E. This category includes nuts, soybeans, almonds, leafy greens and eggs. Vitamin E rich foods also help protect your skin from scarring. An easy way to get your daily dose is by drizzling olive oil on a salad or using it to cook. (I always use it on my pan when cooking my veggie omelet in the morning.)
- Foods in high water content. This means…drink water, water and more water! Keeping your body hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And this healthy habit translates to your skin too. In addition to drinking your 8 glasses a day (a daily requirement in my book!), eating foods with a high water content like watermelon and cucumbers, and also parsley will free your system of toxins as well.
- Foods rich in vitamin A. Foods that give your body vitamin A are rich in beta-carotene, which enhances the benefits of selenium–that powerful antioxidant I mentioned earlier. Your skin will thank you if you include carrots, bell peppers, cantaloupes, and sweet potatoes into your daily diet.
- Foods high in magnesium. These foods are awesome acne fighters because magnesium helps to balance out acne-inducing hormones. Try munching on artichokes, oatmeal, brown rice, and figs to get hormonal acne under control. (Give this Cookie Dough Oatmeal recipe a try!)
- Low sodium foods. Foods that are packed with salt not only make your body bloat up like a balloon, they also wreak havoc on your skin. To avoid pimples from flaring up, try to limit the amount of processed or prepared foods in your diet. Substituting canned or frozen vegetables with fresh ones can make a huge difference. You will also feel so much better if you eat “clean foods” that are unprocessed and have low sodium. (Give one of these simple salads a try–they’re packed with fresh veggies. Yum!)
- White foods are the wrong foods. Foods like white bread, white rice, white refined flour, French fries, and mashed potatoes are some of the worst things to have in your diet if you want clear skin. Refined sugar is another culprit in this category because it makes your blood sugar levels spike, which then causes acne outbreaks. No thank you! Stick to whole grains and brightly colored fruits and veggies like these no-bloat foods. If anything else, just remember this: White foods are not the right foods if you want clear skin.
I don’t know about you, but this list has completely recalibrated my shopping list. I love putting these types of blogs together because I learn so much as I am researching them… I guess the bottom line here is really something that we’ve all been told since day one: “You are what you eat.” And now we’ve got a list t prove it! So stick to this list of skin-pretty foods and I promise you will feel beautiful inside and out.
Which acne fighting food is your favorite? Personally, I’m partial to spinach, eggs and berries.
Also, if you have a Tuesday Ten request, leave it in the comments below.