We all know the saying you are what you eat, right? Well, there’s a reason it’s a massive cliche so here’s a look at the best foods that help your skin – because this is one of the biggest things you can do in the fight against aging.
Before we dive in and look at your diet if you’re new here make sure you check out the free audiobook on looking 10 years younger. Remember: The body is programmed to self-destruct as we age, but the speed at which it self-destructs is up to us. The quicker you act – the better and I guarantee this (completely free) audio-book will change your life.
Foods to Aim For
Eat Vegetables – Yellow, Red & Orange vegetables like bell peppers and carrots contain Carotenoids that can help in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and make the skin look smoother. A leafy green vegetable offers an array of vitamins and minerals that are vital for health.
Use Dairy Products – Dairy products are full of vitamin A and other nutrients that are essential for younger looking skin.
Eat Salmon – Salmon contains essential Omega-3 fatty acids that the body can’t produce on its own. Salmon strengthen the cell membranes which allows the better flow of nutrients and holds water content within the skin, so your skin looks dewy.
Olive Oil – Oils like olive oil and coconut oil are also acts as great moisturizers and are cheaper. These are probably more chemical free.
Dark Chocolate – Eat Dark chocolates that provides all the major benefits to your skin in order to be more vibrant and youthful.
Some great advice here on general things to look for from David Becks answer on Quora. But let’s break it down a little more. All the health and beauty products in the world won’t help you if you don’t have your diet right and that means getting a good understanding about what you’re putting in your body.
Yes, that means looking at the labels of what you buy. I know it seems like a complete pain but it gets to be an easy habit sooner than you might think and you can see some pretty immediate results from even making a few relatively small changes to your diet.
Best Foods for a Healthy Skin Complexion
- The rainbow vegetables
Antioxidants are your skin’s BFF. The patrol your body (and skin) looking for free radicals, the criminals that damage your collagen, elastin and everything else they find in their tracks, leaving a trail of wrinkles and dark spots behind. When they spot one, they destroy it pronto.
Here’s where it gets tricky: there are lots of different types of free radicals. Every antioxidant can only deal with one or two. You see now why it’s so important to eat as many antioxidants as possible instead than relying on just the one, no matter how powerful it is?
You’ll find antioxidants in green and brightly coloured vegetables, berries, fruits, legumes, seeds and green tea.
2. Natural sugars
Sodas, sweets and anything with processed sugar are the biggest culprits here. I still eat them a little because girl needs cake every once in a while (seriously what is life without cake?!) but the more you manage to cut sugar down, the slower you’ll age.
Grains, natural sweeteners like honey and agave nectar and fruits high in sugar like banana and mango have their fair share of antioxidants so they’re not as bad as processed sugar.
If you eat too much of those, you may want to cut back a little. In moderation, they’re cool.
3. Raw food
Remember them? They’re the unwanted “present” sugar leaves behind in your body. High-heat cooking methods like broiling, frying or roasting make AGEs too.
Some of the worst offenders are:
- Roasted chicken skin (9,897 AGEs)
- Breaded & fried chicken breast (8,750 AGEs)
- Beef steak pan fried with olive oil (9.502 AGEs)
- Bacon fried with no oil (11,905 AGEs)
- McDonalds Big Mac (7,801 AGEs)
FIY, there are ways to eat meat without making so many AGEs. You just have to replace broiling/frying/roasting with low-heat cooking methods like steaming and poaching. For example, a poached chicken breast has only 968 AGEs. That’s a huge difference!
Fruits, vegeatables and all the raw stuff barely have any AGEs. Make them a big part of your diet, use low-heat cooking methods whenever possible and, every now and then, enjoy a fried treat for being a good girl.
4. Fermented foods
A balanced microbiome (i.e. the community of bacteria that lives in your gut) regulates metabolism, boosts digestion, supports the immune system and brain function and even improves your mood.
In skincare, this translates to brighter skin, fewer pimples. Problem is, few of us have a healthy microbiome. A diet poor in fibres and antioxidants, too much alcohol and antibiotics can all kill the good bacteria in your gut and make the bad bacteria thrive.
That’s where fermented foods come in. They’re loaded with probiotics, the good kind of bacteria that can restore the balance in your gut. If you have acne, eczema or sensitive skin, they are a MUST.
So where do you find them? Some of the most popular fermented foods are sauerkraut, kimchee, kefir, kombucha and pickles.
This handy advice is from Giorgia on Quora.
The Worst Foods for Skincare
There’s more to improving your skin than just adding a few things to the side of your plate I’m afraid. Yep, this is the bit you’ve probably been dreading – the stuff you need to remove from your diet. And it’s not just the obvious junk food you need to watch out for.
If you are someone who has hypothyroidism, the below foods can cause problems both physically and emotionally.
- Wheat- causes huge variations with thyroid levels owing to the presence of gluten.
- Millets- same as above.
- Cauliflower / cabbage /broccoli / kohlrabi – not suitable for hypothyroid patients
- Tapioca/ potatoes / tubers and root vegetables – not suitable for patients having insulin resistance.
- Tomatoes – if you are suffering from kidney stones, tomatoes are a big No No!
There are plenty of foods which we haven’t fully agreed on yet. And plenty more which we seem to flip flop on when it comes to our official opinion – coffees affect on aging is a great example of this. If in doubt – go with moderation.
I probably don’t need to tell you that stuffing yourself with sweets and sugar is going to be bad for your skin and your body in general. There are plenty of things which can help your skin but the best thing you can do for yourself is have an overall healthy diet and this can allow for some moderation in there as well.