Eating healthy doesn’t just help you lose weight, it also gives you healthy skin. A natural and healthy glow not only makes you look better, it contributes to how your feel about yourself and increases your self-confidence.
As tanning beds have grown in popularity, many feel that being tanned is the only thing that make skin look better; this is far from the case. There is a natural approach to ensure healthy and supple skin that begins in the kitchen when you eat the right foods.
Just like the benefits of nutritious food for your skin, there are also foods that can do much harm, causing it to look dry and unhealthy. Today, we will cover which foods you should be eating for healthy skin, and which ones you should avoid like the plague (hint, not a lot of junk food is going to give you good skin.)
#12 – Avoid Alcohol
Many people enjoy alcohol whether it is drinking socially or having a beer after work. Alcohol intoxicates because it dehydrates the body, leaving it devoid of most water. Excessive alcohol consumption will make you look worn down.
When your body doesn’t have enough water, your skin tends to dry out. As a result of too much drinking, your skin will start to resemble a leather bag. If you have a glass of wine each day, it’s not going to have too much of a negative effect on your skin since you won’t become severely dehydrated. Too much, however, and you end up with broken blood vessels and dried out skin. Take it easy on the beer and wine, folks.
#11 – Eat Chocolate
When we tell you to eat chocolate, we’re not saying that you should pound an entire Halloween sized bag of Hershey’s every night. Doing that will make your skin break out and probably do further damage. The chocolate that we promote is the very dark chocolate (the kind that doesn’t taste as nearly as good).
Since it can be a bit hard to stomach at first due to the taste, dark chocolate is usually eaten in moderation. Eating a little bit of dark chocolate every day will allow your body to take in antioxidants. Chocolate doesn’t taste great without the added sugar, but this chocolate is the best kind for you. Just a few nibbles, though, don’t go crazy.
#10 – Eat Fatty Fish
People tend to stay away from fats, especially if they are trying to lose weight. Meat that has natural fat should not be avoided, with fish being the best kind of meat to consume. Fish is filled with fatty acids (Omega-3) that are incredible for your health.
A lot of the issues that people have with their skin is that it becomes inflamed. When your body has enough of the Omega-3 fatty acid, inflammation problems don’t become as prevalent in your skin. Omega-3 is also a natural oil that helps your skin appear brighter. If you are looking to lose weight in addition to having better skin, then fish that is not fried has a very low amount of calories.
#9 – Eat Fiber
We always hear about these magical benefits of fiber, so we can’t help but wonder if there is a catch. Fortunately, there is no catch as fiber really is that good for you. Fiber creates bacteria in your digestive tract, but that’s not a bad thing despite how it sounds. This bacteria helps to create a stronger lining to block toxins from entering your system.
When your body is high in fiber, and blocking toxins in digestion, you will see the positive effect that it has on your skin. There are many foods that have a high amount of fiber, including pears, nuts and beans. Your stomach will be very pleased with the results, and you will be pleased when your skin starts to have a natural glow.
#8 – Avoid Coffee
Coffee is a stimulant. Many more people are addicted to the effects of coffee than those of alcohol. When you drink too much coffee (like many people do), the effects are essentially the same as alcohol. Dehydration rears its ugly head again as your skin dries out from excess consumption. Six cups of coffee to get through the work day is far too much!
If you can limit yourself to just one cup of coffee a day (again, just like the booze), then you should be fine. Many people also report that their skin gets blotchy when they are drinking too much coffee, which is another negative side effect. If more people sticked to water, there would be far fewer skin problems in the world.
#7 – Eat Nuts
Earlier we discussed that fatty fish is high in the Omega-3 fatty acid. Nuts have a similar effect as fish, containing the Omega-6 fatty acid. What’s the difference? Omega-6 isn’t as strong, so you need more of it to achieve the same benefits as you would Omega-3. The benefits are the same in fighting skin inflammation with the growth of new skin cells.
The good kind of fats are the ones that you should be eating instead of the processed junk. Make sure that the nuts that you get don’t contain a lot of sodium. Packaged nuts tend to contain more salt than necessary; for an even greater benefit, find nuts without additives. Remember that these are high calorie foods, so make sure to take it easy if you’re also looking to drop pounds.
#6 – Avoid Grilled Meat
We all love grilled meat, especially in comparison to oven-prepared meat. However, when meat is on the grill for too long, the high heat creates AGE’s, which stands for Advanced Glycation End products. AGEs are not very well known to the public.
AGE’s are dangerous and are considered a pathogen. AGE’s make meats taste better, for this reason, many people choose to ignore the consequences. These products are usually found when the meat has a blackened finish, which can eventually cause your skin to appear much older than it is. Think of some of the things that you find in cigarettes, that’s basically what you’re eating in these well done meats.
#5 – Eat Green Vegetables
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise because everyone knows that vegetables are good for you. Since green leafy vegetables are far less desirable than a jumbo bag of M&M’s, they tend to fall into the uneaten category, going unappreciated. You should be eating these green vegetables not only for your overall health, but because of the great effects on your skin.
Green vegetables are packed to the brim with minerals and vitamins that are necessary for skin growth and to make it look better. The antioxidant properties of vegetables help flush out the toxins that are making your skin look dull and aged. Because these are superfoods that boost your health, eat vegetables as much as possible. You’re an adult now so it’s time to trade in the Gold Fish snacks for a better alternative.
#4 – Avoid Sodium
If you drink a lot of water and avoid salt, you will feel much less bloated since you won’t retain a lot of water. When you add salt to the mix, water is retained (as well as other nasty fluids). Things with salt taste pretty darn good, there’s no debate about that, but having too much sodium in your diet is bad for your skin and your heart.
An overabundance of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, and with a lack of adequate blood flow on top of fluid retention, your skin will look dried out. If you know someone who always has bags under their eyes, it’s likely because of too much sodium in their diet in addition to fluid retention. You can top off your foods with a hint of salt, but processed foods should be avoided at all costs.
#3 – Eat Avocados
Avocados are one of the superfoods that you hear about from your family doctor as well as those in the media. Avocados are one of the best natural foods you can find. Oleic acid doesn’t sound like something that would be great for you, but it is vital in protecting your skin’s health.
This is the same type of acid that you can find in olive oil (but not vegetable oil, stay away from that). Avocados include vitamins, too, which adds to their health benefits. The main vitamin you can find in them is Vitamin E, which is one of the most helpful when it comes to skin. Vitamin E is found in sunblock because of its protection abilities against the sun.
#2 – Avoid Fried Foods
You already know from this list that there are some fats that are great for your body and your skin. Foods that are fried don’t use these kinds of fats to create the crispy delicious taste that we enjoy. Instead, fried foods usually are fried in trans fats that have zero benefit to your body.
You should avoid fried foods at all costs if you really care about the overall health of your body, as fried foods cause your insulin to skyrocket. This means that your skin will become inflamed and will appear damaged and puffy. By eating too many fried food, you will also have to deal with the long term effect of increased cholesterol and blood pressure. You already know how bad that can be. Once in a great while, you can spoil yourself with two pieces of fried chicken, but certainly don’t make it a habit.
#1 – Eat Berries
There has been a lot of debate over the years on what fruit is part of the berry family. Technically speaking, a berry is a fruit without seeds (so strawberries are not technically berries). Bananas, by definition, are considered a berry. The berries that we are mainly focusing on are blueberries and raspberries.
Berries have been known to be packed with antioxidants that will keep your digestive system strong, which, as we stated earlier, helps to preserve your skin. Remember when we told you about all of the benefits fiber has on your skin? Berries have plenty of those benefits, as well. It doesn’t hurt that berries are delicious, and depending on where you live, you can pick and eat them right off the vine.