Have you ever wondered why some people have luminous skin and clear eyes, and seem to look younger than their years? Perhaps they're blessed with good genes! Seems unfair right? They may take exceptional care of their bodies practicing good nutrition habits and exquisite self-care. It could be some combination of many influences. Looking good may actually be an "inside job" as they say. Your expression of vitality may be as simple as attending to the needs of your mind and body with proper nourishment and healthy habits. This promises to do wonders for self-esteem and contributes to that shiny exterior. And why wouldn't you want to look your best? How can your diet support and maintain skin that feels and looks youthful and vibrant? Guys pay attention -- this is for you too! The answer may be as simple as adding a few “beauty foods” to your daily diet. These “super foods” are abundant in nature and should be an important part of overall health and well-being. After all, your skin is your largest organ and protects everything on the inside!
Consider for a moment the assaults that are inflicted on your skin. On a daily basis, your skin is exposed to all kinds of pollutants, free radicals and toxins, so it’s up to you to take the necessary protective steps for glowing skin health. What you put into your body will be reflected in your health and appearance, and lucky for us, many of these colorful, gorgeous foods have moisturizing and anti-aging properties. You don’t have to become a raw-food fanatic or completely change your diet, but try to add more of these beauty-friendly foods into your diet and see if you begin to notice changes. We know that diets do not work, and extremes, for most of us, lead to deprivation, binge and despair, so it's "go slow" and "squeeze out the bad" when it comes to lifestyle changes. Begin adding these fab foods to your diet. Also, try cutting out the foods that don't support the health that you seek. The short version -- cut back, or better yet, cut out the refined foods and junk and eat more natural foods that are bursting with nutrients, vitamins and healthy fats. Here goes... a few foods that can make your skin happy.
- Blueberries - packed with healthy antioxidants, these little blue treats combat free radicals that age your skin and help prevent skin cell damage, organic is always preferred
- Berries - also packed with vitamin C which aids in collagen production and keeps skin firm and luminous
- Carrots - high in vitamin A which is a key player in developing new skin cells and keeping dry skin at bay which prevents the appearance of wrinkles
- Salmon & flax seeds - rich in Omega 3s and are anti-inflammatory, keeping cell membranes healthy
- Yogurt - unsweetened yogurt only (add berries if you need to sweeten) as refined sugars feed unhealthy bacteria and the goal here is to maintain a healthy digestive tract
- Green tea - high in potent antioxidants (200 x more powerful than vitamin E) can reactivate dying skin cells, and has been shown to fight skin cancer
- Almonds - another great source of Vitamin E to fight off free radicals
- Brazil nuts - a few provide all the selenium you need for the day
- Walnuts - just 4 walnuts will give you your daily dose of alpha linoleic acid, which is important for healthy, glowing skin
- Asparagus - the dark green stalks are loaded with a natural source of vitamin E -an essential for healthy and youthful skin
- Kale - the beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around and has sun damage preventing phytonutrients that fight off free radicals and UV-light-protective carotenoids that keep your eyes healthy and sparkling
- Broccoli - high fiber and low sugar content but awesome because of its sulfur compounds which protect against cancer and is also an anti-cellulite because of alpha lipoic acid which prevents the collagen in your legs from hardening
- Sunflower seeds - high in Vitamin E- an antioxidant that keeps skin looking youthful
- Tomatoes - contain lycopene, which repairs damaged skin cells and processed in sauces is fine because the lycopene is concentrated
- Olive oil - the monounsaturated fat helps your skin hold onto its natural oils, keeping it moisturized
- Watermelon - rich in A, B and C vitamins- keeps the skin hydrated and radiant.
- Avocado - monounsaturated fat and Vitamin E- assists production of collagen, enhances skin tone and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- Sweet Potatoes - vitamin A, C and beta-carotene helps to eliminate free radicals
- Dark Chocolate - one ounce or 150 calorie serving daily containshigh levels of cocoa flavanols, which have been associated with softer, more hydrated skin and a decreased sensitivity to the sun
- Water - drink plenty of water every day to keep your skin hydrated, add lemon for added detox support
Many people do not take well to making dramatic changes (detox can be difficult, and deprivation leads to habit relapse) so I tell my health coaching clients to make several small, but important changes. What three things can you remove from your diet or daily routine that are less than desirable habits? What three things can you add that may enhance the way you look and feel. Make all of these foods a part of your lifestyle changes, and at the very least, begin adding in a few of these wonder foods -- you’ll look more youthful and reap the health benefits of looking and feeling gorgeous. Progress over perfection.