When it comes to healthy, glowing skin, what you put into your body can be even more important than what you put on it. "Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look," says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York. While there are many nutritious foods available, the following list will give you the maximum skin benefits for your bite.
Berries, Plums and PomegranatesThe antioxidants found in blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, plums and pomegranates help protect skin from free radicals, which can cause premature aging. Berries are also a great source of vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen production to keep skin supple. Other antioxidant-rich foods include artichokes, prunes, pecans, and red, black and pinto beans.
Nuts and SeedsNuts contain essential fatty acids which create strong cellular membranes to act as barriers against unhealthy elements, while still allowing important nutrients to enter the cell. Strong cell membranes also help the cell stay hydrated, resulting in beautiful skin. Try including almonds, walnuts and flax seed in your diet to reap the rewards.
OatmealOatmeal contains fats that lubricate the skin, as well as beta glucan, protein and starches to hold moisture in for a healthy, well-nourished look. Oatmeal's anti-inflammatory properties come from polyphenols, which is why it's often used in topical skin products to soothe irritation. If given a choice, steel-cut oatmeal is the most beneficial to eat, since it is less processed and retains more vitamins.
Green TeaGreen tea is very antioxidant-rich and is particularly high in the antioxidant EGCG, which has been proven to help reduce skin redness. It also has anti-inflammatory capabilities and protects skin cell membranes. Some studies note that green tea may help prevent skin cancer due to its resistance to ultraviolet damage.
Vitamin A is an important part of healthy skin nutrition, and low-fat dairy products are a good source. Goat's milk in particular contains the natural exfoliant lactic acid, as well as triglycerides, which keep skin hydrated. Caprylic acid in goat's milk acts as a barrier to bacteria, as well as a pathway to let good nutrients in. The protein found in dairy products keeps the skin's texture firmer, making it less prone to wrinkling. Greek yogurt is especially beneficial, as its protein level is often twice the amount found in regular yogurt.