On the off chance that you haven’t already heard, here’s cardinal rule number 1 of skin care: healthy, glowing skin starts from the inside. The cosmetics industry will have you believe otherwise because, well, how else will they sell their products?
It’s true that certain tools can help mask the effects of pulling an all-nighter three days in a row, but nothing compares to a healthy diet when it comes to fresh skin.
These 5 skin-clearing foods are easy to incorporate into any diet, and each has its own skin care benefits and uses:
1. Red Grapes
Red grapes and their seeds are believed to contain powerful antioxidants and natural chemicals that have been shown to treat skin conditions and inflammations such as eczema and psoriasis. Its antihistamine properties also reduce the appearance of allergic reactions such as hives. Pop them onto your salads, or enjoy a handful every now and then as a healthy snack!
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats provide the body essential fatty acids that not only promote cardiovascular health, but they also act as a natural moisturizer. This keeps the skin supple and plump. EFAs also come with a healthy dose of vitamin E (something many of us lack nowadays), which help protect against free radical damage and protect against cancer.
3. Lean proteins
Lean proteins such as white fish, lean cuts of red meat and poulty are rich in zinc, which is responsible for the healthy functioning of the sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands control your skin’s oil production and helps to repair skin damage in addition to keeping it moisturized and supple.
4. Brown Rice
Steady blood sugars and skin health are linked, so it makes sense to swap out sugary cereals with brown, wholegrain rice. Other low glycemic carbohydrates are recommended as well, because higher GI options stimulate the release of insulin, which has been shown to damage collagen and increase the production of wrinkles.
Broccoli contains selenium, a powerful antioxidant that works great along other antioxidants such as vitamin C and E. A selenium-rich diet helps protect you against sun damage and age spots. Broccoli is also high in fiber, which helps slow down digestion and prevent the release of insulin. Combine it with tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a skin-loving side salad that’s good for the inside and outside.
When transitioning from a diet that is comprised mostly of sugars and processed carbohydrates to a clean, whole-food diet, you may even notice a ‘purge’ of some sort, where the skin will release all the toxins it has built up, which may cause some breakouts at first before the skin reveals a new and improved layer. This is normal and has been known to happen depending on the individual, but it is part of the process and not a cause for alarm.