Radiant skin starts from the inside out. The skin needs proper nutrition to repair damage caused by the sun and pollution, to maintain its moisture and elasticity, and to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay. Some basics for radiant skin include eating a whole foods diet, getting enough sleep, exercise, and proper skin care. But, to really power up your lifestyle for healthy, glowing skin, try adding these four things into your diet.
Avocado is a power-packed skin food. As a good source of omega-3 and omega-6, it provides the skin with the nutrients it needs to maintain moisture and elasticity. These essential fatty acids also help reduce inflammation, which can minimize puffiness around the eyes. These healthy fats also unlock the antioxidant properties in other vegetables when eaten in combination. Research shows that adding avocado to a salad of spinach, tomatoes, Romaine, and carrots will increase the absorption of carotenoids and lycopene by over 200%. But even on their own, avocados are a rich source of unique antioxidants that help support the body in many ways. In addition to essential fatty acids and antioxidants, avocados are also rich in fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and the B Vitamins. The most nutrient dense part of the avocado is in the dark green flesh right under the skin. So, the best way to peel one is with your fingers. Try adding avocado to salads, thicken up soups with avocado puree, add it to smoothies for a creamy texture, or make a veggie packed guacamole.
Blueberries are antioxidant packed, helping your skin recover from environmental damage caused by free radicals. Blueberries have a wide variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients with impressive names like: Anthocyanins, Hydroxycinnamic acids, Hydroxybenzoic acids, and Flavonols. These nutrients help the body repair damage caused by over exposure to sun, pollution, toxins, and other environmental stressors that rob our skin of its radiance. While many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, blueberries shine because they have such a wide variety of nutrients, because they do not loose potency when frozen, and because they do not negatively affect blood sugar despite being sweet. This makes them not only nutritious, but convenient for modern lifestyles. To add more blueberries to your diet try adding them to oatmeal, cereal, or pancakes in the morning, eat them as a mid day snack, top salads, yogurts, or even blend them into a smoothie.
Papaya provides one of the highest sources of Vitamin C with over 300% of your daily allowance in a single fruit. Vitamin C is critical for radiant skin because of its ability to repair collagen, which protects you from premature aging and sun damage. Papaya also contains Vitamin E, another critical skin nutrient. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin E help protect your cells from the damage caused by free radicals, and has cancer-fighting properties. In addition to its vitamin content, papayas are full of antioxidants that do wonders for your skin. To get the most antioxidant benefits, it’s best to eat papayas when they are completely ripe with a red to orange tinge on their skin and are moderately soft to touch. Add papaya to your diet by including it in salads, smoothies, desserts, or eating it fresh as a snack. One caution is that people with a severe latex-allergy should avoid eating papayas along with avocados, bananas, chestnuts, and kiwi.
Water is essential for radiant skin because of its ability to both hydrate the skin and help flush out toxins in your system that may cause breakout. If you increase your intake of any kind of fruit or vegetable, such as avocados, blueberries, or papayas, it is important to also increase your water intake. Fruits and vegetables have a high fiber content that can absorb water in your body. This can dry out your skin and break collagen strands, which increase signs of aging. Water also helps the detox pathways in the body get rid of unwanted waste and toxins that can break you out. Try drinking at least half your body weight in ounces per day, in addition to any other liquid beverages you are drinking.
Flaxseed is excellent if you experience hormonal outbreaks. Flaxseed is rich in a phytonutrient called lignans. Ligans have antioxidant properties, fiber-like benefits, and can even act as safe phytoestrogens in the body. Flaxseed also is high in essential fatty acids, which help with inflammation. Among their myriad of health benefits, they also help improve inflammation due to acne with helping to regulate hormones and blood sugar levels. Flaxseed can be added to salads, muffins, soups, or even smoothies. It is best to grind up a small batch as you use it to keep it as fresh as possible.
Try this smoothie recipe for the healthy glow of radiant skin.
Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy!