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Healthy Diet, Healthy Skin: Foods that Are Good for Your Complexion

Updated on January 11, 2017
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Sadie Holloway loves trying out new easy-to-make recipes that help her enjoy a healthy, stress-free lifestyle!

For a bright and radiant complexion, aim to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Learn more about different produce varieties that are good for your face!

Clear, glowing skin is an inside job, starting with the foods you eat every day. The more fruits and veggies you eat, the healthier your skin will look and feel! After all, what you put in your mouth is as important as what you put on your face. Most people understand that if they want to maintain a youthful-looking complexion, they need to protect their skin from exposure to too much sun. Icy weather, grimy dirt and other pollutants can rob the skin of it's youthful glow. The good news is that by eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables each day you can increase your skin's resiliency to sun damage and pollutants.

As long as you aren't allergic to strawberries, these red berries can be a sweet, juicy, and healthy addition to your daily rainbow of fresh foods!
As long as you aren't allergic to strawberries, these red berries can be a sweet, juicy, and healthy addition to your daily rainbow of fresh foods!

Research has shown that eating more fruits and vegetables is easy when you choose your produce to reflect all the colors of the rainbow.

Over the last few years, colorful fruits and vegetables have been gaining attention for being rich sources of anti-oxidants. For example, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, yellow and green vegetables can help decrease wrinkles in some women.

Jot down a few of your favorite fruits and veggies from the antioxidant-rich rainbow of fresh produce listed below. The next time you go shopping, instead of buying a bag prepackaged bag of salad, trying mixing things up and make a colorful, tasty side salad or salad entrée for dinner.

  • Red: Tomatoes, pomegranate, watermelon, strawberries, red peppers, pink grapefruit, blood oranges
  • Orange: Carrots, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, papaya, cantaloupe
  • Yellow: Yellow peppers, lemons, pineapples, yellow squash
  • Green: Spinach, kale, asparagus, kiwi, avocado
  • Blue/Purple: Blueberries, dark grapes, purple cabbage

Treat your skin and your tummy to a sweet surprise! Some of your favorite guilty pleasures can help protect your skin from sun damage.

Sip on decaffeinated green tea and nibble on dark chocolate to help protect your skin from sun damage. Drinking four cups of green tea a day for 12 weeks help to reduce sun damage that causes premature aging and cancer by up to 25%. The anti-oxidant polyphenols found in green tea boosts red cells, helping to protect against UV damage. According to scientists, the flavenoids found in dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of skin cancer. Dark chocolate not only improves your mood, it also helps to boost the circulation of blood and oxygen in your body.

References: Chatelaine Magazine, August 2013

Get more vitamin 'Eat!' Choosing fruits, vegetables, nuts and other whole foods rich in Vitamin E can help smooth wrinkles and improve your skin's texture. Almonds are rich great source of vitamin E, as is olive oil. Add slivered almonds to a vegetable stir fry with olive oil, broccoli (packed with anti-oxidants and Vitamin C), red bell-peppers (Vitamin C and beta-carotene), and mushrooms (riboflavin). Diced ginger and garlic not only add flavor, both of these ingredients reduce inflammation and boost immunity, respectively.

Instead of lying on a tanning bed, take a brisk walk down to your for your local farmers market. You'll find lots of tasty alternatives that will help enrich your skin tone naturally. A recent study by Dr. Ian Stephen featured in Science Daily reported that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can give your skin a healthier looking glow than suntanning. The best vegetables to eat for a rich, healthy skin tone are those high in carotenoids, including pumpkin, red bell peppers, kale (a popular superfood!) and tomatoes.

Boost your skin's natural sun protection factor (SPF) with tomatoes. Did you know that tomatoes can ward off sunburn? According to Jessica Wu, dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face: Younger, Smoother Skin and a Beautiful Body in 28 Delicious Days, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which when eaten regularly can reduce sunburns by 40 percent. Watermelon is another good source of lycopene.

To boost the absorption of lycopene from foods such as tomatoes and peppers, use olive oil when cooking or dressing these vegetables. Lycopene is fat-soluble and needs healthy oils such as olive oil for optimal absorption.

Organic tomatoes are more saturated with lycopene, Vitaimin C and other anti-oxidants that non-organic tomatoes. And when it comes to watermelon, according to researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, storing a watermelon at room temperature for a few days before slicing into it can increase lycopene levels by up to 40%.

(Caution: Don't rely on eating marinara sauce and salsa every day to protect your skin. Always wear sunscreen to reduce the effects of harmful UV rays.)

Sources: Chatelaine Magazine, August 2013, Canadian Living August 2014

H2O flows freely from the Fountain of Youth! Be sure to drink plenty of water to help deliver the anti-oxidants in those colorful fruits and vegetables to your thirsty skill cells.

You can also choose water-rich fruits and vegetables if you want to increase your water intake and add more fiber to your diet. Check out this list of the top 10 fruits and vegetables that hydrate your body and help boost your daily water intake:

  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Zucchini
  • Radishes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Lettuce

Source: Eat for the Heat, Y. Hayashi, Canadian Living

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Make a face mask with ingredients in your kitchen! Turn your kitchen into an all-natural day spa and give yourself, or your BFF, a relaxing facial! After all, love, laughter, and friendship keep us feeling young and happy. The more you laugh and smile, the more you tone your skin and facial muscles!

Making your own masks and scrubs from natural ingredients is good for the environment. Scientists have been raising the alarm bells recently about plastic micro-beads found in many commercial skin cleaners. These tiny plastic beads are not water soluble. Once you rinse them off your face and down the drain, these tiny micro-beads end up in the ocean because they're too small to be processed in water-treatment facilities. Billions upon billions of these plastic beads are adding to the alarming amount of plastic in the ocean.

Check out one of these video tutorials and find a recipe that works for your skin type.The video tutorials featured here include tips for the following fresh facial masks: Honey and Yogurt, Oatmeal, and Avocado.

Picking up fresh produce from your local farmer's market is a good stop on your way to better health and clearer skin!
Picking up fresh produce from your local farmer's market is a good stop on your way to better health and clearer skin!

© 2014 Sadie Holloway

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