Who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Isn’t that what we’re all going for with our nightly cleansing, toning, and moisturizing rituals? Beautiful skin starts on the inside with a healthy well balanced diet. These five delicious foods are some of my favorite ways to achieve that smooth, polished, and radiant glow.
1. Sweet potato – Grapefruit – Pineapple Juice: Fresh juice is the ultimate skin care supplement. When you drink fresh juice, the phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are quickly absorbed into your body in their most potent form. These micronutrients are extremely sensitive to heat and oxygen. Juicing fruits and vegetables not only preserves the nutrients but also easily delivers them into your body, as the produce is “predigested.” This sweet potato – grapefruit – pineapple juice clears and renews your skin.
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 grapefruit
- 2 spears pineapple
Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin C and beta-carotene. According to Joy Bauer, beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body and switches on the process of producing new skin cells and shedding the old ones, keeping your skin looking smooth and refreshed. Plus, beta-carotene eats up all of the free radicals that lead to DNA mutations and wrinkles, while also protecting from the sun’s harmful rays.
Looking for something to do with those bags of grapefruit that are in season? Grapefruit has the highest concentration of vitamin C of any citrus fruit. A good healthy dose of vitamin C boosts collagen production in the skin, leading to that youthful glow. In fact, a recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who ate about four milligrams of vitamin C – about half a small sweet potato – daily for three years decreased the appearance of wrinkles by 11 percent. Another phytochemical called lycopene (the same one that is in tomatoes) also takes care of free radicals that cause our skin to age and wrinkle. Grapefruit juice can be applied directly to the skin: mix grapefruit juice, sugar, and coconut oil to make a homemade facial scrub.
Pineapple has a good dose of vitamin C, but it also has enzymes that help skin elasticity, keep your skin hydrated, and remove dead and damaged skin cells. Bromelain is an enzyme in pineapple that works to slough off your old skin cells to improve dullness and dryness in your skin. Alpha hydroxy acid is also in pineapple, which you may recognize as an ingredient in many anti-wrinkle creams. It also works by eating away at your old dead skin cells, so your wrinkles and age spots diminish. Make your own exfoliant by mixing pineapple juice with a little honey and apply directly to your face for no more than five minutes.
Green tea boasts a mixture of antioxidants called catechins that fight the damaging free radicals in your body and your skin. Less damage to our skin cells means fewer wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and cancer. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea also have shown to protect against the number one source of free radicals in our skin – those UV rays. The antioxidants found in green tea are the most potent kind according to WebMD.
Adding a little lemon to your green tea delivers more of the cleansing, collagen building vitamin C, which improves your skin’s texture and clears blemishes.
3. Raw Blueberry Pudding: Enjoy this indulgent way to love your skin with this simple dessert. It’s not only sweet, it’s healthy, so whip up a bowl for a quick snack. I blended the following ingredients in my Magic Bullet:
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey
- splash of water
Blueberries are part of the purple food group, not to be forgotten when striving to “eat a rainbow” everyday. According to The Clear Skin Diet, foods containing anthocyanins found in these purple foods are high in antioxidants and help keep the blood (and all the oxygen and nutrients that travel with it) flowing to your skin. These tasty little guys pack in the most antioxidants for their size, so make them your new favorite finger food.
Avocado oil is similar to our skin’s oil, so it promotes healthy, supple skin from the inside out according to David Wolfe in The Sunfood Diet. Avocados also work against inflammation in your skin, so they help relieve psoriasis and dermatitis and contain biotin (a B vitamin), which helps strengthen your skin. Mashed avocado or avocado oil can be directly applied to your skin for the ultimate moisturizer.
Carrots are chalked full of beta-carotene, which turns to vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A protects against free radicals and also the sun’s rays to fight wrinkles and aging in your skin.
Watermelons provide a delicious and refreshing way to hydrate your body and your skin. Beautiful skin starts with hydration – drinking twice your body weight in water is the first step in your skin care regimen. Not only does watermelon help to hydrate your glowing pink cheeks, but this favorite summer treat also contains a good amount of vitamins A and C and lycopene.
5. Barlean’s Fish Oil: Want a tasty way to down your fish oil? Try one of the flavored fish oils by Barlean’s – orange cream, pina colada, or mango peach. Drizzle a tablespoon or two over Greek yogurt or in your smoothies for a sweet flavor that’s both yummy and healthy.
According to Joy Bauer, omega 3 fatty acids that are found in fish oil help the cell membranes of your skin cells be a strong barrier to toxins but allow water and nutrients inside, resulting in nice plump skin cells and fewer wrinkles. Omega 3s also fight inflammation, so they help prevent acne breakouts, redness, and irritation.
When your skin is healthy, it is a good sign that your whole body is healthy. Your body’s largest organ, the skin, gives the first clues that something might not be right inside. When you feed your body a well balanced diet, majoring in fruits and vegetables, you are nourishing a healthy body inside. The result is a beautiful you on the outside too, just one of the many benefits of a simple, healthy diet.