It’s a New Year!
Time for new resolutions and new goals! If your goals for 2023 are to take care of your skin and/or to eat healthier, then you can knock two things off that list by incorporating these changes into your diet! Also, not surprising is the food that has great benefits for your skin, are also found in plant-based skin care products. Things such us Vitamin C, Vitamin E, antioxidants and amino acids.
Let’s start with what’s best for your skin.
This one is really great because the benefits to drinking 8 glasses of water each day are numerous. Hydration is a key component to helping your skin look healthy because it boosts elasticity in your skin and helps minimize those dark circles under the eyes. If you have dark circles under your eyes, that’s a key indication that your skin is dehydrated.
If drinking that much water for you is challenging, try scaling up the amount of water you drink each week until you reach 8 glasses of water. Not only is water great for your skin, it also helps with weight control, flushing out your kidneys which is needed to flush out toxins, cushions your joints, and energizes your muscles.
Here’s a food that is not only good for your skin, but also great for your heart! They are rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, and are full of mono-saturated fats (the healthy ones 😊). Vitamin E helps your skin retain moisture, softens your skin and protects your skin cells from damage!
There are 5 nuts that have amazing benefits for your overall health and your skin!
- Walnuts: These nuts are high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which are the good fats that help keep cholesterol down and are known to have anti-inflammatory properties for your skin. Additionally, they are also rich in Vitamin B which is proven to help the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Almonds: These tasty and healthy nuts are high in essential fatty acids, protein, fiber and Vitamin E, which is known to improve hydration in your skin as well as prevent skin conditions such as acne, eczema and dark spots.
- Cashews: These are the nuts that help with acne prone skin because they are rich in Zinc. Zinc promotes immune function so that skin is better able to heal and regenerate new cells in acne prone zones that have been infected.
- Pistachios: These nuts are great for not only your skin, but also your cholesterol and to aid in weight control. In regard to skin, they are packed with essential amino acids that control blood sugar thereby assisting in controlling acne.
- Brazil Nuts: Paced with powerful omega-3 fatty acids, these nuts are a great source of selenium, which is responsible for improving skin’s elasticity and relieving inflammation like pimples and acne. It also reduces the growth of free radicals and keeps the skin hydrated, thanks to the production of glutathione that is known to keep your skin healthy.
Fruits & Veggies
This one is likely not a surprise, because we’ve heard our whole lives how important it is to eat our fruits and vegetables to as part of a healthy diet. What is interesting though, is that not all fruits and veggies are great for your skin.
When looking for fruits and veggies that can help improve your skin, start with those that are rich in Vitamin C. These include citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi and the vegetables to include in this list are broccoli and bell peppers…green, red, or yellow! They are all packed with Vitamin C which helps prevent those dreaded wrinkles!!
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
What’s that, you ask? It’s the healthy fat that is important for strong heart health, is found in a lot of fish, including salmon, tuna and herring, and its great for lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of inflammation of the skin, and it preserves collagen, an important protein for improving the elasticity and hydration of your skin.
However, if you aren’t a fish eater, don’t fret, as there are other good sources to get these healthy fats from eating walnuts (see above), ground flaxseed (the whole flaxseed is actually less beneficial for you) and chia seeds. Ground flaxseed is perfect to throw into your fruit smoothie, and chia seeds are often found in homemade granola. Additionally, canola oil and soybean oil are both good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Now for the WORST foods for your skin…
and some of this may surprise you.
This one makes me sad because I live by the motto that everything is better with a little cheese on it, but it turns out that isn’t the case for your health or your skin. Dairy can be highly inflammatory and lead to skin conditions such as rosacea and acne, and because of the hormones that are often in milk, it can age your skin even faster than it would normally. Yikes!
What is important for your health is calcium, but you can get your calcium from other products such as Coconut Milk and Almond Milk. I’ve made the switch to Almond Milk, and love it, but I still have some work on the cheese part. 😊
This one surprised and disappointed me, because I do love a good banana, but they are loaded with sugar. In fact, each banana has as much sugar in it as half a Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bar! If this is a fruit you really love, look to cut down on the frequency or maybe go to half a banana instead of eating the whole thing. Little changes on your diet can go a long way.
As a natural diuretic, alcohol dehydrates not only your skin, but also your entire body. If you consume alcohol regularly, resulting effects in your skin will be seen through breakouts, dryness, dark circles under your eyes, and inflammation.
For me, on this list, this one right here is the mother of all disappointments. The only time I don’t eat something chocolate each day is during Lent when I give it up. Chocolate is seriously one of my main food groups, but the facts remain that chocolate is loaded with sugar, dairy and the unhealthy fats. None of which are good for your skin or your overall health.
Good news is if you can eat something a little less sweet, dark chocolate has fabulous benefits for your skin. Dark chocolate (70% of cocoa) has been proven to help with elasticity, facial wrinkles and can help prevent sun damage.
Not surprising, sugars are terrible for your skin because they break down collagen leading to more wrinkles and can aggravate acne, rosacea and other skin conditions. Pop, cereal and sweets in general are some of the biggest sugar doses, so limit your amount when you can.
Set realistic goals and be kind to yourself.
These healthy lifestyle habits will improve your overall health and improve your skin, but I am not suggesting that anyone stays 100% clear from everything on the “bad” list. I, for one, will not be giving up chocolate. My goal is to increase mine and others’ understanding and awareness so that we can make informed decisions about what we put on and into our bodies. ~ Hayley