how I take care of my skin from the inside out

BACK TO HEALTH HUB 18 OF THE BEST FOODS FOR GLOWING, VIBRANT, YOUNGER SKIN41 31 Email PrintShare Monday, January 13, 2014 Most of your skin’s health and its ability to react to stress, damage, and the environment rely more on your lifestyle than what you slather on the outside. We treat each part of the body as distinct and separate, buying different products for our hands, face, feet, and bodies. This is how the medical, pharmaceutical, and beauty product worlds see us, as just specific parts that require attention. Your face is not you alone, neither is your foot or your kidney. The heart is not the only part requiring attention when blood pressure starts climbing. The individual parts of the body are all interconnected, tied together with countless cells that are all relying on you to feed them well so they can be their best. It shouldn’t surprise you that the same things you should do to improve heart health, control weight, and lower your risk for developing diseases are the same things you should do for better skin. That’s right; you may know where this is headed. You need to exercise, get enough sleep, and eat healthier. If any aspect of your health is suffering, it means your body as a whole is suffering and these three simple things will help minimize or eliminate the cause. Exercise does wonders for the entire body. It improves heart function; keeps veins young, elastic, and fit; and improves how cells burn energy. It increases circulation efficiency which keeps the cells furthest from the heart, like the skin, well nourished. Exercise also helps the body flush away toxins and oily residue that cause clogs, blemishes, and damage. We’ve all heard of beauty sleep. This isn’t just something made up by some coy actress in the 1950’s. Beauty and sleep are tied together. Sleep lets your body recover from the stress and mayhem of the day. It is a time to renew and conserve energy. The body produces growth hormones during sleep to facilitate the use of amino acids as they repair bone, muscle, and tissues, including the skin. During sleep, the skin’s metabolic activities actually rise as it fixes the damage that builds up during the day. Foods are the building blocks that our bodies use to grow, develop, and repair. Healthy, plant-based foods provide the energy and nutrients to do so. If we aren’t eating well, we’re starving our cells or at the very least not giving them the proper tools they need to function at their best. Here are a few of the top foods to keep you looking young and your skin at its finest. Almonds Almonds are packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that defends against sun damage. Nuts also help us maintain healthy weight. Those who eat several servings a week are less likely to gain extra pounds. Chia Seeds Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids that erase blemishes, soften wrinkles, and help keep the skin hydrated and supple. Tomatoes Lycopene, the compound that gives tomatoes their rich color, is a powerful antioxidant that eliminates skin-aging free radicals from ultraviolet exposure. Fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids also color our skin with a healthful glow. Watermelon Watermelon is a great source of hydration, hence the name, but also another good source of lycopene. watermelon_a_great_source_of_lycopene_picSweet Potatoes These orange tubers are packed with carotenoids and vitamin C which boost collagen production. Collagen controls the strength, firmness, and flexibility of the skin. Citrus Citrus are another good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C also fights inflammation. Peppers Red bell peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange, along with other antioxidants. The spicier peppers come packed with capsaicin, a compound that improves circulation and promotes the release of toxins from the skin. Spinach Spinach is rich in folate, a B vitamin that aids in the repair of DNA and may reduce the risk of skin cancer. Greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, and asparagus all are rich in vitamin A, iron, and vitamin K. Iron aids circulation by carrying vital oxygen while vitamin K may help prevent varicose veins. Olive and Safflower Oils The omega 6 fatty acids in these oils keep skin supple. Use them in moderation though as they are also calorie-dense. Coconut Oil Another oil that is great for skin both internally and externally. It provides some sun protection, fights bacteria, and helps soften skin. Sunflower Seeds These seeds are rich in selenium which preserves elastin to keep skin smooth and tight. Selenium acts as an antioxidant too. Sunflower seeds also contain vitamin E which works well with selenium to enhance the effects of both. strawberries_have_vitamin_c_which_may_help_prevent_skin_cancer_imageStrawberries These are another vitamin C rich fruit that may also lower the risks of skin cancer. Sesame Seeds Sesame seeds contain zinc which can reduce the oily sebum that leads to clogged pores. Carrots These roots are filled with vitamin A from carotenoids. Vitamin A prevents the overproduction of skin cells which can lead to clogged pores and skin cancer. Dark Chocolate The flavanols in chocolate act as antioxidants, provide sun protection, and reduce the roughness of skin for healthier appearance and feel. Whole Grains Whole grains are rich in B vitamins that assist cells in processing fats to hydrate and revitalize skin. The complex carbohydrates mixed with fiber in whole grains are digested and absorbed slowly and don’t create sugar spikes that contribute to acne. Refined and processed sugars do and should be avoided. Apples Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant in the peel that protects against sun damage. Protein Protein is vital to the elasticity of your skin. You need a decent amount of balanced amino acids coming in each day. Plant-based protein powders, like Classic Plus, can make this as easy as enjoying a delicious smoothie. There’s more to consider than just what we eat. Avoid smoking and prolonged exposure to the sun. These both damage the skin and make it age faster. About ten to twenty minutes of sun a day is healthy as it creates vitamin D, a powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogen, but you should wear sunscreen if you plan on being in the sun longer than that. Avoid stimulants like refined sugar and caffeine. These upset hormone balances and mess with circulation. They also make it difficult for the body to get the rest it needs to repair.

The older I get, the harder skin care becomes. Moisturizers and masks can only do so much as you get older. As the years are crawling up on me, my skin is far less forgiving, hence I choose what goes into my body more carefully. I had to change my perspective on food and realize that if I’m not eating well, I am starving my cells or at the very least not giving them the proper tools they need to function at their best.

So here’s how I take care of my skin from the inside out

how i take care of my skin from the inside out

chia seeds

Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids that erase blemishes, soften wrinkles, and help keep my skin hydrated and supple. I add some to my morning oatmeal, my quinoa for lunch and sprinkle them into my afternoon yogurt.

tomatoes

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that eliminates skin-aging free radicals from ultraviolet exposure. I love to add sun-dried tomatoes to my salads or add them to roasted vegetables. I recently tried this recipe from Ina Garten and it’s delicious and good for you! I also use lycopene based sunscreen to get the UV protection and get a tan rather than getting burnt.

watermelon

Watermelon is a great source of hydration, hence the name, but also another good source of lycopene. You can read my post on all the goodness of watermelon HERE.

sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes have been on the menu as they are gentle to my sensitive tummy and they are packed with carotenoids and vitamin C which boost collagen production. Collagen controls the strength, firmness, and flexibility of the skin. Try to add orange zest to your sweet potato puree! A little orange zest takes that simple side dish to a whole new level.

peppers

Did you know that red bell peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange, along with other antioxidants? Peppers improve circulation and promote the release of toxins from the skin.

coconut oil

Another oil that is great for skin both internally and externally. It provides some sun protection, fights bacteria, and helps soften skin. I have been cooking rice with coconut oil and it adds that little extra flavor that brightens up a boring dish.

sesame seeds

Sesame seeds contain zinc which can reduce the oily sebum that leads to clogged pores.

carrots

These roots are filled with vitamin A from carotenoids. Vitamin A prevents the overproduction of skin cells which can lead to clogged pores and skin cancer.

dark chocolate

The flavonol in chocolate act as antioxidants, provide sun protection, and reduce the roughness of skin for healthier appearance and feel. I LOVE dark chocolate and eat a small bite every day.

whole grains

Whole grains are rich in B vitamins that assist cells in processing fats to hydrate and revitalize skin. Who knew?

protein

Protein is vital to the elasticity of your skin. You need a decent amount of balanced amino acids coming in each day. Plant-based protein powders can make this as easy as enjoying a delicious smoothie.

Photo by Rick Robillard

how i take care of my skin from the inside out

  • Rosanna Briguglio

    Great post and tips, I love using coconut oil too!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    http://rosesrooftop.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://pinksole.com/ Rachelle

    great tips! i love and use all of these.

    xo
    PinkSole

  • http://www.fashionsnobber.com Fashion Snobber

    All products to be tested! :)
    Luna
    http://www.fashionsnobber.com

  • Blaire Bingham

    You have the most amazing skin! I did not know that about the red peppers, and they are one of my favorite salad ingredients, so I will definitely be sticking with them. I will also be incorporating more chia seeds in my diet too!

    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  • http://www.fizzandfrosting.com Lauren {Fizz & Frosting}

    You have such beautiful skin. Thanks for sharing these tips! :)
    Fizz and Frosting

  • http://www.eatpraywearlove.com Leah Behr

    I had no idea that some of these products promote healthy skin. You have flawless skin, so I’m gonna go with whatever works for you!

    xx Leah / http://www.eatpraywearlove.com

  • http://www.straightastyleblog.com/ Amy Ann Arnold

    Good tips. It’s amazing what all goes into healthy skin.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • greta

    This is so useful!!! thanks a lot for sharing dear!!!

    ❤️

    THE CIHC

  • Trang Do

    You are soooo beautiful! Thanks fro sharing these great tips!

    Xoxo,
    Love from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Dominique

    This is such a great post and so interesting. I wasn’t aware of a lot of the properties in these food before xx

    http://www.thatnewdress.com

  • http://thecourtneydiaries.wordpress.com/ Courtney

    Love this post! I use coconut oil for everything because it’s so moisturizing and great for both skin and hair!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

  • http://www.seekingsunshine.com/ Annessa Smith

    Such great tips! There’s so many of these that I love an deat regularly – glad to see they are good for my skin too!

    Annessa
    http://www.seekingsunshine.com

  • streetmadonna

    Great tips! I never realized the power of sesame seeds!
    http://www.streetmadonna.com

  • http://www.justatinabit.com Tina Phan

    My mom has been making me eat chia seeds. There are so many other healthy things I need to try!

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

  • http://www.wishesandreality.com/ Heidi D.

    These are great tips! I loved learning more about chia seeds!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality