With a new year upon us, were all making resolutions to get in shape, get more sleep, and eat better. These are all worthy resolutions, and ones that we should keep. But while were at the whole eating better thing, why dont we use it to focus some time on bettering our skin as well as our health?
There are a number of all natural whole foods out there that will boost your skins health and increase your overall glow. These foods increase hydration, making your skin look more plump (and therefore making you look younger), assist in your skins cellular regeneration, and provide antioxidants that fight free radicals that damage and age your skin.
So while youre resolving to get fit and be more conscious of what foods you put in your body, here are a few foods to add to your list. Theyre good for you, and will help you look good, too!
1. Greek Yogurt. Yogurt contains proteins that help keep your skin firm, and Greek yogurt contains almost twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt. The probiotics (good bacteria) in Greek yogurt also aid in strengthening the immune system, which might be helpful in fighting acne. If you cant find Greek yogurt in your grocery store, make your own by straining regular yogurt for a few hours over a bowl with a piece of cheesecloth.
2. Pomegranates. Pomegranates contain compounds called punicalagins. A study from the University of Rhode Island shows that these compounds inhibit the activity of enzymes that break down collagen, a protein necessary to keep your skin firm. The compounds also reduce inflammation, which can be helpful with joint pain!
3. Red Peppers. Red peppers contain antioxidants that combat cell oxidation, which in turn prevents the signs of aging. A half-cup of red peppers contains half your daily allowance of Vitamin C, a vitamin that fights free radicals from the sun and also aids in collagen production.
4. Walnuts. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve skins elasticity and softness. Walnuts also contain copper, which helps boost your bodys production of collagen. Omega-3 fatty acids are also great for your hair, heart, joint, and brain health, so youll be benefiting more than just your skin!
5. Sunflower Seeds. Sunflower seeds contain high levels of Vitamin E, which helps protect against sun damage and prevents oxidation of skin cells. Vitamin E has also been known to help improve the appearance of scars. Sunflower seeds also contain copper, which the body uses in collagen production and also melanin production, which can further protect your skin from sun damage.
6. Kiwi. Kiwi contains more Vitamin C per ounce than almost any other fruit, and weve already discussed the skin benefits of that Vitamin (antioxidants and collagen production). If youre looking for a lot of health punch in a package without a lot of calories, kiwi is it! A quick way to peel a kiwi is to cut off both ends and then insert a small spoon between the flesh and the skin of the fruit. Move the spoon all the way around the fruit, and the skin will slide right off.
7. Kidney Beans. Kidney beans are one of the most inexpensive ways to help your skin. Theyre very high in zinc, which some studies show can help lower the instance of acne. Kidney beans are versatile, too: you can easily add them to almost any soup, chili, or cold on top of a salad.
8. Oatmeal. Oatmeal contains lots of vitamins and minerals (especially when you eat the less-processed varieties like steel-cut or rolled oats), but more importantly, its a blood sugar stabilizer. Spiked blood sugar can lead to increased production of androgens, which can increase the appearance of wrinkles. So ditch your sugary cereal in the morning and replace it with a bowl of oatmeal (topped with fruits high in Vitamin C).
9. Green Tea. Green tea contains an antioxidant called EGCG, which has been shown to fight inflammation and redness. It also contains other antioxidants that help fight oxidation of skin cells. And of course, green tea is mostly water, which hydrates your cells. Drink a cup of green tea before a meal and youll also be surprised at how much less hungry you are!
10. Salmon. Salmon is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts. Omega-3s reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce inflammation, and can even contribute to decreasing clogged pores. Replace your weekly serving of red meat with a weekly serving of salmon and youll have added heart health benefits, as well.
If you have any questions about skin care or would like to schedule a consultation, please call our Northern Virginia office at (703) 574-2588.