With sales of over $34 Billion annually on skincare in the US alone, you would think our skins would all boast a youthful appearance and an inner glow. But, alas, the reality is far from the beauty ideal espoused by fashion magazines and TV commercials.
So what’s the problem? As with most things in life, it isn’t what’s on the outside that matters. That means all the creams and toners in the world won’t improve your skin as much as a healthy diet which works from the inside out to ensure beautiful skin.
What you put in is what you get out
Your skin is no exception! Every year the average American consumes:
- 23 pounds of pizza
- 30 pounds of French fries
- 24 pounds of ice cream
- 53 gallons of soda
Your skin is your largest organ and, like all your other organs, it needs vitamins, minerals and water to function properly. When your skin isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, premature aging and acne will be the woeful result.
Eat your way to great skin
A 2012 study revealed that consuming two or more teaspoons of olive oil a day resulted in a 31% reduction in the signs of aging. That’s because about 75% of the fat in olive oil is monosaturated fatty acids which are thought to improve the elasticity of skin. Olive oil also contains polyphenols which are an excellent antioxidant.
Dark chocolate also helps to keep you young and healthy; its cocoa flavanols are antioxidants which act to help hydrate the skin and improve circulation. Eat about an ounce a day to get the health benefits without weight gain. You can eat healthy snacks with organic cocoa additives.
Sunflower seeds help to create a youthful glow. With 37% of your daily needs for vitamin E per ounce, sunflowers help to moisturize and prevent acne, studies show. You can eat organic sunflower seeds raw or in breads and snacks.
Flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which reduce spots and smooth out the fine lines. Omega-3 oils are also thought to improve hydration so your skin feels smoother too. Find flax seeds in healthy snacks and organic multigrain bread.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C which is essential for collagen production. Collagen helps to plump out your skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In a study, participants who consumed about half a sweet potato a day reduced their fine lines by 11%.
The sun is one of the biggest culprits of skin damage and premature aging. You can reduce the impact the sun has by consuming cooked tomatoes. You see, cooked tomatoes contain Lycopene, a phytochemical that not only gives tomatoes their red color, but keeps you out of the red too. Lycopene eliminates skin-aging free radicals which result from too much ultraviolet exposure. Just a half-cup of cooked tomatoes contains 16 milligrams of lycopene which can help to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.