Fine line wrinkle reducer, hydrating serum, acne treatment, skin brightening cream, powder foundation, liquid foundation- the array of available skincare products is dizzying and endless. In 2008, more than $32 billion was spent on cosmetics. Currently, it is estimated that beauty-oriented consumers spend an excess of $159 billion. While these statistics make it very clear that the insatiable demand for beauty products will in no way slow down anytime soon, there is another school of beauty that argues you can actually eat your way to a healthy, radiant, glowing complexion. With nature as the guide, and science as the backbone let’s explore why these superfoods have proven their worth to pack a bigger punch, ounce for ounce, particularly in the long run.
- Salmon naturally contains Omega-3 fatty acids. The American diet is said to contain 14-25 times more Omega-6 (another essential fatty acid), eating more fatty fish will help balance out this ratio which also considerably lowers risk of heart attack. Zinc helps combat sebum ,which is the oily substance that is produced in pores that cause clogged pores and acne. Other foods: Flaxseed, oysters, fish oil, mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna
- Blueberries Free radicals are connected to accelerated aging and a host of diseases attributed to oxidative stress. Chocked full of the free radical fighting antioxidants needed to boost your body’s ability to rid itself of cell damage and toxins. Blueberries are also an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin c, manganese, vitamin E and riboflavin (vitamin B2). Other foods: Acai, pomegranate, green tea, chia seeds
- Carrots contain carotenoids and powerful antioxidants which help boost the skin’s immunity to sun damage. A deficiency in vitamin A or beta carotene, may slow tissue growth and cause dry, flakey skin. Vitamin C encourages production of collagen, which prevents wrinkles and slows the effects of aging. It is also rich in biotin, vitamins K, and B6, potassium and thiamine. Other foods: Mangos, sweet potatoes, spinach, cantaloupe, dried apricots, egg yolks, liver, paprika, butternut squash
- Avocados are rich in rich emollients that have natural hydrating ability. Because of these properties, avocado can provide hydration for smooth and supple skin. Fatty Omega-3s, which has been shown to be effective in naturally protecting the skin against UV radiation, decreasing chance of sunburns.
- Water–pure unadulterated water, a minimum of eight 8 ounce glasses a day is what your body needs to hydrate cells helping them efficiently rid itself of toxins and bring in vital nutrients to maintain homeostasis at the cellular level. Water also improves circulation and blood flow, further enabling your body to perform its functions in maintaining health. There is simply no substitute. A sugary drink or caffeinated coffee will not provide the same effects as a tall glass of water.
Make a delicious crisp summer salad, or a seasonal smoothie. Any way you do it, consuming these foods in plenty will have you feeling healthier almost immediately. In addition to improving the quality of your skin, these health superfoods are backed by research that proves their overall health benefits. Another tip to maintaining skin health is eating across the rainbow. Do this by including foods from the entire spectrum of color. Different colored foods will contain an array of nutrients (The Cancer Project’s poster here). These tips are not substitutes for regular skin protection or sunscreen, but will give you an undeniable edge in disease prevention and maintenance of long term health from the inside out.