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Treat Your Skin: 10 Foods for Better Skin + 3 Foods to Avoid

Posted by Alexandra C. | Wednesday May 16, 201219 comments

I've mentioned before that I've been aiming to treat my body a little better lately by eating lots of nutritious snacks. I won't lie, it's been difficult. But I will admit that so far, I've actually been able to see some of the results of my healthy eating. I feel more energetic throughout the day and I've also noticed how much brighter my complexion is. This left me wondering, is the old saying could be true? Are you really what you eat?

I explored the beauty benefits of supplements, vitamins and minerals recently which helped me understand what was going into my system and how they helped. Then again, going out and purchasing expensive supplements isn't necessary. As I found out, eating many of your already favourite foods and avoiding some others can help improve not only your health but your skin. 

1. Lentils are double duty awesome: they're packed full of protein and zinc. Protein means that you'll feel fuller longer and have more energy. Lentils are also fairly low calorie and are easy to prepare and add to a veggie or whole grain dish. Collagen, which helps keep skin elasticity is a protein so stock up on protein rich foods for anti-aging. Zinc is excellent for fighting acne causing bacteria- yuck! 

2. Beauty Tea by Teaopia (C$30.00) is a favourite of one of my personal beauty gurus, Ms.RachhLoves. It helps combat harmful free radicals that cause the visible signs of aging. It contains white tea, bamboo and chamomile among other ingredients. 

3. Sencha, also known as green tea is an anti-oxidant and has vitamin E to slow down the aging process. You can also try out white teas which contain the same beauty boosting ingredients, but with less caffeine. Check out this great article for more about the benefits of tea. 

4. If you're going for a treat, go for dark chocolate. Not only does it taste delicious, but you're getting anti-oxidants to kick wrinkles and dulling skin to the curb. Only go for small amounts once in while though. If you have it on hand, raw cocoa powder as a baking or smoothie addition will do the same trick. 

5. Okay, so I don't mean to be a nag or whatever but gurl, you need to drink more water. Seriously, the old saying is true: drink lots of water. It hydrates your body, mind and skin, keeping you (and your skin) fresh and clear. 

6. Oil doesn't necessary mean bad. Fatty, oily fish like salmon contain that essential fatty acids and an acid called DHA (a.k.a. docosahexaenoic acid) which has been shown to hydrate skin and relieve that itching and dryness. 

7. Grapeseed oil, applied topically, is super moisturizing. It's a go-to ingredient for many body scrubs or butters. As well, it is high in linoleic acid which has proved to be anti-inflammatory and reduce acne. In salad dressings or used for stir frys, grapeseed oil is a good way to ingest antioxidants Not only are antioxidants beneficial for your skin but did you know that antioxidants are thought to help prevent cancer and heart disease?

8. There is a reason for that old cliche 'An apple a day, keeps the doctor away'. Vitamins are excellent for your body and skin and fruits are one of the most delicious ways to get them. Vitamin A helps to promote cell regeneration keeping your skin looking healthy. Vitamin C is needed for collagen production, keeping you looking youthful. You can also get a load of vitamins and minerals from dark green, leafy veggies like kale or spinach. 

9. Coconut water is high in potassium and contains antioxidants. Plus, it's pretty darn delicious and so refreshing during these hot summer months. 

10. Hemp. No, not that kind of hemp (tsk, tsk). Hemp (1. hemp protein powder, 2. hemp oil) is anti-inflammatory and has omega-3 fats. This means that it can help relieve dryness and increase hydration. 
Foods to avoid:

1. Dairy: This one kills me because I am a greek yogurt fiend of late. Milk products contain cow hormones that can imitate your own body's hormones. This means that you overproduce oil and therefore, acne errupts. Not fun. The good news is, organic milk products will contain less hormones. 

2. White bread which is high in carbs not only means that you will become more sluggish, sooner in the day but it also means that you are gaining more androgens. This hormone 'activates' oil glands which means more breakouts. When going for breads and carbs, look for whole grains and wild rices or quinoa instead. 

3. According to this source, sugar "breaks down healthy tissue and interferes with your body’s ability to make new collagen, leaving your skin thinner and weaker." That does not sounds good to me. As we age we want firmer, thicker skin that retains elasticity, avoiding the hollow and sunken in look. 
Do you have any go-to healthy foods or snacks? Leave a comment and let me know; I am always on the hunt for something new and yummy! 
(additional information via thebeautydepartment.com, dailymail.co.uk, self.com)
More by Alexandra C.
More on Eyes, Lips, Face, Health, Relax

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on May 30, 2012  abcder  810 said:

I use chia seeds (found at health food stores) They are really good for your skin and the taste is good with everthing from yougurt to cearel

on May 29, 2012  ra143  4,092 said:

yay! love these posts! SO up my alley.

on May 22, 2012  Aliza  13,966 said:

These are some great tips Alex! At the office we recently went on a wellness kick which has helped me track my water consumption. I can usually do 6-8 glasses but my goal is to increase that to 10!

on May 18, 2012  Tiffmorris  1,792 said:

Great article, now if only I could force myself to follow all these tips.

on May 18, 2012  jlgoneboatin  2,463 said:

Great article, I love almond milk but defintatley need to try coconut milk

on May 17, 2012  spoony  10,944 said:

I LOVE the clarins hydraquench cream! I managed to get the salon size, so I'll have it for ages.

The Clairisonic Mia is way more wallet friendly, and works wonders. I love mine!

on May 17, 2012  spoony  10,944 said:

great article! I still have yet to find a proper coconut water any where local to me. Everything I find is full of sugar.

on May 17, 2012  melanieexd  427 said:


on May 16, 2012  curlysue10  7,191 said:

@mystictiger a friend of mine recently told me about hemp hearts too. I am going to have to look into those. And @Alex I also looked into that Beauty Tea from Teaopia but I was afraid to spend 30 bucks on a whole tin without trying it. What does it taste like? David's Tea has a similar product called organic the glow which is yummy and a bit cheaper than the teaopia brand

on May 16, 2012  GoneBatty  3,196 said:

Love all these tips. However, living in rural Newfoundland, grape seed oil and hemp products would be impossible to find, so I won't be able to get those benefits!

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