How do I achieve glowing skin? Do I need to eat differently to achieve my skin health goals? What can I add into my routine to help my skin from feeling so ‘blah’? These are just a few of the skin related questions we’re often asked, so I thought today I would address them!
Right now, the world is in a much different state than we’re used to, and if your skin is going through some changes – just know that you are not alone! Many of us are dealing with stress and changes to our norm; even I’ve noticed more breakouts and dullness in my skin. Everyone’s skin journey is different and influenced by many factors like genetics, nutrition, skincare products, and stress. Some of these things we are unable to control, but some of these things we can! What you put into your body is a big one, so I want to share with you some nutrients you can include in your diet for glowing, youthful skin. Let’s jump right in!
Antioxidants & Greens
Antioxidants and greens are the first two nutrients I want to chat about, as they play a crucial role in our skin health. Our skin is a large and important organ; it’s our job to protect it from free radicals, pollution, and chemicals, and provide it with nutrients that help it thrive. Antioxidants help us maintain immunity, improve barrier function, and soothe inflammation while fighting off these free radicals.
The most common antioxidants are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, lutein, manganese, zinc, and zeaxanthin. All of these contribute to our skin’s overall health (which is where that glow comes from), so it’s important to include them in your diet.
Greens are one of the best sources of antioxidants. The more pigmented (darker) the greens, the better, because they contain the most chlorophyll and antioxidants. Greens are some of nature’s superfoods and benefit the body as a whole when eaten regularly, so don’t skip out on them! Some examples of greens to include in your diet are kale, spinach, parsley, broccoli, dandelion greens, avocado, and arugula.
You can incorporate greens into any meal, and one of my favorite ways to sneak an extra helping of veggies into my day is a smoothie! I have shared one of my favorite green smoothie recipes for you at the end of this blog, so be sure to check it out.
In addition to greens, I’ve included other great sources of antioxidants:
- Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries
- Richly pigmented fruits and vegetables like beets, carrots, sweet potato, peppers, tomatoes, mangos, kiwi, watermelon, and grapes
- Sulfurous vegetables like onion, garlic, and leeks
Drinking more water on a daily basis is the best place to start when trying to improve your skin’s appearance. Water helps our skin stay plump and hydrated, so when we’re dehydrated our skin can feel congested, dry, and flakey. Our body needs sufficient water to digest, absorb, and excrete toxins/waste properly, meaning that adequate hydration addresses dullness by preventing the build-up of dead skin cells. If you have trouble remembering to drink enough water, set alarms for yourself throughout the day and make sure to keep a water bottle nearby.
If you want your skin to glow and feel healthy, pay attention to your omega-3 intake! Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation in our skin and nourish our membranes. When our skin is chronically inflamed, it is more susceptible to damage at a cellular level; this is when we really start to see dryness, dullness, pigmentation issues, and textural concerns. Omega-3s are especially important if you struggle with acne or rosacea, but they can be helpful for anyone looking to keep inflammation at bay.
Some great sources of omega-3s are:
- Fish, including cod, salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, and halibut
- Nuts and seeds, including walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, and flaxseed
Food for Thought
Lastly, I want to touch on a few things to avoid on the journey to improving your overall skin health.
As tasty as they can be, eating lots of processed foods, refined sugars, and highly inflammatory foods won’t help you. Balance is key, so it’s okay here and there, but when you’re trying to achieve radiant, glowing skin, nixing inflammatory foods is the best plan. Be consistent with your intake of skin-nourishing foods and nutrients. Sooner or later our cells turn over and our tissues repair themselves – so the more goodness you put in, the more goodness you’ll get out!
I hope you are all staying safe and taking care of yourselves. I know things are tough right now but remember that we are all in this together! I hope to see you all very soon!
Glowing Green Smoothie
This green smoothie is a great way to get in your daily skin-supporting nutrients. And it’s tasty to boot! Enjoy! 🙂
– ½ banana
– ¼ cup or big handful of spinach
– ½ avocado
– ½ cup mango
– ¼ cup pineapple
– small handful of blueberries
– 1 tsp or small slice of ginger
– ½ tbsp of chia seeds
– ½ cup coconut water
– ½ cup cashew milk (may need more depending on desired consistency)
Tips and Options: You can use frozen or fresh fruit. I personally prefer the fruit to be frozen for better texture and a nice cool temperature. I like to peel the banana and keep it in the fridge or freeze it as well. Avocado can be fresh, or you can purchase them in frozen chunks in the frozen fruit section, but I used a fresh avocado for this recipe. You can also freeze any fresh fruit you have if desired!
By Natalie Ovics, CHN
Papillon Medical & Dermatology