Six Foods for Healthy Skin

Improve the look of your skin with what you eat.

Aging, genetics, skin conditions, and bad habits can all take a toll on your skin. Over time, you may wonder what happened to skin that was once supple, soft, and free of blemishes and wrinkles.

Wish you could slow or reverse skin damage? Want to restore a youthful glow and feel good in your own skin without spending a fortune on expensive creams and lotions? The way to healthy, radiant skin may be as easy as your next meal. Certain ingredients found in foods work to build new skin cells, fight the damage caused by free radicals, reduce inflammation, improve the appearance of your skin, and protect against sun damage.

For the next six weeks, include these six foods on your grocery list to see if you can eat your way to better skin. (New skin cells take six weeks to appear so don’t expect miraculous changes overnight).

If you eat right, your skin, hair, and nails will look good. The same if you have negative thoughts – they can give you a bad look, too; we reflect what we eat and think. – Kate del Castillo

Food 1: Tomatoes

Plan to spend time in the sun this summer? You may want to eat more tomatoes. The antioxidant lycopene (found especially in cooked, processed tomatoes like tomato paste and tomato sauce) acts as a natural sunscreen to a small degree. They’re in no way a replacement for sunscreen, but eating tomatoes on a regular basis may reduce your chances of getting sunburn.

Food 2: Olive Oil

See increasing signs of aging when you look in the mirror? Make the switch to olive oil. One study found that compared to people who ate less than one teaspoon of olive oil a day, people who ate more than two teaspoons a day were one third less likely to show visible signs of aging due to the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant polyphenols that fight the damage caused by free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Don’t just eat olive oil. Rub it on rough skin or dry lips for immediate relief.

Food 3: Oatmeal

What’s your go-to breakfast of choice? If you answer bagels or sugary cold cereal, you may want to reconsider. Foods high in refined simple carbs are known to contribute to acne and blemishes. This is because they trigger your body to produce more insulin, which in turn increases the production of androgens, the hormones responsible for causing oily skin and breakouts.
Choose oatmeal for breakfast instead and seek out whole-grain breads, rices, and pastas to improve the appearance of your complexion.

Food 4: Salmon

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna aren’t just good for your heart. They’re good for your skin as well. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA found in these fish is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which fight acne and skin blemishes.

Food 5: Green Tea

It’s not just what you eat but what you drink that can affect your skin. Do your skin a favor and cool down with a glass of iced green tea in the summer or cozy up with a cup of hot green tea in the winter. The polyphenol antioxidants found in green tea increase skin’s elasticity and smoothness, fight inflammation, and prevent damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. The catechins in green tea improve circulation, delivering nutrients and oxygen to the skin for a healthy complexion. And studies have even shown a link between green tea and a reduced risk of skin cancer.

Food 6: Oranges

Eating foods high in vitamin C like oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, kiwi, broccoli, and sweet potatoes is another way to keep your skin healthy and youthful. Vitamin C is a powerful fighter against the free radicals that damage cells, break down skin’s collagen (the part of skin that keeps it firm and supple), and cause fine lines and wrinkles.

For additional skin benefits, eat the fruit peel, which contains limonene, an ingredient that helps protect your skin from UV rays and reduces your risk for squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer.

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