It’s no secret that food is a necessity for overall health. It gives us energy, is a key source of vitamins and minerals, and provides comfort in more ways than one. What many don’t know is that (healthy) food is also vital for radiant skin. That’s right: eating clean food helps restore skin cells from within before we even see the revitalization take place on the outside.
Don’t worry. Eating well to protect your skin doesn’t mean you have to leave flavor-packed foods behind. Here are 5 clean and delicious must-eats that will keep your health and skin in check throughout the year (and some of them will allow you to indulge a little, too *wink*).
1. Colorful Fruits and Veggies: When it comes to eating clean, color is key. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that protect skin from free radicals, or unstable atoms that damage cells, caused by air pollution, smoke, and sunlight. To beat signs of early aging, BBC Good Food suggests eating five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. This may sound like a daunting task but consuming the necessary servings may prove to be easier than you think. For instance, a cup of fruit juice is considered a serving. So are two handfuls of raspberries (come on, we know how easy it is to eat the whole container in one sitting…). Check out BBC Good Food’s 5-a-Day Infographic to get the low-down on fruit and veggie servings and the perks of keeping a color-filled-diet.
2. Healthy Fats: Your favorite avocado toast may be benefiting your skin health more than you think. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are considered to be healthy fats, as they are a great source for fatty acids and vitamin E. Fatty acids are the skin’s natural moisturizer and improve skin elasticity while vitamin E protects skin against free radicals. To increase your healthy fat intake, try introducing chia seeds, salad dressings with olive oil as a base, and oily fish (like salmon) into your mealtime rotation while snacking on nuts and seeds throughout the day.
3. Dark Chocolate: We told you you’d be able to indulge a little! According to Healthline, one study showed that after 6-12 weeks of eating antioxidant-rich cocoa every day, participants noted thicker, more hydrated skin that was less sensitive to sunlight. Cocoa can have a long-lasting positive effect on skin—so go ahead and eat that chocolate bar, girl! Just be sure to choose dark chocolate with made with at least 70% cocoa to maximize health benefits while minimizing your sugar intake.
PSST: La Bloom Beauty’s Cocoa Epsom Soak is packed full of antioxidant-filled, vegan cocoa butter shavings to rejuvenate your skin and reduce signs of aging. Let this all-natural bath soak nourish your skin from the outside while you wait for the effects of the dark chocolate candy bars to do their work on the inside.
4. Green Tea: Of course, water is the most beneficial liquid for healthy skin, but Green Tea is a close second and just tastes better—don’t you agree? Green Tea is full of compounds called catechins, powerful antioxidants that protect skin against sun damage and reduce redness while improving skin hydration, thickness, and elasticity. For best results, hold off on adding milk to your tea. Healthline suggests that milk could reduce the effect of antioxidants in green tea. If you’re caffeine sensitive, be sure to choose a decaffeinated green tea for the same health benefits without the added energy.
5. Watermelon: Consuming eight glasses of water a day may sound like a feat but eating watermelon can help the cause. Jaclyn London, a registered dietitian and contributor to Good Housekeeping, shares that two cups of cubed watermelon equals a full glass of water. So, if you’re feeling a bit waterlogged during warmer months, watermelon is a refreshing snack alternative.
Watermelon is full of beta-carotene and vitamin C antioxidants that help to hydrate skin cells from the inside out—just like our good friend H2O.
For more healthy food suggestions, check out Jaclyn’s list of 20 Foods for Better, Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin.
The Bottom Line
It takes up to six weeks for new skin cells to emerge to the surface so if you plan to make healthy diet changes to improve your skin health, patience is key. Start small with your commitments and add clean foods to your diet that make sense to your unique daily routine. This may mean replacing chips with nuts during snack time or swapping out a milk chocolate dessert with a healthier dark chocolate alternative. If your goal is to improve the health of your skin, you must find a regimen that works specifically for you.
Remember: supplying your body with key nutrients helps to slowly improve skin from the inside out. To take care of the skin you’re flaunting today, it’s important to know what ingredients are in your skincare products and how each one affects your skin. For more information on clean beauty and introducing non-toxic products into your skincare routine, check out our blog post: Clean Beauty: Why Make the Change?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. La Bloom Beauty’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.