We all know that a balanced diet is one of the keys to a healthy life. That, and a little exercise, will not only decrease your chances of getting all kinds of diseases, but can also keep you looking youthful and healthy. The right diet will keep your body's largest organ, the skin, looking soft and smooth to the touch. Read on to find out which foods can keep your skin radiant, delay the onset of wrinkles and even combat years of sun damage.
sonja lekovic/iStock/Getty Images
Keeping hydrated is extremely important for the proper functioning of your body. You should drink eight glasses of water a day to keep your metabolism active. This is necessary for your internal organs to function properly and, if that wasn't reason enough, will also keep your skin moisturised and healthy.
Vitamin E is found in foods such as olive oil and avocados. Its presence in your diet will help your skin retain the liquid you consume and maintain its natural moisture. However, you must be very careful not to overindulge in them, because an excess of vitamin E can raise your triglyceride count, which could ultimately cause serious health issues. The ingestion of foods with vitamin E has better results if consumed with other foods that contain high quantities of vitamin C.
Citrus fruits are very popular due to their high vitamin C levels, which are famous for preventing colds and related respiratory problems. But vitamin C is also related to the production of collagen, a fundamental protein in the skin's ageing and healing processes. Some fruits that contain vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, bergamots, tangerines, lemons and kiwis.
Berries are excellent antioxidants ... and they are delicious too! They'll help your skin counter the effects of the oxidants you can't avoid consuming daily. They also contain vitamins E and C, thus maintaining the brightness of your skin. Especially during the winter, they represent a great alternative to citrus fruits.
A major part of this fruit is zinc, which is an effective antioxidant and benefits cell regeneration. This element helps keep the skin tone by preventing the formation of premature wrinkles and eliminating dead cells.
Misko Kordic/Hemera/Getty Images
Carrots and other yellow, red and orange vegetables like pumpkins and tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene. This chemical compound has been proven to act as an antioxidant. When consumed along with vitamins C and E, it provides protection to your skin against sun damage. Beta-carotene is also helpful at attaining and maintaining a healthy and even tan.
Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images
A handful of nuts a day is essential to keeping vitamin E at an appropriate level, which is fundamental for a flexible and luminous skin. They can be eaten as a snack or added to salads and pasta dishes. But it's important not to overdo it because they contain lots of calories and their consumption can also raise triglyceride levels.
Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images
A very good reason to eat lettuce and other leafy greens, such as rucula and spinach, is that they contain many antioxidants. In addition to that, these vegetables are composed largely of water, which will contribute to your skin's hydration. As if that wasn't enough, leafy greens provide your body with many different nutrients with very few calories!
Green tea, in addition to draining toxins and reducing fluid retention, is a major ally at improving the quality of your skin. Not only can green tea prevent wrinkles, in some cases it has even eliminated them. This brew also contains bio-active compounds that help prevent heart disease and some types of cancer.
Vitamin A is found in animal products such as dairy, meat, fish and egg yolk, and also some fruits, like apples, and vegetables, like sweet potatoes. Its consumption is essential for the rejuvenation of your skin. It also contributes to maintaining the health of mucous membranes.
Bonus 1: Food on the skin
Your skin doesn't benefit exclusively from the food you ingest. Some foodstuffs are also very effective when applied externally, and are often far more effective than the most expensive creams and treatments. For example, if you mix sugar with honey, you'll get a scrub that will not only remove dead skin cells, but also keep your skin hydrated. You can also make cucumber juice compresses to reduce dark circles around the eyes.
Bonus 2: Foods you need to avoid
Just as there are substances that will help your skin, there are others that can have the opposite effect. The consumption of processed foods, foods with added sugars, the abuse of alcohol, salt and fried foods can lead your skin to dry out, losing its natural brightness and even to sprout acne.
- sonja lekovic/iStock/Getty Images