Have you ever heard the phrase, “Beauty comes from the inside out”?It means that what we eat really matters, not only in how we feel physically, but also in how we look. And while there is no shortage of pricey creams and potions available that advertise younger-looking skin, sometimes the answer is only as far away as your kitchen – and a lot less expensive.
Foods that contain antioxidants, vitamins C, D, E, K, and the B-complex, as well as choline and folic acid, are all great at changing your body at a cellular level, creating real glowing skin rather than the façade of health. These healthy and delicious foods also reduce your risk of skin and other cancers as well as protect against cardiovascular disease.
Improving your skin through diet does not have to feel like deprivation. You can have your chocolate and look great, too. Several studies have determined that cocoa powder is high in some specific antioxidants that contribute to moisturized skin. If you eat a bit of dark chocolate every day, you’ll find that your skin is less rough and scaly – and can resist sunburn longer, to boot. (But don’t throw away your sunscreen.)
Another benefit of eating cocoa is that it improves blood flow and thereby delivers more of those critical nutrients to the skin. But it’s best to stick with dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa. That will get you the healthy benefits without too much extra sugar. Too much sugar in the diet can actually break down collagen and cause breakouts.
2. Red Wine
Turns out, you can enjoy a glass of wine without guilt. Red wine contains resveratrol, a much-touted compound that minimizes the effects of aging all over your body. You may even notice that some beauty products designed to create a youthful appearance also contain resveratrol. It works whether applied topically or eaten.
When you consume resveratrol in the form of wine (or grape juice; it doesn’t have to be fermented), the production of free radicals is slowed. Free radical damage is one of the prime drivers of skin damage and premature aging. Now, we would be remiss if we didn’t say that overindulging in alcohol has many negatives associated with it, including poor skin. But if you are going to drink, red wine may be the safest choice for your complexion.
Tomatoes are delicious and so versatile that it’s hard to get bored with them. Whether fresh, cooked, or made into a sauce, tomatoes can be the shining star of a dish or deftly support other ingredients. When you enjoy tomatoes you receive a good amount of vitamin C, which will help prevent scaly skin.
But even better, tomatoes contain all of the major carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. These powerful antioxidants protect skin from sun damage. More exciting still is that to fully absorb the carotenoids in your diet, they are best eaten with some kind of fat. Consider this your free pass to snack on a little avocado, cheese, olive oil, or nuts at the same time.