Beauty comes from the inside, that’s a fact. But beyond a sunny disposition, how you eat and take care of your body is directly reflected on your skin. The beauty industry sells billions of dollars in chemical based skincare products every year, and I personally am a large contributor to this number. But have you thought about what you’re eating? Ultimately, eating the right ‘beauty foods’ allows your skin to stay moisturized and supple, blemish free, and appear radiant for the summer months. Try adding these essential foods to your diet. They truly can help your skin glow from the inside out.
1. Avocado: Our skin needs fat in order to stay hydrated and glowing. Avocados are nature’s own moisturizer, because they are rich in fatty acids. Besides eating mounds of guacamole, you can also make an avocado face mask to reap the benefits both inside and out. Simply mash one soft avocado with a fork. Then, stir together 1 Tbsp raw honey with 2 Tbsp of hot water and add to the avocado to create a rich mask. Apply to your face (avoid the eyes), leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse. You will be feeling fresh and renewed in not time.
2. Cucumber: Spas don’t just give you cucumber slices for your eyes for “fun” or “ambiance.” Cucumber is both hydrating and cooling for the bod, and staying well hydrated is the number one rule one for great looking skin. So, throw two cucumber slices over your eyes, lie back, and soak up the goodness. You can also throw together a healthy cucumber salad in the summer months. Slice one cucumber into thin slices, add thinly sliced onions and a little white vinegar and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Chia Seeds: These tiny little seeds pack a lot of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. Inflammation can show up in the skin both as breakouts and premature wrinkles. So start adding chia seeds to your foods! I add chia seeds to my yogurts, smoothies and salads.
4. Blueberries: My absolute favorite fruit! I do live five miles away from the Blueberry Capital of the world, Hammonton, NJ, so blueberries are consumed by the cases at my house. They’re considered to be one of the highest food sources of antioxidants. These bite sized berries protect your skin from damage and disintegration, keeping you looking younger, longer. Add ½ cup to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies or salads for delicious, skin-boosting nutrients.
5. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant, lycopene. Studies show that lycopene helps protect against skin-damaging UV rays. So once again, being from Jersey y’all know we have the BEST tomatoes ever! I am lucky enough to have them everyday. Tomato sandwiches, salsa, salad, you name it! However, your body better absorbs the nutrients when the tomatoes are cooked.
6. Yogurt: This amazing food contains zinc, which can help clear up blemishes. Always be sure to look for varieties that don’t contain a lot of fat or sugar. Try to opt for Greek-style yogurts, which contain double the amount of protein than regular yogurts. Protein is an essential nutrient for the production of collagen, which keeps your skin looking youthful. As we age we lose a lot of this. Blend one cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup of blueberries and a banana for a delicious smoothie. (photo credit here)