Getting (and maintaining) great skin is not always about what products you use. Sure, having a good, green beauty routine can put you on the path to having nice skin, but if your diet is crap, it might not fix all the problems you’re having. For one thing, did you know that too much sugar and salt can age your skin? As much as you need SPF in the sun, you need to limit the amount of sugar and salt in your diet. I know it’s hard, but the best way I’ve found to keep myself from eating too much junk is by telling myself it’ll “cause wrinkles.” I know, I’m a weirdo, but it works and keeps me from overdoing it on the redvines and smarties (both of which I seriously love). Aside from the foods you might want to limit like sweets, fast food, and other heavy fried foods, there are a number of foods you can enjoy all day every day which will help improve your skin, keep you feeling (and looking) youthful, and even help calm acne and skin irritations. Obviously, I don’t know your skin (and I’m not a doctor) so check with your doctor and dermatologist if you’re not sure, but these are the healthy foods that I find work best for my goals of looking and feeling healthy, radiant, and youthful ♥
The Best Foods for Youthful Skin
Must Eat ALL the Coconuts!
I’m pretty obsessed with coconut everything. I drink coconut water after a hard workout because it’s rich in valuable minerals like magnesium, potassium, and electrolytes you might get from gatorade, but without the massive amounts of sugar. I use coconut oil to cook because the burning (smoke point) point is higher than other oils. This means free radicals are no released into my food. On top of that, coconut oil has valuable minerals and healthy fats in it which are great for keeping skin healthy, improving cholesterol, and even helping with weight management. I sometimes even use coconut butter and flour, but not always. It’s really up to you; I just love coconut anything so I’m a nut (get it).
Vegetables and Healthy Fats
Of course, you already know that you should be eating vegetables ( I hope ), but there are some veggies that are especially beneficial. My favorites of those are carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, seaweed, and a variety greens (romaine, spinach, kale, arugula). Carrots are rich in carotenoids which are rich in antioxidants. In the body, they can be converted to vitamin A which helps fight aging, various types of cancer, eye disease, and helps you (and your cells) stay young! Broccoli is rich in phyto chemicals, iron, and is surprisingly high in protein (4g per serving!). The iron does wonders for our bones, the phyto chemicals boost our immunity and fight disease, and broccoli does wonders for inflammation while also naturally helping detox your body. Cucumbers have a potent amount of minerals and vitamins within them. They’re incredibly high in water content which means that if you eat cucumbers with a healthy fat (like a little olive oil or avocado), your body can more easily absorb all those body-benefiting ingredients! Celery is also high in water content, vitamins and minerals in the same way as cucumbers, though cucumbers taste better in my opinion. Seaweed is rich in sea minerals and can help with thyroid health. Greens are incredibly good for you in any capacity and have too many benefits to list here so google each one; they’re all wonderful for you!
Enzymes and Probiotics
Enzymes function as catalysts for various processes in the body. Mainly, you’ll notice they help speed up and faciliate digestion, but they can also have other benefits. You don’t necessarily need a supplement to get the benefits either. Many enzymes are found in so many different foods, but most noticeably in pineapple and papaya. Probiotics are also great for digestion by helping balance out your gut bacteria (good and bad) so your food can be digested optimally. On top of that, they are great for disease prevention as well. You can find natural probiotics in yogurt, kombucha (fermented tea), and various fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
Juices, Smoothies, and Soup
Juices, smoothies and soups are a wonderful way of getting a whole lot of nutrients quickly. Juices are a wonderful way to get your daily vitamins in food form rather than taking dietary supplements and it’s always better for your body to get vitamins in their natural state than in supplement form (unless you’re vitamin deficient, have trouble absorbing vitamins, or have a condition that prevents vitamin absorption). Juices and smoothies are my favorite way of amping up my nutrition, getting greens, and antioxidants into my diet when I don’t necessarily want to eat a bunch of different foods. Smoothies are great ways of getting fiber as well. The same goes for soups, though the food is in a more solid form than juice or smoothies. Soups have another added benefit in that you can use bone stock in them which is super healthy for teeth and bones!
Infused Tea and Water
Infused teas and water are something I genuinely enjoy drinking, but they do have added health benefits. Lemon water (in small quantities) is great for oral health, teeth whitening, and freshening your breath so I like having mine every few mornings. On top of that, it’s super refreshing in the summer. Try not to go overboard with citrus as it can erode the enamel in your teeth, but every so often is probably okay. Infused tea functions much the same, but teas have added antioxidants, especially if you’re drinking rooibos, white, or green varieties.
Pretty Seasonal Foods
I’ve found that making my foods look pretty helps me eat more of them. I know it might sound dumb, but when I actually put everything into pretty bowls and cups, I enjoy them more. This encourages me to eat healthy foods more. On top of that, I try to eat seasonal foods. For right now, summer food I’m loving are pineapples, coconuts, berries, and greens of any kind. Eating seasonally means you can get them locally and they will maintain more of their nutrient content because they haven’t traveled so far to get to you.
These delicious Matcha teas are from Teapigs ♥
Drink ALL the Teas!
Last, but not least is drinking tea! I love coffee, but I try to drink tea more regularly than anything else (except water, of course). White, green, and various herbal teas are the best kinds, in my opinion. White and green teas have tons of bio-active compounds like flavonoids, catechin, and various other antioxidants which help fight aging and disease. Black tea isn’t as beneficial because the process of making black tea requires more oxidation than the other 2 varieties which means the antioxidant content is less. Herbal teas are wonderful for health as well. My personal favorites are turmeric, chamomile, jasmine, and mint, but there are tons of varieties out there so find one you like!