Eating well is the key to nourishing more than just your bod — it can help make a major difference to your skin. So while you’re being mindful about drinking more water and taking all of the ClassPass classes you can to get your glisten on, make the extra effort to nosh on food that will clear your complexion up too. To get a solid understanding of what popular health foods can do for you, we talked to Annie Lawless, the blogger behind Blawnde who co-founded Suja Juice. Fill your plate with her tasty and colorful suggestions to glow from the inside out!
1. Salmon Instead of Swordfish: Skip the swordfish! “Wild salmon is one of the BEST food sources for omega-3 fatty acids. These fats avert fine lines and wrinkles by keeping your skin looking youthful, supple and moisturized,”explains Annie. Additionally, salmon is known to be highly anti-inflammatory, which reduces the body’s stress hormones and decreases clogged pores. Salmon is also chock-full of selenium, which is a mineral that protects your skin from sun damage.
2. Almonds Instead of Trail Mix: Forget the bag of trail mix after class and go straight for the good stuff. Almonds have become a popular power food, as they’re a fantastic source of protein and vitamin E. “Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that is incredibly nourishing to the skin and protects it from damaging UV rays,” says Annie. “It also contains healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which moisturize the skin and keep it hydrated and soft.”
3. Coconut Oil Instead of Canola Oil: Annie tells us, “This stuff is a treasure! Coconut oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which help promote a healthy intestinal tract by killing bad bacteria in the gut.” And as we’ve learned, when our intestines are happy and healthy, our bodies don’t need to release toxins through the skin, which helps prevent acne and other skin issues. Annie adds, “Additionally, coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids are a great emollient for the skin and keep it supple. The antioxidant properties prevent the formation of free radicals, which cause early aging.” Yep, we’re going to power shop the stuff right now.
4. Green Tea Instead of Coffee: Perfect for when you’re cutting back on coffee and need a boost, green tea is great for us internally. But did you know that it’s also amazing for anti-aging? Annie says it’s true: “Green tea can help minimize skin redness and inflammation and enhance sun protection.” To top off those great benefits, it’s also been proven to improve elastic tissue in the skin. What’s not to love about that?
5. Avocados Instead of Mayo: Forego the mayo on your next sandwich and swap it out with a spread of avo instead because, Annie says, “Avocados have EVERYTHING. They’re super rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins A and C and fiber. They help brighten dull skin, and smooth, tone and moisturize on a deep cellular level to prevent dryness, which can lead to wrinkling. They also help protect your skin from environmental pollutants.”
6. Walnuts Instead of Peanuts: Put down the peanuts and grab a handful of walnuts. They’re delicious, decadent and great for your skin. Like salmon, they boast omega-3 fats that strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, increase moisture and boost suppleness. Annie told us that they can help reduce inflammation that causes acne and skin redness too.
7. Berries Instead of Melon: Bring on berry season! Annie loves them because “berries are about as antioxidant rich as it gets for a plant food. Their pigment and bright color come from a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, which helps buffer and prevent damage from toxins and free radicals on the skin.” She goes on to explain that “berries are also packed with ellagic acid, an antioxidant that fights the breakdown of elastin and collagen and protects from sun damage.” The boatload of vitamin C they come with doesn’t hurt either — it totally stimulates the production of both collagen and elastin.
8. Orange Sweet Potatoes Instead of White Potatoes: Specifically, orange sweet potatoes get their color from beta carotene, or vitamin A, which majorly protects against sun damage. Annie clued us in on the extra power of orange sweet potatoes, telling us: “Many popular anti-aging creams contain retinol — which is actually just converted beta carotene. So by eating foods rich in vitamin A, you’re getting your retinol in the BEST way possible.” Like berries, sweet potatoes have a hearty dose of vitamin C, so you can count on them for a collagen boost.
Will you make a conscious effort to eat off of Annie’s list to clear your complexion? What else helps you glow? Share the scoop with us on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)