What you eat and drink affects far more than your weight. The food you put in your mouth affects every aspect of your health, from the inside out — even your skin.
If you are overweight or obese, you may experience skin problems such as stretch marks, varicose veins, dermatitis and even ulcers. If you don’t have the clear, soft, glowing skin you’ve always wished for, it may be time to revisit your diet and lifestyle. Essentially, you need to eat better for healthy skin and a healthy waistline.
Here are some of the most important foods you should be consuming regularly:
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish such as salmon and sardines help the skin cell membranes stay strong and elastic.
About 75 percent of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help prevent aging of the skin. Antioxidants in olive oil may also help prevent damage to the skin by free radicals.
An antioxidant found in tomatoes — lycopene — improves the skin’s natural SPF, helping to protect the skin from damaging ultraviolet rays.
If you need a taste of something sweet, go for dark chocolate, which is rich in flavanols with antioxidant properties that help hydrate the skin and improve circulation.
Antioxidants in green tea help boost blood flow and oxygen to the skin, delivering nutrients that help to keep the skin healthy.
Kale is one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that neutralize free radicals that can damage the skin. Kale also contains high amounts of vitamins C and A, which help keep the skin firm.
If you aren’t big on fish, walnuts are another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent eczema.
Beef is high in protein, which is the building block of collagen and elastin in the skin. Grass-fed beef contains a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.
Dairy is highly inflammatory, which can aggravate acne, wrinkles and rashes. A non-dairy milk like almond milk is a great substitute for cow’s milk.
For such a little fruit, kiwi packs a powerful punch of vitamin C, with nearly 120 percent of your daily needs. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, which helps keep the skin taught and smooth.
Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries contain some of the highest amounts of antioxidants of any food. Those antioxidants protect against damage to the skin cells caused by free radicals.
In addition to these foods, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is a necessity. Water keeps the skin hydrated and looking plump and less wrinkled, but it also helps distribute nutrients and flush toxins out of the body that can cause skin problems.
The bottom line: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and water is good for your waistline, but it’s also good for your skin. When you start eating a healthy diet to lose weight, you will no doubt notice the other benefits a healthy lifestyle has on your overall health and well-being.