Our skin is the largest organ of the body and as such is usually what people notice first when they see us. Although there are many factors that contribute to clear skin, our dietary choices can aid or cause havoc.
Food sensitivities can cause inflammation that show up on the skin. For example, it’s been studied that processed refined carbohydrates (sugar, chocolate, sweets, white flour and white pasta) are the foods to avoid or at least consume minimally. This is also a general guideline for healthy living as well.
Foods that help our skin clear are also foods that help our bodies function optimally. Coincidence?
Here are 10 of the Top Foods to enjoy for clear skin!
Fruits are full of antioxidants and vitamins that serve a myriad of purposes in our health and well-being.
Make sure to eat plenty of different colored fruits and vegetables for a good mix of antioxidants and nutrients that will help protect your skin from damage, help skin repair itself and reduce inflammation from acne.
Some super-fruits such as goji, acai, blueberries and raspberries contain high amounts of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C – a natural antioxidant, is needed for healthy blood vessels, collagen and joint health, and for reducing inflamed acne. It may help reduce scar severity after acne by helping to make new collagen in your skin.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons are great sources of vitamin C as well.
Blueberries also contain antioxidant protectants called flavonoids, which help to reduce sugar damage (glycation) to skin cells.
Raspberries contain powerful skin protectants called rutinosides, which reduce sun damage and inflammation to the skin.
Watermelon is great for its hydrating properties – an important component of clear skin.
2. Whole Grains
If you tolerate grains, oats make a great option for clear skin. They’re often recommended for dry skin but they can also help reduce acne as well. Oats contain compounds that reduce inflammation to the skin and they’re low on the glycemic index. If you don’t digest oats well or don’t like them, then brown rice, wild rice, and quinoa all make great second options.
Also, there are many DIY oat masks that can be made at home.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are one of the best sources of plant-based omega 3 fats that you can consume in a small serving. This is beneficial because omega 3 fats help fight the inflammation that often leads to acne.
It’s common to hear fish oil recommended for clear skin due to the omega 3 fats the oil contains, however, instead of consuming fish oil that’s from fish likely to contain mercury or toxins, why not just consume some raw chia seeds instead?
They’re versatile, affordable, rich in protein and B vitamins, and contain fiber to stabilize your blood sugar. An all around win!
Almonds contain Vitamin E, B vitamins, healthy fats, and protein. They can help keep your skin clear, moist, and provide the building blocks for collagen to keep your skin free from wrinkles. Be sure to choose raw, unsalted almonds since roasted varieties are often high in oils that may trigger excess sebum production in the skin that leads to acne.
Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A which plays an important role in skin cell formation.
Some acne creams and medicines are actually developed from vitamin A. It is safer however to get Vitamin A from food rather than supplements.
6. Leafy Greens
Greens will never steer you wrong. They are potent sources of life force energy and are packed with the power of sunlight.
To name a few, kale is a great source of niacin which is essential for good, clear skin.
Broccoli is a fantastic source of Vitamin C, chlorophyll and fiber. Chlorophyll is the best anti-inflammatory agent you can consume and detoxifies cells from the inside out. Broccoli is also low on the glycemic index so it keeps you full, which means you won’t be hungry as quickly as you would from eating refined grains or sugary foods.
Spirulina – a super sea algae – is a rich source of Vitamin A, B vitamins, and one of the highest sources of chlorophyll on the planet. Although mostly found in powder form, spirulina is even the highest source of protein known to man, with just 4 grams in a tiny teaspoon! It’s fantastic for lowering your blood sugar and reducing inflammation. Use it in a smoothie to mask the taste and enjoy its beautifying, energizing benefits.
Monounsaturated fats – found in avocados and nuts and seeds – defend against free radicals and are involved in collagen production and promoting skin elasticity.
Technically considered fruits, avocados are rich in the potassium, vitamins and fats we all need. They also contain Vitamin E, which helps skin heal and regenerate.
8. Sweet Potato
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A. Depending on what acne nutrients you’re short of, sweet potatoes may even trump white ones since their vitamin A content exceeds the competition.
Sweet potatoes also lower inflammation levels and improve digestion.
Beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, is found in orange-coloured foods, such as carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, mangoes and butternut squash so keep these in mind throughout your days.
9. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains cocoa and is a healthy pleasure you can enjoy. It’s also high in antioxidants, which aid the heart and skin, reducing acne inflammation. Be aware to buy dairy free to avoid food sensitivies.
One of the most important things to remember when eating for clear skin is the health of your digestive tract. Yes, fiber is important for keeping you regular, which will benefit the skin, but your internal bacteria is also important. Fermented and cultured foods like coconut kefir, coconut yogurt, raw apple cider vinegar, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other plant-based, probiotic rich foods will help keep your skin clear by enhancing your good gut bacteria. Your gut is responsible for getting rid of toxins and when those toxins accumulate, they often come out through the skin in the form of acne. Adding just a few probiotic rich foods to your day can make all the difference to your skin and digestion.
Lastly and certainly not least, be sure to hydrate even more than you think you need to. Water helps flush the toxins from our body as it feeds our cell with nourishment.
If you’d like an extra boost of purification, look into our Detox option here. Then let us know how these foods have helped you!