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Most people suffer from at least some symptoms of dry, rough, easily sun-damaged or otherwise imperfect skin. If that sounds like you, we’ve got good news: Making healthy swaps in your diet doesn’t only help you lose weight, fight cancer and live longer … it also improves your skin. The following suggestions, followed regularly, will help you eat your way to a prettier complexion.

Get Your Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids boast a wealth of benefits for your entire body. When it comes to skin, they are hardly less impressive, smoothing wrinkles and fading spots caused by sun and aging. Although you can buy supplements, it is healthier to get your Omega-3s through whole foods such as salmon, walnuts or flaxseed oil. Unprocessed flaxseeds are also an awesome choice, and work well baked into goodies or sprinkled on oatmeal.

Eat the Rainbow

Specifically, the red and orange part of the rainbow. When your skin starts to look pale and washed out during colder summer months, you can improve your complexion by eating mangoes, papayas, tomatoes and apricots. They contain high levels of carotenoids, the pigments that give them their rosy color. When eaten, those carotenoids are stored in the layers beneath your skin and shine through, making you glow.

Drink Your Tea

You already know that tea is a healthier alternative to coffee, but you may not know that drinking green tea can help improve your skin. High in catechins, a type of antioxidant, green tea provides anti- inflammatory benefits, which can help reduce sun damage and fight cancer. Shoot for at least two cups a day, and if you really don’t like green tea, opt for white.

Eat Foods High in Vitamin E

Although you shouldn’t give up on your sun block any time soon, vitamin E does seem to have sun- blocking effects. It can lessen the damage caused by overexposure to the sun and, when applied to the face as a topical, can soothe burns. Over the long haul, however, your best bet is to eat whole foods that contain vitamin E to up your skin’s natural defenses against the sun’s aging effects. Good choices include almonds, peanuts or peanut butter, hazelnuts, kale, chard, spinach, turnip greens and many types of raw seeds.

Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic

You know you love it, and luckily, dark chocolate is super good for you. Chocolate is high in bioactive compounds known as flavanols, which also protect against sun damage as well as smoothing your skin and improving blood flow to the area. Beware of choosing inadequate substitutes like white or milk chocolate, however. These contain few to none of the benefits of dark chocolate, and are high in sugar, which is not a friend to your skin. Choose your chocolate as dark as you can stand it, and aim for a few ounces a day.

Eat Your Sweets

Well, okay, that’s misleading. You shouldn’t actually eat sweets that often, but you can eat sweet potatoes to your heart’s content. This tuber is loaded with vitamin C, which stimulates the production of collagen in your body and helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles as you age. Eat the skin for an extra boost of fiber.

Consume Your Carrots

Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is a form of provitamin A. Once in the body, it is converted to vitamin A, which has all sorts of skin-protecting qualities. For one thing, it prevents the overproduction of skin cells in the top layer of your skin, in turn reducing the chances that they will combine with sebum (oil produced by skin cells) and clog pores, causing breakouts. For another, it prevents eczema, an itchy, flakey condition that can appear on the hands and body as well as the face. Although a good diet is no guarantee of perfect skin, you don’t have much to lose by trying. Chances are good your skin will improve, but even if it doesn’t, you’ll still enjoy the benefits of good health and clean eating.

For optimal results, contact us for a complimentary consultation with our licensed medical aesthetician and Dr. Wise so we can get started improving your skin today.

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