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10 Great and Worst Foods For Your Face

The GREAT

Watermelon
Due to its high lycopene content and concentration of water, watermelon promotes healthy, glowing skin. Lycopene has been shown to prevent skin cancer by upping the body’s ability to block UV ray exposure.

Some other rich sources include tomatoes (better if cooked!). While there’s that extra boost of sun protection, don’t forget your sunscreen!

Cucumbers
Here’s why cucumber slices over the eyes is a nifty trick. Loaded with silica, known to boost collagen production, reduce puffiness and increase skin elasticity, cucumbers are great for your face.

But of course, applying them topically is just one solution; eating them with a Greek yogurt dip, packed with probiotic powers, will give you double whammy goodness. Probiotics fight inflammation, improve your gut and boost immunity overall, helping to ward off skin damage and redness.

Green Tea
Due to this tea’s rich antioxidant count and anti-carcinogenic properties, a few sips will fight off damaging free radicals that can contribute to aging and up your risk of cancer.

Throw some fresh squeezed lemon peels in for extra benefit: the peels of lemon and orange contain limonene, an element that provides UV protection.

Leafy Greens
Loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and Swiss chard fight damaging free radicals that can permeate the skin and up the changes of sun damage and wrinkles.

They also have tons of vitamins A and C, which keep skin taut and blemish free.

Salmon
Oily fish keeps skin young and firm due to the Omega 3 fatty acids, known to reduce inflammation, boost good cholesterol, while lowering bad, and protect the heart.

Other great sources of Omegas include sardines, mackerel, trout, chia seeds and walnuts, keeping skin moist and smooth.

Squash
Think orange and yellows: carrots, yellow bell peppers, pumpkin and cantaloupe. Fruits and veggies with these two hues are loaded with beta-carotene and vitamin A, two nutrients that slow the aging and wrinkle process, leaving skin taut and fresh.

Coffee
Don’t put down your morning brew just yet. Drinking coffee—in moderation—can lower your risk of skin cancer by 11%. Just be sure to keep it within 28 cups a week, as excess caffeine can have other side effects.

Plus, the caffeine promotes circulation, generating oxygen flow to the face to keep skin firm and glowing.

Berries
Bursting with antioxidants, these babies’ powers are just as sweet as their taste. Also, their rich vitamin count promotes collagen production and delays the aging process.

Toss a handful with warm oats. Oats are complex carbs, meaning that the hormones, androgens, count is lower than in simple, refined carbohydrates. Excess androgens can result in acne, so keeping the number down is very important.

Lentils
High in zinc, beans and legumes fight acne and oily skin. If you are prone to acne, adding a zinc supplement to your regimen may help too.

Other great sources are tofu and nuts. Soy has actually been shown to offer great skin benefits, so combining tofu and lentils for a healthy lunch will give you double points! 6 oz provides 40mg of isoflavones, compounds that enhance collagen production and skin elasticity.

Lean Meats
Lean cuts of free-range, organic or grass-fed chicken breast, beef and turkey are packed with protein and vitamin B12, essentials for skin health. Protein is required for proper skin cell production and it strengthens the skin, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles that come with aging. B12 helps reduce dark spots.

Meatless? Try ancient grains, like quinoa and amaranth, or beans and legumes. Plant protein can be just as beneficial and is actually even easier to digest than acidic protein found in meat and dairy.

The Bad

Salt
It’s no surprise that sodium can suck moisture from the skin and leave your face looking puffy. It’s so important to keep your skin hydrated to minimize acne and boost circulation, and monitoring your sodium intake, as well as chasing a salty meal with a few swigs of water, will help shield your skin.

Salt is hidden everywhere! Try home cooking more often, as restaurants love to sneak sugar and salt onto the plate, and limit cured meats, olives, salty cheeses and crackers, canned soups and condiments.

Sugar
Sugar promotes acne and speeds the aging process, resulting in wrinkles, blemishes and fine lines to show. Sweets, found predominately in baked goods, refined carbohydrates, dried fruit and processed foods, can disrupt the hormonal balance and cause skin to breakout.
Also, bacteria and yeast feed off of sugar, thus promoting inflammation in the gut and on the skin. Nix the sugar additives, stick to whole foods with natural sugar, and take a probiotic to regulate the gut.

Milk
Regular milk and skim can disrupt our hormones, resulting in inflamed skin and acne. Dairy in general, like cheese, may be problematic for the skin, as well. Due to excess oil production, pimples are more likely to surface.

Swap the milk for soy or almond milk. Soy and nuts provide major skin benefits, so you won’t just be preventing damage, but also offering skin support.

Granola
Granolas are loaded with sugar, fats and carbohydrates, and even if they are complex carbs and contain seeds, nuts, flax and all that good stuff, the proportions are way off.

High-glycemic foods damage collagen production. Switch to a low-carb, low sugar cereal, such as Cheerios or Kashi Heart-To-Heart, or better yet, grab low sugar oatmeal or Greek yogurt for breakfast instead.

Fruit Juice
Sweet drinks may appear healthy, known for rich Vitamin C and A contents, but they are actually lacking in fiber, which is needed for skin to reap the benefits.

Get rid of your morning OJ and blend a low-sugar smoothie. Choose one-to-three fresh fruits for natural sugar, in modest portions, and mix with almond milk or Greek yogurt. Keeping the skin on fruits, such as kiwi and apples, will provide extra fiber.

Snack Food
Is it crunchy? And in a bag? From a grocery store? That means it’s processed and contains trans fats. Trans fats are the worst for your skin! They cause major breakfasts and up oil production. Ditch chips and crackers for crudité to mix with your salsa.

White Bread
Refined flours are stripped of fiber, leaving you hungry shortly after consumption, and high on the glycemic index, causing flare-ups on the skin.

Make your grains count. Think whole grain, whole wheat and ancient grains and seeds. The protein and fiber of complex carbs slows the aging process, saving you a few wrinkles and fine lines.

Gluten
Known as an inflammatory, gluten can seriously affect people who experience intolerances or allergens, the latter known as celiac disease. This can increase puffiness, redness, acne and dehydration.

Stick to gluten-free grains, such as quinoa, amaranth, brown rice and buckwheat, and be wary of condiments and restaurants. Soy sauce has gluten!

Packaged Meats
Often high in sodium, contributing to dehydration of the skin, as well as chemical additives, fats and sugars, hot dogs, sausages, patties and other mystery items can interfere with our hormones and increase inflammation.

Buy fresh, lean cuts that are grass-fed, as the omega 3’s will promote healthy skin and you’ll be safe from any dangerous antibiotics used in the farming process.

Non-Organic
I know, organic is expensive. But it’s totally worth it. It’s so important to protect the body from GMOS and other chemicals, as we don’t know the real damage they can cause. What we do know is that they can disrupt our immune system, resulting in inflammation, and provide fewer nutrients than organic.

Check out the dirty dozen and clean fifteen list to know where to save and spend regarding produce. As for meats, try for organic or “free-range,” no antibiotics or hormones specified brands, and grass-fed.

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