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Foods to Help You Get the Glow!

Without a doubt, a radiant complexion is one of the most sought-after attributes. A dewy, smooth face conveys youth, vitality and purity and has inspired many a poet. In pursuit of the glow, Americans are spending more than any other country in the world . . . over $33 billion yearly! This staggering sum surpasses education expenditure. But is funneling so many dollars towards cosmetics, creams, lotions, serums and gels the answer?

One of the countries that spends the least on these potions is Sweden. Yet Scandinavians are famous for their natural beauty. On the other hand, acne is a growing problem in the States and is increasing worldwide. Could there be a correlation here to the global spread of the western fast food diet? For decades, the importance of nutrition in skin health has been downplayed. But more recently, there has been a resurging interest in its role. Let’s take a look at how important it really is.


Our skin is a complex organ that is so much more than a covering for our bodies. Its health is intricately connected to our circulation, digestive system, immune system and hormonal balance. Not only are all of these systems inter-related, but they are all affected by the food we eat:

  • Clogged arteries and weakened capillaries caused by a poor diet are less able to supply nutrients and hydration to skin cells to provide that healthy glow.
  • Poor digestion and unhealthy food will result in sluggishness and a sallow complexion. Worse, all those toxins from food additives and preservatives tax the liver and kidneys. When they are over-loaded an unfortunate result can be skin eruptions.
  • Fast food diets are devoid of the enzymes that help our body absorb nutrients and contribute to a build-up of bad bacteria in our gut. This in turn impairs our immune system and its ability to fight bacteria (such as the P. acnes bacteria that multiplies deep within our pores) and rid our body of toxins.
  • A poor diet also contributes to inflammation in the body. And inflammation is one of the exacerbating factors of acne. It also contributes to accelerated aging—and that translates to dry, wrinkly, age-spot-ravaged skin! 
  • Simple carbohydrates spike our blood sugar, and diets on sugar overload result in hormonal imbalances that also trigger acne (not to mention disease).

It’s all very complicated. Fortunately the solution is simple. Apart from daily exercise and adopting a positive, stress-free mindset, eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, and by extension, your complexion.

So what are the best foods to attain that peaches and cream complexion?

1.   Foods with Omega 3’s

These are the essential fatty acids that dermatologists put at the top of their list of complexion-friendly nutrients. Why? Because they not only reduce inflammation, but also provide moisture to the skin, keep it smooth and soft, and help even out your skin tone. Cost? Much less than a vial of expensive skin serum! You can get your Omega 3’s in fatty fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel and lake trout. Eggs that have been fortified with Omega 3’s are another source.

2.   Foods with a high percentage of Anti-Oxidants

Anti-oxidant-rich foods are essential in your quest for a youthful complexion. They help fight the free radical damage that contributes to skin aging. Some of the best anti-oxidants are Vitamins A, C and E. Interestingly, when Vitamin C becomes depleted, Vitamin E comes along and revives it—a nice synergistic effect. Vitamin E also helps to maintain the structural integrity of your cell membranes.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is found in broccoli, spinach and liver and is a powerful anti-oxidant. It aids in the absorption of coenzyme Q10, another important anti-oxidant that we make in small quantities in our body—more synergy there. One of the attributes of ALA is that it is soluble in both the fat and water portions of your cells. (It is important that our skin receive both water-soluble and fat-soluble nutrients.)

Anti-oxidants are plentiful in colorful fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables also contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes which help in the absorption of these nutrients. They also contain fiber and high water content to keep your digestive system in shape and clear out toxins.

3.   Foods high in Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a master nutrient that deserves a category of its own. It has a myriad of benefits, especially to the complexion. It can help in tissue repair, and aids in the manufacture of collagen, the main component of our skin’s connective tissue. It also aids in detoxification, reduces inflammation and promotes immune system health, all the better to fight acne and wound healing. Some of the best sources are yellow bell peppers, sweet red peppers, dark green leafy vegetables (especially great for smooth, clear skin) and citrus fruits.

4.   Foods that provide the building blocks of collagen

We’re talking amino acids, the components of protein which build and repair tissues throughout your body. You need to get these with every meal as they are not stored in the body. Any protein source will have amino acids, however most plant-based proteins are incomplete, soy being a notable exception. It is wise, then, to get most of these valuable nutrients from animal sources, such as meat and poultry. Dairy milk is an amino acid source but not recommended for those troubled with acne. Try soy or almond milk instead.

5.   Nuts and Seeds

We love nuts because they provide a convenient tasty snack that is great for our complexion. They also pack a lot of nutrition and fiber for their size.

Walnuts, for example, have the highest anti-oxidants of all nuts, and also fight inflammation.

Almonds are not only a great source of Vitamin E (one of our recommended anti-oxidants), but they also provide a natural sun block. In addition, they help keep blood sugar in check. (High blood sugar creates hormonal imbalances which contribute to acne.)

Brazil nuts contain Vitamin E, as well as the B vitamin complex which offers a multitude of benefits including softer skin and an increased ability to retain moisture. The nuts, which like almonds, are really seeds, also offer an impressive array of minerals. These include selenium (another anti-oxidant) and zinc, well-known for supporting the immune system. But it also regulates sebum production in our skin follicles. Brazil nuts also contain the amino acid, methionine, which helps fight aging.

Chia Seeds are true wonder foods, especially given their small size. Like walnuts, chia seeds are a great source of plant protein and omega 3’s. They also pack a huge nutritional punch that makes up for their lack of taste. A bonus, though, is you get the crunch, and unlike flax seeds, they do not have to be ground up first to get their goodness.

Peanuts are a terrific source for biotin, a B-complex vitamin known for its benefit to healthy skin, hair and nails. Biotin aids in the production of beneficial fats in the skin. Almonds also contain biotin, but a serving of these nuts provides 49% of DV (Daily Value), compared to peanuts at 86%.

How to put it all together?  How about a salad of dark leafy greens, tuna chunks, mandarin orange segments, sliced almonds and/or walnut pieces, julienned yellow and red peppers, or perhaps carrots and tomato wedges, and a sprinkling of chia seeds. A slice of whole grain bread is a nice accompaniment and will boost your B Vitamin intake.

Pair your salad with a nice cup of green tea. It combats DHT, an acne-producing hormone, and is rich in antioxidants to protect your skin and maintain its youthful glow. In fact, you might want to drink green tea with every meal for optimal results.

Why not treat yourself to variations of our super salad and a cup of green tea every day? Not hard, yummy and so-o-o good for attaining a stunning complexion!



Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information at this website is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.