The importance of healthy eating is something we all learn from the time we’re children. After all, the saying, “you are what you eat” didn’t become popular for nothing! While we all know that eating good, healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding too much fat or sugar can help us stay at a healthy weight and give us the vitamins and nutrients we need. But how does what we put into our bodies affect our largest organ-our skin?

Like any other part of our bodies, our skin needs proper nutrition to function at its best. Healthy skin gives us the radiant, more youthful appearance we all desire, in the most natural way possible. Here’s how your diet could be affecting your skin, and what you can do to help restore it to a healthier, younger appearance.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

When we think of wrinkles and lines caused by skin damage, we tend to think of harmful UV rays from the sun and tanning beds. While this is undoubtedly true and you should never skip sunscreen, you might be surprised to know that what you put into your body can also contribute to fine lines and wrinkles as your skin ages.

Free radicals in our environment can directly impact the quality and tone of our skin. Eating antioxidant-rich foods can help fight these free radicals, helping your skin to stay protected and look healthier and younger. Studies have shown that there is a clear connection between the number of antioxidants in a person’s diet and the quality and texture of their skin. People with low antioxidant levels in the skin tend to have a rougher skin texture, while those with high levels of antioxidants have a smoother texture to their skin. By doubling down on your antioxidant intake, you’re not only helping your body to ward off infection and strengthen your immune system, but you’re also doing your skin a favor!

Acne Breakouts

When you were a teenager or young adult struggling with mild, moderate, or severe acne, you may have had some well-meaning older relative tell you to stop eating chocolate and greasy foods to help clear up your skin. While this old wives’ tale has largely been debunked as a myth, it is true that what you are eating may be causing your acne to worsen.

According to OKC skincare experts ClareBella, a diet that is heavy on carbohydrates can promote chronic, mild inflammation throughout your body, which has been linked to a number of health issues, including acne. Cutting back on carbs may help naturally reduce the number of acne breakouts you’re experiencing, giving you a clear complexion and restoring your self-confidence.

Steps to Take

Ready for some good news? Your skin can start improving today! All you need to do is make a few simple changes to your diet to get on the right track. Try these skin-enhancing foods:

  • “Good carbs”- Replace refined white sugar and flours with beans, whole grains, and fresh produce. (Pro Tip: The more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the higher in antioxidants it is!)
  • Nuts and seeds– Tree nuts such as almonds and walnuts, as well as flax and chia seeds, give your diet a boost of healthy omega-3 fats, helping to boost your skin’s texture and restoring it to a naturally radiant glow!
  • Fish– As well as being an excellent source of protein, which your body uses to produce skin-plumping and firming collagen and elastin, fish are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote skin health by reducing inflammation.

Keep up with these simple, tasty tweaks to your diet, stay hydrated, and keep your sugar and alcohol intake to a minimum, and you’ll be on the road to more youthful, radiant skin, naturally!