Every day, we strip our skin with cleansers, smear it with pore-clogging makeup, and steep it in smoggy air. While a weekly face mask is great improving healthy skin, it can’t do all the work on its own. What can we do to help our skin get its glow on?
We checked in with Dr. Deepa Verma of Synergistiq Integrative Health in Clearwater to find out what she recommends for helping our faces fight back.
“We often abuse our skin by either neglecting it or sabotaging it with excess sun, chemicals, and toxins, such as those found in products we may think are benign—everything from lotions and perfumes to soaps and make-up,” Dr. Verma tells us. “Poor dietary habits, as well as other factors like smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and recreational drug use can harm the largest organ of the body. We may not be able to control every aspect of our environment, but we sure have the power to control what we put into our mouth.”
Truer words, Dr. Verma. So what are the best foods for our diets?
“Eat the rainbow of colors…natural colors. Choose fruits and vegetables that span the color spectrum, from reds and oranges to dark greens. The deeper and richer the color, the more your skin will love you.” Dr. Verma suggests.
Juicy red strawberries, for instance, are amazing skin savers. Crammed with Vitamin C (more per serving than oranges) a diet that incorporates plenty of strawberries can help you fight free radicals and prevent cellular breakdown—which leads to wrinkles and fine lines. “Vitamin C is a powerful tool for keeping the collagen in your skin healthy,” Dr. Verma tells us, “which not only makes for healthy skin, but also provides strength to hair and nails.”
Related: What’s the Deal with Coconut Oil?
For a splash of orange, we recommend sweet potatoes—not only are they delicious just baked on their own (or served with a dollop of Greek yogurt), these guys are packed with betacarotene, an antixodiant that helps your skin fight off damage caused by pollution.
All of the dark, leafy greens are good for you, but kale has been getting all the play lately. For greens with more flavorful punch and just as many nutrients, try mustard greens. Due to their thick texture, these guys are best served cooked, not raw (we like them sautéed with a few splashes of apple cider vinegar and a couple cloves of garlic). They’re packed full of lutein, which helps protect your skin from sun damage. Even better, this recipe offers double skin benefits. “Garlic is high in cysteine, an amino acid that can reinvigorate skin and hair follicles,” Dr. Verma says. “You can always pop an Altoid for the breath—it’s a small price to pay for beauty!”
What are Dr. Verma’s other skin-saving favorites?
“Nuts are plentiful in trace minerals such as copper, selenium, and zinc, all of which are also essential for healthy skin that glows,” she tells us. “and fish oil is highly anti-inflammatory and keeps the skin supple and soft.”
There you have it. For healthy skin, just taste the rainbow—and sprinkle some toasted almonds on top.
Still hungry? Read on…