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Inside or Out: 5 Foods for Healthy Skin

5 min read  |  November 14, 2017  | 

Is your smoothie a good exfoliant?

A good regimen for healthy, vibrant skin doesn’t have to include an expensive visit to the cosmetics counter. A trip to the grocery store and a tweak to your eating habits may be enough to help maintain a youthful glow.

Just like the other organs in our body, our skin needs nutritious foods. When you eat healthy foods, you feel better, and you look better. According to Dr. Shasa Hu, a dermatologist with the University of Miami Health System, some of the most colorful and tasty veggies and fruits are packed with vitamins and natural antioxidants that not only help keep skin looking beautiful but may also help guard against diseases like skin cancer.

“A great example is vitamin D,” Dr. Hu says. “It helps calcium protect against bone loss with aging, which occurs commonly in the face, particularly in the gingival bones. This loss of bone leads to wrinkling of the skin around the mouth as well as inward turning of the lips.”

Researchers have also linked vitamin D to the regulation of p53, a tumor suppressor protein, important in preventing skin cancer, Dr. Hu adds.

Sometimes, it’s ok to wear what you eat!

Many foods can help you take care of your skin on the outside and from the inside. Try these:

Pumpkin

It’s fall, ya’ll!  That means there is plenty of pumpkin around (maybe too much?). It has beta-carotene, vitamin A, and zinc – all three of which are great for skin.

For your insides
Try pumpkin within for healthier skin

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies
(Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

Ingredients

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup fat-free milk
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar
A sprinkle of nutmeg

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the nutmeg in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

For your outsides
Make a DIY Scented Scrub

Save some of that canned pumpkin and add some brown sugar and coconut oil to make a scrub. Make sure to use it within a day.


Oatmeal

This one is fairly well known – if you experienced chicken pox growing up, you may have already witnessed oatmeal’s skin soothing power. When eaten, oats help boost your immune system and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Go for a smoothie or smooth it on your face!

For your insides
The power of oats

Tropical Fruit Yogurt Smoothie
(Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

Ingredients

6 ounces passion fruit, guava or other fruit-flavored fat-free yogurt
1 medium chopped mango
1 small banana
1/3 cup uncooked, rolled oats
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
½ cup pineapple or orange juice
½ cup fat-free milk

Directions

  1. Put yogurt, mango, banana, oats, and ginger in a blender. Add juice and milk.
  2. Whirl in the blender for about 30 seconds, or until mixture is smooth.
  3. If the smoothie is too thick, add juice or milk to desired consistency.

For your outsides
Soothe your skin with an oatmeal soak

Take some of the leftover oats and cook them on the stove with water. After it cools, apply it to acne and let it sit. Not only will the oats sooth your skin, it will also soak up oil.


Plain Greek Yogurt

This dairy product has lots of protein which can help smooth wrinkles.  Greek yogurt is also great for acne when you put it on your face.

For your insides
Take that yogurt for a spin

Blue Banana Smoothie Recipe
(Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

Ingredients

8 ounces milk (use your favorite such as fat-free, low-fat, reduced-fat, almond, soy)
½ cup frozen banana slices
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions

In a blender, puree everything until smooth. Serve immediately.

For your outsides
Try a yogurt facial

You can apply yogurt straight on your face; the lactic acid in it helps keep skin elastic.


Lemon Juice

Vitamin C is great for the skin and lemon juice is packed full of it.  It helps to boost collagen production, which aids in healing damaged skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles; it also adds a natural SPF against UV damage.  Used on your face, it acts as a toner.

For your insides
When life hands you lemons, drink up for a youthful glow

Kale Smoothie
(Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

Ingredients

¼ cup lemon juice
5 leaves Kale
1 Apple
½ Banana
1 Avocado 8 oz.
Ice 8 oz.
Water
2 packets Truvia©

Directions

Place lemon juice and kale in blender. Let sit for 5 minutes. Puree. Add remaining ingredients and blend.

For your outsides
Mix sour with sweet to tone your skin

Combine it with honey and directly apply it to your face. It will help with dark spots and other skin discolorations.


Honey

There are so many things that honey is good for, it’s difficult to name them all.  Honey is packed with antioxidants that may have anti-aging properties and guard against cancer.  When you put honey on your face (as icky and sticky as that may sound), it has even more skin benefits.

For your insides
Savor the tastes, see the benefits

Orange Banana Crush
(Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control)

Ingredients

1 orange, peeled, cut into chunks
1 medium banana, peeled, cut into chunks
1 can (6 ounces) unsweetened pineapple juice
1 cup crushed ice
1 tablespoon honey

Directions

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Makes about 3 servings.

For your outsides
Sweeten your skincare routine

Wash your face with it … seriously. It will remove dirt from your skin without drying it out.  It can also be used as a mask either by itself or combined with any of the other yummy items on this list.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with healthy oils and lots of water, will make you feel good inside and out. But make sure to be patient with your regimen. You won’t see changes overnight by introducing these foods to your diet, but those pricey beauty creams can’t promise that either.


Written by a staff writer at UHealth.

Tags: dermatology, Dr. Shasa Hu, food, Nutrition, skin health

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