The great skin diet
Searching for the secret to healthy, radiant skin? Look no further than your kitchen. When it comes to getting a gorgeous glow, the foods you eat are just as important as the creams or lotions you slather on your face, says Anthony Youn, MD, a plastic surgeon based in Troy, Michigan. And certain nutrients can help you save face more than others. “Antioxidants are crucial when it comes to maintaining a youthful glow,” he says. “They fight off free-radical damage that can cause skin to age prematurely.”
Other complexion savers include vitamin A, lycopene, and fiber. Luckily, they’re easy to incorporate into your diet. Read on to discover which foods will make you glow from the inside out.
Polyphenols found in green tea are some of the most powerful antioxidants out there, according to Dr. Youn. To up your polyphenol intake, try switching out your morning cup of coffee for green tea, which contains 24 to 45 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce (oz) cup. Or pour green tea over ice for a healthy alternative to soda or juice.
All honey offers some benefits for your skin, but manuka honey, produced by bees in New Zealand that pollinate the manuka bush, may be the best. “The antioxidants in manuka honey are exceptionally good at binding to free radicals and reducing them,” says Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. “And that’s important since free radicals that come from the sun destroy collagen and elastin, which keep skin smooth and supple.” Manuka honey can be found at most natural food markets. To reap the benefits, stir it into a cup of green tea, or drizzle it onto plain yogurt.
Cukes are 96 percent water — one of the highest of any vegetable — which means they’re great at keeping you hydrated. “I always take cucumber slices with me on planes so I can eat them while I’m up in the dry, high-altitude air,” says Josie Maran, founder of Josie Maran Cosmetics. “They help my skin retain moisture so it stays healthy and hydrated.” Cucumbers are easy to incorporate into meals: Simply add a few slices to salads, sandwiches, and wraps for a hydrating boost.