Skinny Chef: Superfoods for clear skin

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Not everyone is born with perfect complexion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a glowing rosy tone that just says “healthy.”


What we eat and drink has a huge impact on skin health.


When it comes to nutrients and hydration, your skin is the last on the list to gets its share of the booty. So if you have dry skin or oily skin, a dull complexion, or even acne — it could be a sign that you’re low on many nutrients (including water) that first go to your internal organs.



Whole Veggies and Fruit


Superfood vegetables and fruits should always be your first stop when it comes to increasing your nutrition and the health of your body. Shop for foods that contain super skin nutrients, like Vitamin A, C and E. For a golden glow (and to keep deep wrinkles at bay) Vitamin A is the ticket. You’ll get plenty of it in both orange and green superfoods like carrots, spinach, broccoli and kale.



That’s Juicy!


superfood-broccoli11-199x300.jpgGreen superfoods like broccoli contain super skin nutrients like Vitamin A.


Try juicing green superfoods like kale, broccoli and spinach along with hydrating, anti-oxidant rich fruits like blueberries, raspberries, cherries and blackberries to increase your antioxidant levels for oxidative damage control and daily wear and tear from sun and wind in one fell swoop.


Or make a fiber-rich smoothie that can work as a fast meal — to boost Vitamin C go for kiwi, red bell pepper and kale. For Vitamin E, sunflower seeds, avocado, and spinach are all good sources and easy to incorporate into your morning smoothies. Supplements can be dangerous and many times pass through the body unabsorbed. Juicing and smoothies are the fastest, freshest and tastiest way to give your skin what it needs and build your vitamin storehouse for your liver and other organs.



Be cultured


Cultured foods are a must for skin health. Try olives, kim chee, pickled veggies like cabbage, carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers.


Cultured dairy is also a good option if you can tolerate dairy. Low lactose dairy options include plain Greek yogurt and plain, unsweetened kefir, which is 99% lactose free. Use these as a high protein base for tempting smoothies where you can pack in other skin care foods like raspberries, cherries, avocado and kiwi.


Cultured foods are so important since they contain probiotics, the “good” bacteria that get killed off when you take antibiotics. When you are low on them, bad bacteria can take over and increase toxins in your body which can mean trouble for your skin. If you don’t want to include dairy or other probiotic foods in your diet (like olives), you can always try a supplement — but a healthy food source is always the best option, since some of the cultures in supplements might die during storage.

turmericbag2-268x300.jpgThink of turmeric as pure gold when it comes to skin health.



No. 1 Super Skin Spice


Think of turmeric as pure gold when it comes to skin health. It’s an orange root, related to ginger, that is dried and ground to make a golden powder that gives curry its characteristic yellow color.


It has a bitter, astringent flavor and is being studied currently for its ability to combat a wide host of illnesses. Turmeric can be hard to eat on its own but here’s a clever spice mix that just hits the spot: Mix 1 teaspoon mild chili powder with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.



Foods to limit


Take a break from booze. I’m a wine lover, and this is a tough one, but alcohol actually interrupts the processing of nutrients that your body needs since it is treated like a poison by the liver. It also can deplete the liver of a very important, vital nutrient, folate, that keeps cancer at bay and has many other functions in the body. There is also a compound in wine that may block proper hydration, so give your skin some TLC and save your cocktails for the weekend.


Try to limit food allergens as well. Food allergies can cause inflammation throughout the body that can manifest itself as skin problems. Try going gluten free for a week — some health experts say gluten is the greatest enemy of skin health since new studies find that it may cause rashes and other forms of inflammation, that you might think are just a common pimple.


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