Beauty starts from the inside out, and that means being more than just being a kind, generous person. What you eat effects every system in your body, and that includes your largest and most visible organ – your skin.
So, if you’re trying to steer clear of blemishes, cling to a little moisture, or shoot for brilliant glowing skin, start by making small changes to your daily diet. These five simple tips will help you feed your skin from top to bottom and inside out.
1. Hydrate Healthy – You hear it all the time: drink more water. Don’t drink soda. Stay away from alcohol. It’s all true, and science has clearly demonstrated the link between hydration and healthy skin – and dehydration and dry, wrinkly, frail skin.
Think about it this way, according to Dr. Robert Wildman’s book The Nutritionist, our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water. Water plays numerous important roles in our body. One role in particular includes the makeup of all of our trillions of cells, including our skin cells. We lose about 8-12 cups of water a day through normal processes. If you aren’t replenishing at least those 8-12 cups, which organs do you think are first on your body’s priority list for hydration? Probably something like…hmmm…your heart or your brain and not the dark bags under your eyes or those dry patches on your elbows.
So, get to drinking! Doctors recommend at least 8 glasses of water per day to support optimum health. Do yourself a favor and put a full glass of water by your bed before you go to sleep, and then wake up and drink it down. Your skin will thank you, and you might feel the energizing effects of early hydration!
2. Get (More Healthy) Fat – The fat we’re talking about is the good stuff called Essential Fatty Acids or Omegas. These fats support the health of the cell membrane, which affects the cell’s ability to hold water (moisture).  Omega fatty acids are also believed to counter inflammation, which can lead to wrinkles. Nourish your skin with Omega-rich foods like flax seed, salmon and walnuts, or a supplement.
3. Go Green – If we were asked to rewrite the food pyramid for 2015, what would be at the base of our pyramid? You guessed it, dark yummy leafy green vegetables. According to Nutritionist Joy Bauer, leafy green veggies are not only stealth hydrators, loaded with water to help contribute to your daily water intake, they are also loaded with nutrients. These nutrients include the antioxidant Vitamin C, which helps the body make collagen, and beta carotene, which converts to Vitamin A and may help protect the skin against sun damage. You’ll also find Vitamin E along with Calcium and a host of other minerals. And, that’s only the beginning! Greens are also loaded with fiber, that can support healthy digestion and detoxification. So much goodness comes from greens!
4. Complexify your Carbs – Hopefully you left the white bread with the grilled cheese and PB&J back in grade school because you’re a grown up now – and grown ups eat complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates like white bread and sugar have been proven by science to cause inflammation everywhere, your skin included. Complex carbohydrates like whole-grain cereals and breads, brown rice, and other hearty grains tend to be higher in fiber and therefore help to cleanse the toxins from your body so you won’t see them on your skin.
5. Try Tea – Add a cup or more of tea to your daily routine to enjoy numerous beauty benefits from this antioxidant-rich beverage. Black, red and green tea all contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that are believed to help counter inflammation and aging. In fact, a study published in 2001 suggests that drinking Oolong tea three times per day improved symptoms of dermatitis in 63% of the participants. Researchers believe this is thanks to the healthy properties of the tea polyphenols. Tea may even help topically, some women swear by using cool used tea bags for puffy eyes – give it a try and let us know it works!
 Wildman, Robert,Phd. The Nutritionist: Food, Nutrition and Optimum Health. Feb. 11, 2009.