Regular facials are a great way to ensure your skin is healthy and glowing, but what you put into your body is equally important. For example, my esthetician can always tell when I’m dehydrated. She says, “You haven’t been drinking enough water, have you?” Admittedly she’s usually right.
But water isn’t the only thing your skin needs to be fed regularly. Great skin also comes from consuming plenty of omega-3s, monounsaturated fats, vitamin E-rich foods, and antioxidants.
Luckily, these nutrients are all easy to find in your local supermarket. So consider this your shopping list for better skin, and pick up these items on your next grocery run:
1. Multivitamins and Antioxidants
These natural foods are rich in antioxidants, which are needed to protect the skin from damaging elements, such as ultra-violet light, pollution and other toxins. Vitamin C in particular is needed for the production of collagen – a protein that “holds skin together” and is responsible for our skin’s elasticity and youth. Look for:
- Vitamin A: Found in dairy milk and dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, swiss chard).
- Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits (oranges, limes, grapefruit), berries, broccoli, red, green and yellow peppers, cantaloupe, and mangoes.
- Vitamin E: Found in unsalted nuts, seeds, whole grains and natural peanut butter (be sure to get no sugar added!).
- Beta-carotene, Lycopene, and Lutein: Found in red, orange, and yellow vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in many aspects of our health from reducing inflammation to keeping our blood from excessive clotting. Omega-3s are also an important nutrient for maintaining healthy skin. Found in: Wild salmon, mackerel (not king), herring, sardines, walnuts, flaxseeds and soybeans.
This micromineral is also an antioxidant that helps prevent oxidative stress and can help protect cells from free-radical damage. Found in: Brazil nuts (they’re the most concentrated source). Other sources include crab, eggs, whole wheat bread, lean poultry and beef, mushrooms and shrimp.
4. Zinc and Iron
Nails are a good indicator of your overall health, and an iron deficiency will often result in spoon-shaped nails. Be sure you’re getting plenty of zinc and iron to keep your skin and nails healthy. Found in: Colorful fruits and vegetables (see #1), whole grains and lean red meats.
Money-saving tip: Join the Live Better Wellness Club at your local A&P, Food Emporium, and several more participating supermarkets and you’ll receive 20 percent off a future produce purchase for every $50 you spend on fruits and veggies!
Jacqueline Gomes is a Registered Dietitian and Wellness Advisor for The Food Emporium, which is part of the A&P family of stores. You can reach Jacqueline by visiting www.thefoodemporium.com/live-better-wellness.asp