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Foods to Help Your Skin Look Its Best

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

Acupuncture views nutrition in a complex light, through the application of Oriental medicine wisdom to dietary habits. In short, certain foods are considered too yang, or hot to eat in excess during the warmer months, while others are prized for their yin ability to cool the body. Overall, the goal is balance between the internal yin and yang of the body.

A healthy, nutritional diet, good sleep and moderate exercise can keep your skin and physical form at its best.

For healthy skin, be sure to integrate these foods into your diet:

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes: 

Healthy skin is directly dependent on the amount of vitamin A in our diet. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful elements in our skin, helping to prevent wrinkles, resist infection and maintain the skin's elasticity. Some of the best sources of Vitamin A are vegetables that are deep orange in color.

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Plums:

In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest "total antioxidant capacity" of any food.  The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect cells from damage and disintegration, thus guarding against premature aging.

Salmon, Walnuts, Olive Oil, and Flax Seed:

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall elasticity, but because the body cannot produce its own EFAs, they must be obtained through the diet. Fish, walnuts, and flax seed oil are among the best sources for omega 3 fatty acids. Eating good-quality olive oil helps keep skin lubricated and keeps it looking and feeling healthier overall. Which olive oils are the best for your skin? Those labeled "cold pressed," "expeller processed," or "extra virgin" are the least processed forms. As a result, they contain the highest levels of antioxidant substances.

Whole Wheat Bread, Brown Rice, Turkey, Tuna and Brazil Nuts:

Selenium is an antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity and healthy skin. It may also play an important role in preventing skin cancer, as some recent studies are showing that skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.

Green Tea:

Green tea's ability to slow down the development of some signs of aging is attributed to its high levels of polyphenols, which have been well-documented for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea may help prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer according to a study published recently in the Archives of Dermatology, which shows that whether taken orally or applied to the skin, green tea can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Water :

Hydration plays a key role in keeping skin cells healthy. It is essential to maintaining your skin's elasticity and suppleness. Keeping cells hydrated helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out, which helps keep skin clean and clear.

Find an Acupuncturist near you to optimize your skin health!

Read More about Acupuncture for Healthy Skin!

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