There’s always a new lotion, potion or serum on the market promising life-altering skincare results. However, the key to healthy-looking skin isn’t necessarily expensive products or treatments—it’s your diet, says nutritionist Liz Abel, founder of Free and Abel Nutrition in Wilmington. Here are the 10 foods Abel recommends for a glowing complexion.
Avocados are all the rage for good reason. They contain fatty acids that prevent premature aging and hydrate skin.
2. Green tea
The antioxidants found in green tea have been shown to enhance the skin’s texture, as well as provide more substantial protection from harmful UV rays.
A staple in many spice cabinets, turmeric can help brighten dark spots, scarring and even those pesky dark circles under the eyes. If used directly on the face, however, it can turn the skin a yellow or orange color, warns Abel—who suggests incorporating it into an oil or face mask. Purchase turmeric at Apna Bazaar in Wilmington (3311 Old Capitol Trail, Wilmington; 892-2762) or at most local grocery stores.
4. Coconut water
This refreshing drink contains electrolytes, which help to rejuvenate your complexion.
5. Sweet potatoes
Skip the tanning bed and cook up a hearty serving of sweet potatoes instead. Carotenoids give these vegetables their deep orange color—so the more you eat, the more sun-kissed your skin will appear.
Seafood—”specifically cold-water fish” like salmon, Abel explains—contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to slow wrinkles and reduce redness and inflammation. Head to Salty Wave Seafood Market to pick up some fresh fish (101 Clark St., Harrington; 398-4002).
The high amount of zinc found in pumpkin helps skin to form new cells and keep oil production under control, lessening the likelihood of acne.
Collagen is a protein that helps keep our skin firm—and this superfood gives us plenty of it. Broccoli also tends to irritate people less than other similar vitamin C-filled vegetables, Abel says.
Eat those leafy greens! Spinach contains B vitamins, specifically folate, which repairs DNA and reduces the risk of skin-cancer cell growth.
10. Sunflower seeds
The vitamin E found in sunflower seeds aids in the prevention of sunburn. (But remember—sunscreen is still crucial!)