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What To Eat And Avoid For Clear Glowing Skin

By Dr. Michael Richardson
Updated August 13, 2016

We are used to turning to the numerous creams and ointments on the market, based on their promises of clear, glowing skin. However, there is a much more natural way to take care of skin, and it can be found in your kitchen.

Eating the proper food not only has a huge impact on the health of your skin, but can often make a much bigger difference than any creams or cleansers that must be applied topically. For great results add the following foods to your diet, and also take a look at which ones to avoid.


Eggs should form an important part of your beauty routine as they contain lutein as well as choline. These are both nutrients that can do wonders for the health of your skin. Lutein is an antioxidant, which not only helps prevent skin damage, but also preserves the elasticity of your skin. Choline, on the other hand, helps in regulating the B vitamin levels in the body. The B vitamins are required for the production of elastin and collagen, which are two proteins that keep the skin smooth and firm.


For skin that is not only smoother, but also moister, walnuts should be an essential part of your diet. Not only do they taste great, but they are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Since omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatories, they are able to protect skin cells from damage induced by the sun. In addition, they are also an essential part of the skin’s lipid content. This means that moisture is locked in and irritants are kept out to prevent the skin from becoming dry and irritation prone. Since the body cannot produce omega-3 fats on its own, it is important to eat food, like walnuts, that contain them.


To provide your skin with additional protection from the harmful effects of the sun, also add tomatoes to your diet. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which is another antioxidant. In addition, the acidic nature of tomato makes it a great food for preventing pimples and tightening pores. For the best results, make sure that the tomatoes are either processed or cooked in soup or sauce form, as this makes it easier for the body to process the lycopene.


Another tasty treat that cannot be beaten when it comes to antioxidants are blueberries. They can also be consumed in a variety of ways, from raw to dried for tea or even cooked along with other food. As blueberries are low in cholesterol and fat, but high in nutrients they can help combat the signs of skin aging. Best of all, blueberries help increase circulation, which will give you glowing skin.


Salmon, along with anchovies and sardines are rich in dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). In addition to being a mouthful to pronounce, this compound offers a variety of benefits for your skin. It is able to strengthen cell membranes, thereby protecting the skin and also increase acetylcholine levels in the body. The latter is a neurotransmitter related to muscle functions, which can help your face look firm and toned.


To easily get your recommended daily vitamin C value, you can’t go wrong with grapefruit. Not only does vitamin C help to reverse the damage caused to the skin by pollutants, but it is also able to stimulate collagen production. The result is new skin growth, a reduction in wrinkles and smoother skin texture.


To make the proteins that form new tissue and repair damaged ones your body needs zinc. One of the best sources of this vital mineral is oysters. A zinc deficiency is actually the reason why many people suffer from acne. Due to its influence on collagen zinc is good for the prevention of wrinkles and stretch marks.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, spinach and broccoli contain plenty of alpha lipoic acid, which is a powerful antioxidant. Although the body is able to produce this antioxidant in small quantities by itself, your skin can really benefit from the boosted intake provided by vegetables. Among the many benefits of alpha lipoic acid is that it helps with the removal of glucose from the bloodstream. This makes blood circulation more efficient, ensuring that the skin receives all the nutrients it needs. Additionally, it helps to prevent glycosylation build-up, which can cause inflammation of the skin.

The other benefit of Brussels sprouts and broccoli is their sulfur content. Skin conditions, such as rosacea and acne are often the result of sulfur deficiency, which can be rectified with these tasty vegetables.

Brown Rice

Brown rice contains ceramides, which are lipid molecules that can assist the skin with moisture retention. Adding brown rice to your diet enables your body to incorporate these ceramides into the skin and help keep it hydrated. Brown rice also contains selenium, which can reduce skin inflammation and help it to maintain elasticity.

Dark Chocolate

Stick to a one-ounce portion of dark chocolate to benefit from the cocoa flavonols it contains. These will help improve circulation and hydrate the skin. However, don’t overindulge in this treat or it can lead to weight gain.

Foods To Eliminate From Your Diet:

All the good done by the foods listed above can unfortunately be undone by eating foods that are hormone disrupting or anti-nutrient. Some people have a higher tolerance than others to the following types of foods, but overall your skin will benefit immensely by reducing or eliminating them from your diet.


Sugar should definitely be avoided due to glycation. This is a process whereby digested sugar becomes permanently attached to skin collagen. The result is exacerbated skin conditions, such as rosacea and acne as well as more visible signs of aging.


Although actually a drink and not food, alcohol is still worth mentioning because of the damage that it can do to your skin. Because alcohol causes dehydration, your body metabolizes whatever water is available to it before it can reach the skin. The same goes for excess caffeine, so avoid caffeinated drinks, or drink more water to stay hydrated. Opting for green tea instead of coffee will lower the levels of dihydrotestosterone in the body, which is an acne-producing hormone.


When it comes to dairy, moderation is the keyword. If you add too much dairy to your diet, it can have a negative impact on your skin in the form of cystic breakouts. These blemishes are n Pin It ot only painful, but can remain visible for weeks in the lower region of your face.


If you are struggling with acne and clogged pores, the culprit might be shellfish. This is because lobsters, crab and shrimp contain high levels of iodine, which is not good for the skin.

Processed Foods

To achieve clear, glowing skin, a serious reduction in processed foods is recommended. Due to all the additives and preservatives in junk food, they cause a spike in blood-sugar levels. In turn, this causes excessive oil production by your hormones, which clogs pores and ages skin.

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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Michael Richardson
Passionate about sharing the latest scientifically sound health, fitness and nutrition advice and information, Dr Richardson received his Master of Science in Nutrition from New York University, and a Bachelor Degree from New Jersey University. He has since gone on to specialize in sports nutrition, weight management and helping his patients to heal physical ailments by making changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

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