[By Holly Malone]
BEST #1: CHIA SEEDS
These little black seeds are the highest natural source of omega-3s and when your cells are nourished, your skin glows!
Omega-3 fatty acids benefit your skin because they help strengthen cell membranes’ barriers to allow water and nutrients in and keep toxins out, Gilbert says. Mix chia seeds in your oatmeal or a natural fruit shake, or sprinkle them on your salad before any hot date.
BEST #2: POMEGRANATES
They’re packed with polyphenol antioxidants, Dr. Perricone says. Polyphenols fight free radicals and regulate skin’s blood flow, giving it rosiness.
One pomegranate or a few glasses of juice daily should do the trick. When applied to skin, the fruits’ antioxidants help smooth lines and moisturize, according to skincare experts.
BEST #3: CHOCOLATE
Cocoa hydrates your skin, making it firmer and more supple, And dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant.
For maximum flavonol content, eat chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao.
A couple of squares a day should be enough to improve luminosity. According to skin experts, when applied topically, the caffeine in chocolate may temporarily reduce skin puffiness.
WORST #1: BBQ
Heating meat at high temperatures produces a chemical reaction between the fat and protein that results in compounds called “advanced glycation end products (AGES). These AGES are aptly named because they’re linked to oxidative stress and inflammation that can make your skin look ruddier, duller and more wrinkled—older, in general.
These compounds are found in culprits such as French fries, potato chips, deep-fried chicken and other foods that have been cooked in oil at extremely high temperatures. What’s more, AGES can interact with UV rays and wreak havoc on the skin, making your backyard BBQ on a summer day the worst possible combination you can ever give your skin.
WORST #2: SUGARY CEREAL
When a team of nutritionists and dermatologists reviewed the scientific connection between food and skin, they came away with a pretty compelling case against a high-glycemic diet.
Eating a lot of sugar (raisins, soda, honey, agave nectar) or simple carbs (bagels, pasta, cupcakes) can throw off your insulin levels, which can lead to inflammation both inside the body as well as on your face. (Bonus: Giving up sweets and starches can also help you lose weight).
WORST #3: MILK
Studies linking the consumption of dairy to breakouts date back to the 1960s. In fact, doctors used to treat acne by recommending patients give up milk. But then, as medication to treat pimples became more effective and available so there was less of a focus on preventing breakouts through dietary changes.
That didn’t stop the evidence (and the anecdotes) from piling up over the years, and in 2010, an influential research review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found an association between dairy consumption and acne. Now the AAD (American Association of Dermatologists) suggests that acne sufferers talk to their dermatologist about limiting dairy to see if that helps.