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Bob Moawad once said, Quality begins on the inside, and then works its way out. I think this is very profound, and not only true of how you are as a person, but can also be said of your health. In fact, there's good reason to believe the food you put into your body has a huge influence on how healthy and glowing you look on the outside too.

So, forget all the lotions and potions of the day, a healthy balanced diet is the best way to keep your skin in tip top condition!

A 2001 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that Swedish participants aged 70 and older, had the least skin wrinkling in a sun-exposed site when compared to four other ethnic groups. The study data suggests, 

Subjects with a higher intake of vegetables, olive oil, and monounsaturated fat and legumes, but a lower intake of milk/dairy products, butter, margarine and sugar products, had less skin wrinkling in a sun-exposed site.

6 Steps to Healthy Skin

1. Stay Well Hydrated
Keeping your body well topped up with fluid will go a long way in maintaining healthy looking skin.

Interestingly a 2004 study published in Journal of Investigative Dermatologyfound that the polyphenols in green tea (specifically EGCG the main antioxidant) may help prevent UVB skin damage.

For maximum benefit aim for at least 8 cups of fluid per day, preferably from water, or green tea (aim for around 2-4 cups).

2. Choose Healthy Carbs
If your diet's packed to the brim with refined carbohydrates how can you expect your skin to look its best?

Switch white bread, cookies, and pasta for their healthier wholegrain cousins and you'll also be getting a good dose of anti-aging antioxidants and fiber to help eliminate toxins.

3. Avoid Too Much Protein
In her book The Beauty Diet, Lisa Drayer (MA, RD) states that when protein intake is very high it causes water loss from the body as a way of breaking down the products of protein metabolism.

Editor's noteDRI for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram body weight (adults).Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) states 10-35% of energy should come from protein each day.

4. Go For Healthy Fats
We know how important healthy fats are for all-round good health, but they are also important for healthy skin.

Essential fatty acids are important for healthy cell membranes, and since the cell membrane is what holds water in, the stronger that barrier is, the better your cells can hold moisture. This equals plump, younger looking skin.

To make sure you're getting enough omega-3s in your diet eat one portion of fatty fish each week, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring. In addition to this you could also include vegetable oils (soybean, canola, walnut, and flaxseed), or walnuts and flaxseed in their whole from.

5. Eat The Whole Food
If you tend to eat only the fleshy part of the fruit and vegetable you could be missing out on the skin friendly benefits.

Silica, found in plant-based foods, can help maintain the elasticity of your skin and improve your complexion. You can find silica in the parts often discarded from the fruit and veg such as the strings and peels, so where possible try to include these.

6. Choose a Colorful Diet

  • Vitamin C is really important in helping your skin look younger, being involved in the formation of collagen, which keeps skin firm, and reduces wrinkles. Vitamin C is found in berries, oranges, grapefruit, kiwis, red bell peppers, and broccoli, etc

  • Selenium is said to play an important role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high. Plant foods such as vegetables, are the most common dietary sources of selenium (depending on the soil where they were grown). Brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, and chicken are also good sources of selenium.

  • Anthocyanins have antioxidant properties, which can help rid the body and skin cells of free radicals, and therefore help to prevent damage leading to skin aging and skin cancer. Anthocyanins are the pigments found in blue, purple, and red fruits such as in berries, pomegranates, grapes, and plums.

Since your skin is the largest organ in the body, it makes sense that how you nourish yourself will show from the inside out. What are your tips for healthy looking skin?