Can a Vegan Diet Improve Your Skin?
The following post is by PETA celebrity marketing coordinator Lauren Gordon.
Vegans and vegetarians tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than their carnivorous counterparts—which is great news for their skin! Plant-based diets are typically low in fat and avoid the pore-clogging saturated fats found in animal products. Fruits and vegetables are high in essential vitamins and antioxidants, which are the building blocks for radiant skin. Plus, the fiber from produce and whole grains crank up that healthy glow by flushing out toxins.
Vitamins C and E, commonly found in healthy vegan meals, are powerful antioxidants that neutralize skin-damaging free radicals and help fight wrinkles and brown spots, promoting an overall youthful appearance. Nuts and seeds are prime sources for vitamin E, and one can reap the rewards by munching on walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and ground flax seeds. Peanut butter is an easy way to pack a one-two nutritional punch of vitamin E and protein. And if you’re looking for a sweeter way to enjoy some antioxidants, have a handful of berries.
According to a recent article in Health magazine, the zinc found in beans combats zits and decreases inflammation, preventing redness and pimples. Vegan protein sources (like beans, nuts, and tofu) are championed, since dairy products are often a contributing factor to acne. Healthy unsaturated fats (definitely not the saturated kind found in meat) found in avocados and olive oil provide fatty acids that keep skin hydrated and cell membranes strong and supple. Try cooking your veggies in a small amount of olive oil or make a salad dressing using olive oil, flax oil, or another unsaturated oil.
Ramping up one’s intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans—while passing on the dairy products and meat—is a recipe for clear and radiant skin that glows from the inside out.