The following article originally appeared on BeautyAndGroomingTips.com.
Wholesome vegan foods are known to help prevent and sometimes even reverse heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other serious illnesses. Not only do plant-based foods help you live longer, they’ll also help you look younger. The nutrients found in certain fruits and vegetables are known to promote clear, glowing skin. The following are some of your best bets for beautiful skin:
Orange, yellow, and red fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, and bell peppers, contain beta carotene, which defends against sun damage. They’re also rich in vitamin A, which is required for developing and maintaining skin cells, leading to supple skin.
The anti-inflammatory properties in green tea make it one of the best things that you can consume for healthy skin. At least one study has shown that this “superfood” can help reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light, thus reducing the risk of skin cancer.
The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts, canola oil, chia seeds, broccoli, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil are essential for healthy skin, not to mention for heart, brain, and joint health. Try to incorporate these foods into your diet regularly. Don’t turn to fish for your omega-3s: Studies have found that fish oil does not live up to marketing claims, and fish flesh is frequently contaminated with mercury (which can cause brain damage) as well as toxic chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, and dioxins (which have been linked to cancer, nervous system disorders, and fetal damage), not to mention disease-causing bacteria.
While we’re on the subject of what not to eat, many dermatologists advise people to avoid dairy products if they want an acne-free complexion. Researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston surveyed more than 47,000 women and found a link between those who had a lot of acne and those who drank a lot of milk. The researchers suspect it is because milk contains excess hormones, which affect the hair follicles, making them produce excessive sebum. As a result, the hair follicles stick together and plug the skin’s pores.
If you suffer from acne, try switching from cow’s milk to soy milk. You might also benefit from The Body Shop’s Tea Tree skin-care product line. (Check out our Beauty Without Bunnies list for information about other companies that make all-natural, cruelty-free skin-care products.) But remember: When it comes to skin care, what you put in your body may be even more important than what you put on your face. Beauty is more than skin deep, after all.