Is a plant based diet the best route to clear skin and a glowing, healthy complexion?
Here's everything you need to know about the skin benefits of eating vegan.
Along with 9 of the best plant based whole foods to give men healthy, younger looking skin, and a healthier body.
And we’ve added simple tips on how to incorporate these superfoods easily into your diet.
The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes and lycopene in tomatoes will naturally give your
skin a healthy, golden glow
Healthy diet equals healthy skin
For better or worse (!) what you put into your body is going to have an effect on how your skin looks.
So is a plant based diet the best diet for skin health?
The short answer is yes.
And here’s why …
Basics of a healthy skin diet
To keep your skin looking clear and healthy you need to prioritize nutritious foods full of the vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fibre and antioxidants your skin needs.
These are the building blocks of healthy, younger looking skin and a healthy body, performing at an optimum level.
Is a plant-based diet better for your skin?
When you prioritize plant based foods you’re giving a more dense, nutrient rich profile to your diet.
With a diet based on plants and whole foods you get more of the vitamins, minerals and healthy nutrients your skin needs – and that includes better sources of protein, fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids.
And studies have shown that a plant based whole food diet is the best, not only for making your skin glow and giving you a more youthful complexion, but also for healing skin conditions like acne and eczema.
What is a plant based whole food diet?
It’s a diet that is based around vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
So that could mean a vegetarian or vegan diet – or it could be a diet made up mostly of plants but might also include a small amount of healthy animal protein too.
Most importantly it’s a diet that maximizes your intake of nutrient-rich whole plant foods - but minimizes low-nutrient processed and refined foods.
The benefits for you skin of a plant based diet
Plant-based whole foods are great for reducing the effects of aging on a man's face (and body) too.
These healthy superfoods help to alleviate the dryness and irritation caused by shaving, encourage collagen production, as well as reducing the redness and excess oil associated with men’s skin.
Most importantly, including these healthy food options in your diet increases the amount of antioxidants which help to defend against the environmental damage caused by pollution, UV light and free radicals and causes your skin to age.
In particular when your diet is plant based you’ll notice:
More than just looking good
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy plant oils will do more than just make your skin glow.
It also helps in developing stronger bones, healthier muscles, increased endurance, flexibility and brain functionality.
A plant-based whole food diet also offers protection to prevent and reverse disease - helping to reduce the risk of male health concerns, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
It's one of the secrets of longevity here "Blue Zones: 9 Secrets of the World’s Healthiest People".
THE 5 PRINCIPLES TO STICK TO :
- Always use fresh produce
- Change things up a lot - so you get a good variety of vitamins and minerals
- In general, include lots of different colours of fruit and vegetables
Combine these superfoods as much as possible. The nutrients often work together, boosting each other's power.
- Try to reduce foods that contribute to aging, like sugar and grains which increase inflammation. By a process called glycation sugar accelerates premature skin aging, resulting in reduced skin elasticity, wrinkles and skin sagging.
Rich in antioxidants, blueberries keep your skin healthy
and reduce fine lines and wrinkles
If you’re eager to start nourishing your skin from the inside but you’re not sure where to start, here are nine of the best plant-based, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich foods for healthy skin.
9 plant based whole foods for glowing, healthy, young looking skin
How it improves your skin: Avocado is an anti aging superfood!
High in essential fatty acids that promote smooth, supple skin, they are also rich in B vitamins, potassium, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and antioxidants that prevent the negative effects of aging. Moreover, they’re excellent for your overall health.
All this makes avocado one of the best healthy-skin foods for men.
In particular, they are packed with a healthy type of fat (monounsaturated) which helps your skin stay hydrated, particularly important when shaving is drying out your skin.
That same healthy fat also helps you to absorb the other vitamins and nutrients that your skin needs.
How to add to your diet: Throw some slices of avocado into a salad, add it to a smoothie, or just eat it with a spoon.
Or you can mash just-ripe avocados to make the best guacamole ever! Add finely chopped onion and jalapeño, 2 teaspoons of lime juice, a generous sprinkle of sea salt .... and enjoy!
Avocados are high in the essential fatty acids that give you smooth, supple skin
You can also try applying avocado topically as a moisturizing mask to reduce redness and inflammation.
Other healthy benefits: Avocados are full of healthy fats (both mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated) helping to lower your cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels.
There are several preliminary clinical studies showing that avocado consumption helps support excellent cardiovascular health.
How they improve your skin: Blueberries have a ton of vitamins, minerals, probiotics and antioxidants for such a small fruit! In fact, they’re believed to have the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruit and vegetables! Making them super-efficient at protecting your skin from environmental damage, stress, and pollution – while at the same time preventing collagen loss.
Rich in vitamins A and C, they also contain the antioxidant, Anthocyanin, which prevents the cell-structure damage that can lead to loss of firmness, fine lines, and wrinkles.
How to add to your diet: Blend these low-calorie berries into a morning smoothie or throw them in to a fruit bowl, cook in pancakes, add to yoghurt, or eat them frozen straight from the freezer.
Other healthy benefits: Blueberries are also good for your cognitive abilities.
Compounds in blueberries (and other berries) reduce inflammation and oxidative damage, which are associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function.
How it improves your skin: An anti-aging powerhouse, broccoli is abundant in the most skin-improving nutrients!
Rich in vitamins C and K, fiber, potassium, iron and calcium, its high antioxidant content makes it one of the best foods to help fight the signs of aging.
Your body needs vitamin C to encourage collagen production, the main protein in skin that gives it structure and elasticity.
And broccoli is an excellent source.
How to add to your diet: Broccoli can be eaten raw (if you’re brave enough!), but research shows that cooking broccoli actually helps release more health benefits for your body.
The most traditional way to cook broccoli is to gently steam it before adding a sprinkle of sea salt and some olive oil.
But it’s also delicious roasted in the oven with fresh herbs, or mixed into a pesto sauce, added to a frittata with feta cheese, or blended into a soup.
Other healthy benefits: In addition to lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, broccoli has a molecule called lutein, which researchers have found can help preserve your brain’s memory function later in life.
Whilst Vitamin K and calcium are essential for bone health.
How they improve your skin: For starters, chia seeds are packed full of the antioxidants which help your cells defend against free radicals and slow down the aging process. One serving packs an antioxidant punch that's three times stronger than blueberries.
These tiny seeds are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids—with a single serving containing more of these essential fats than a serving of salmon! Perfect for a plant-based diet.
As well as helping to prevent heart disease, omega-3’s strengthen your skin, hair, and nails, reduce inflammation and dryness and increase circulation to encourage a healthy, glowing complexion.
How to add to your diet: Try adding them to a salad, sprinkling them on your cereal or yoghurt, or blending them into a superfood smoothie with some berries.
You can also soak 3 teaspoonfuls of Chia Seeds in Almond milk and add a teaspoonful of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight ready to eat for the perfect healthy breakfast the next morning.
Other healthy benefits: With 40% of chia seeds being fiber, they help you feel full while maintaining your digestive health. And as they are high in both calcium and magnesium they are excellent for bone health.
And the magnesium also helps to keep cortisol levels low, reducing your stress levels.
Drink just one cup of green tea a day and you'll notice an improvement in your skin in as little as a month
How it improves your skin: There are many kinds of green tea, and they all contain polyphenols (antioxidants that combat free-radical damage and reduce the effects of aging) and catechins (molecules that help prevent sun damage like hyperpigmentation)
Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent antioxidant depletion on your skin.
There is some evidence that Green Tea Extract can also be helpful in treating acne. The jury is still out on this but if you want to try, you can add powdered Green Tea to your regular face cream or take in supplement form.
How to add to your diet: Drink at least one cup of green tea a day and you should notice a difference in your skin in as little as a month.
Whilst all types of green tea are full of antioxidants, Japanese matcha green tea has by far the most.
It comes from the youngest most tender tea leaves picked from the top third of the bush. But what makes matcha different is that the whole tea leaf is stone ground into a very fine powder which can be mixed with water and drunk rather than being brewed and the leaves discarded.
Other healthy benefits: Drinking green tea daily is credited with everything from lifting your mood to weight loss. Green tea not only helps prevent cancer it also detoxifies the body and aids mental concentration.
Full of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, all nuts are an
excellent choice for healthy skin
How they improve your skin: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, and pistachios are all great sources of protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats, making them outstanding foods for healthy skin.
Some nuts, like almonds also have vitamin E, helping repair skin tissue, retain moisture, and protect skin from environmental damage.
All nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids to strengthen skin cell membranes, preserve the skins natural barrier and protect against sun damage.
While walnuts contain the most omega-3s, all nuts are good for your skin, having anti-inflammatory properties that can help with conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
How to add to your diet: Swap in a handful of mixed nuts in place of chips for a quick snack or sprinkle on to salads.
Other healthy benefits: Eating nuts has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Most types of nut, but particularly almonds, are a great source of sleep-regulating Melatonin. This helps to boost the quality of your sleep, especially if you suffer from insomnia or are recovering from jet lag.
For more tips on getting a good night’s sleep and waking up with smoother, healthier-looking skin and a glowing complexion, see our article on ‘Beauty Sleep’ here.
How it improves your skin: Spinach is packed with antioxidants - an excellent source of vitamin A, C, E and K, along with magnesium, folic acid and iron - promoting collagen production, fighting free radicals, improving cell function and keeping skin smooth and firm.
It also offers a rich supply of beta-carotene, which guards against damage caused by the sun, and a phytonutrient called lutein, which helps to maintain skin’s elasticity.
How to add to your diet: Add handfuls of spinach to salads or blend into smoothies. Or you can sauté the leaves with olive oil and some crushed garlic.
Aside from strengthening your bones, spinach also provides lutein to keep your eyesight healthy.
How they improve your skin: It’s the beta-carotene that gives sweet potato its orange colour. This antioxidant, which is converted by the body into Vitamin A, restores skin elasticity, promotes cell turnover and contributes to healthy, youthful skin.
It also gives your skin a healthy glow.
This delicious root vegetable is a great source of vitamins C and E, protecting skin from harmful free radicals and promoting a smooth, healthy complexion.
They also have anti-inflammatory properties.
How to add to your diet: Sweet potatoes can be cut into chunks and boiled. Or try roasting in the oven with some olive oil, black pepper and herbs, or cut into chips and served with tomato ketchup.
Other healthy benefits: Rich in vitamin A and carotenoids, sweet potatoes are excellent for the health of your eyes and may even reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
There has also been promising research suggesting that Vitamin A helps to reduce age-related memory loss.
How they improve your skin: Tomatoes are so much more than a salad ingredient. They’re packed with vitamin C, which helps build collagen and, in turn, makes your skin look firmer and plumper.
They also contain lycopene, a non-provitamin A carotenoid, which protects your skin from UV damage.
Moreover, the skin of tomato has an anti-inflammatory effect on the human skin, and the flavonoids in the fruit slow down aging.
How to add to your diet: Delicious raw in a salad, or with mozzarella. Tomatoes can easily be added to pasta dishes, pizzas, soups ….
Research shows that the antioxidant benefits of tomatoes, including lycopene, are enhanced by the cooking process. Although the Vitamin C content is reduced compared to uncooked tomatoes.
Other healthy benefits: Tomatoes are full of lycopene, decreasing the risk of cancer and improving cardiovascular health.
There is also promising research which is ongoing that suggests Lycopene can have a positive effect in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
Look healthier, feel stronger, live longer
We’re a strong believer in ‘prevention is better than cure’. Eating healthily now is one way of making sure that your skin will always be in excellent condition whilst also delaying the effects of aging on your body.
When you eat well and enrich your body with nutrients, it not only keeps your skin looking younger and healthier, it also gives you stronger bones, healthier muscles, increased endurance, and protection from disease.
A plant-based whole food diet will provide your body with more vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fibre and antioxidants – all the things that your skin needs to stay healthy.
So whether you want to embrace a full vegan or vegetarian diet (or just keep it predominantly plant-based) try incorporating at least one of these foods in to your diet every day.
- Chia Seeds
- Green Tea
- Sweet Potatoes
Double down on the benefits you’re getting from a healthy plant-based diet with Otis Skincare High-Performance Skincare for Men – the fastest route to clearer, smoother, healthier skin.
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