Snacks for healthy skin can be just as helpful as all those lotions and potions that you purchase to combat aging. You can use an expensive wrinkle cream, but you're doing your skin no favors if you eat a lot of sugar and processed foods. Chowing down on healthier foods also has benefits for the rest of your body, including your hair, nails, and waistline. So put down those potato chips and cookies and munch on these snacks for healthy skin instead:
1. Tuna Salad with Olive Oil on Whole Wheat Toast
This is one of the best snacks for healthy skin for those who want something that will fill them up. Simply create your favorite tuna salad, but replace the mayo with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (you might need a little more depending on how much you make). Now just slather the tuna salad on a piece of whole wheat toast and enjoy. You should be able to store the remaining tuna salad in the fridge for three to four days, but toss it if it begins to smell bad. The tuna and whole wheat bread contain the mineral selenium, which promotes the production of the elastin that keeps skin smooth and tight. The olive oil contains antioxidants that fight damage by free radicals, and the healthy fat will also reduce inflammation and keep your skin lubricated and soft.
2. Carrots with Tomato Paste Dip
Maybe I'm just weird, but I absolutely love the taste of plain tomato paste. The lycopene in the tomato paste actually protects your skin from sunburn and the wrinkles and age spots caused by UV damage (but obviously you should still slather on that sunscreen). The carrots contain beta-carotene, which can also reduce sun sensitivity. If you don't like plain tomato paste, you can blend it with a little hummus. You might also experiment with spices like garlic, which contains a chemical compound called allicin that has antibacterial properties.
3. Kiwi Fruit, Mango, and Papaya Fruit Salad
Tropical fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is important because it helps your body produce the collagen that keeps skin elastic and firm. Yellow and orange fruits like mangoes and papayas are also a good source of beta-carotene. Tasty fruits like these are great substitutes for fruit-flavored candies that contain tons of refined sugar. Since refined sugar can wreak havoc on your skin, it's best to snack on foods that are naturally sweet.
4. Roasted Turkey on Whole Wheat Bread with Avocado Slices
Fold-over sandwiches make great snacks for those days when it seems like forever before dinnertime. I pointed out one skin benefit of whole wheat bread above, but it might help you in another way—it will leave you feeling fuller longer, which might prevent you from reaching for another snack that's not so great for your skin. Just make sure that your bread is 100 percent whole wheat. Like wheat bread, turkey also contains selenium, but you should only snack on roasted turkey breast that isn't loaded with additives. The avocado slices are a great creamy replacement for mayo, and they contain monounsaturated fats that can prevent wrinkles.
5. Low-Fat Yogurt with Blueberries and Strawberries
Berries are packed with powerful antioxidants that will leave skin looking younger longer. They contain a higher level of antioxidants than most other fruits, so you'll get more bang for your buck with this sweet snack that combats premature aging. I'm not a big fan of blueberries by themselves, so I like to mix them with strawberries when I use them as a topping for low-fat yogurt. Strawberries are also excellent for your skin since they contain more vitamin C than oranges. Yogurt is packed protein that keeps skin firm, as well as vitamin A that keeps skin cells healthy.
6. Trail Mix with Dark Chocolate Chips, Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, and Raisins
Trail mix is an excellent snack for an energy boost, and you can also give your skin a boost by choosing certain ingredients to add to your mix. Dark chocolate chips contain flavonols, which are powerful antioxidants. Just be sure to get chocolate chips or chunks that are 70 percent cacao. The pumpkin seeds contain zinc, which promotes skin renewal, and the almonds provide moisturizing vitamin E. Brazil nuts are another good source of selenium, and the raisins contain phenols that prevent cell damage.
7. Oatmeal with Apples and Walnuts
Oatmeal doesn't just make a great breakfast food—a small bowl of hot oats is a very satisfying snack that will curb your carb cravings. Oatmeal helps to keep blood sugar stable, which can help prevent wrinkles. Walnuts keep your skin nice and plump with their essential fatty acids that protect cell membranes, and they also contain copper that increases collagen production. Apples are packed with pectin, which also promotes collagen production. You can flavor your oatmeal with a little honey and cinnamon.
I know some of these snacks take a little time to make, but the amazing glow that you'll get from munching on them will be well worth it. And you don't have to eat the exact snacks on this list—just try to incorporate the ingredients in them into your diet somehow. So do any of these snacks for healthy skin sound good to you?