Clear, smooth, glowing skin. Who doesn’t want it? It’s no surprise that in 2018, Americans spent a whopping 2.9 billion dollars on Botox treatments. But this focus on in-office treatments—and heavy-hitting peels—largely overlooks a fundamental component of a well-rounded skincare routine: nutrition. Specifically, antioxidants. There’s no doubt that a healthy diet plays an essential role in healthy skin. In fact, research proves that people who eat more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables have a healthy glow. When combined with a strategic skincare regimen, a nourishing diet can take your skin’s health to the next level. With that in mind, we’re diving into the benefits of blueberries for skin. ‘Tis the season to load up on nature’s candy.
WHY IS SKIN HEALTH IMPORTANT?
We all know our skin is important. It holds everything in, but it also plays a crucial role in providing an airtight, watertight, and flexible barrier—between the outside world and our internal systems. As our largest (external) organ, it’s a defense against toxins. It also regulates our body temperature and aids in vitamin production.
Common Skin wreckers
Damage to our skin comes from external factors and internal sources. Either way, they all cause oxidative damage to skin cells. In turn, this leads to accelerated skin aging. External sources are things like too much sun exposure (we do need some, though!) and pollution. Internal sources include eating an abundance of inflammatory oils, processed foods, and sugar. Drinking too much alcohol, stress, and poor quality sleep also increase oxidative damage. While we can’t stop the natural aging process—or rid ourselves completely of external sources—we can nourish and fortify our skin from the inside out. Enter: antioxidants. Specifically, blueberries. The benefits of blueberries for skin help counteract the things that accelerate the aging process.
Defend your skin with antioxidants
The benefits of antioxidants are endless. Most importantly, they reduce or minimize low-grade inflammation within our bodies. These types of ingredients improve energy, cognitive function, hormone health, and of course, skin health. In some cases, they can reverse chronic illness and disease. Antioxidant-rich foods, like blueberries, are packed with vitamins and minerals, nourishing your body on a cellular level. Said differently: antioxidants help defend your skin’s health. In fact, they are our best defense against oxidative stress.
Eat blueberries for glowy skin
Beyond the benefits of blueberries for skin, they’re quite a multifunctional fruit—including, improving vision. Below are a six benefits of blueberries for skin. There’s no better time to buy fresh blueberries (or opt for frozen, wild blueberries in your favorite smoothie).
1. Improve Radiance
As mentioned, blueberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that are great for the skin. They help fight environmental damage (which can cause dull, wrinkly skin). Blueberries nourish the skin and bring back the glow, naturally. You can either consume blueberries regularly, or apply them to your skin as a face mask: mix 1/2 cup crushed fresh blueberries with 1 cup plain yogurt. Apply for 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Yogurt contains lactic acid, which promotes new cell turnover.
2. Treat Acne
If hormonal breakouts are a concern, incorporate more blueberries! Known to help treat and clear out acne and blemishes, this fruit is a win-win. Thanks to high levels of salicylic acid, blueberries help exfoliate dead skin cells, clear out clogged pores, and kill acne-causing bacteria that causes your skin to break out. Try this face mask.
3. Help Soothe Skin Inflammation
Blueberries contain anti-inflammatory properties that help treat psoriasis and eczema. They tend to have a calming and soothing effect on the skin, and also helps reduce redness or swelling on it.
4. Even Out Skin Tone
Blueberries are high in vitamin C and vitamin E, helping fade sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots. They act as an exfoliating agent and take away any sort of discoloration on your skin. This evens out your complexion and brightens your skin, taking any dullness away.
5. Help Reverse Aging
Due to blueberries’ antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, they help fight damage caused by the sun and pollution. The damage often hinders the production of collagen and elastin––two essential proteins involved in keeping your skin healthy. Blueberries strengthen those proteins, which in turn reduce the chances of wrinkles and fine lines appearing before time.
6. Support Plump Skin
Along with vitamin C and E, blueberries also contain vitamin A. Vitamin A helps stimulate and strengthen collagen and elastin production, leaving skin more plump and firm. Say hello to that youthful bounce with blueberries.
8 Foods that improve skin health
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants—including blueberries—is a game-changer. Opt for more omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, seeds, etc.), fiber-rich vegetables, and leafy greens. Spices count as well (turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon). If you’re not sure where to begin, start by adding color. Aim for 3-4 colors on your plate, per meal. For example: eggs (or tempeh) scrambled in olive oil with chopped bell pepper, sweet potato, and arugula. Below are some of the best anti-inflammatory food choices. And, here are helpful cookbooks to get you started!
Avocados have omega-3 fatty acids, along with potassium, magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. In one study, participants who consumed avocado with a hamburger, as opposed to just a hamburger, had lower levels of a few inflammatory markers.
Bell peppers are high in vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They also provide the antioxidant quercetin, which may reduce oxidative damage.
From strawberries to raspberries, berries are an incredible source of antioxidants. They contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, compounds that may have effects on reducing the risk of diseases.
Bone broth is very nourishing food for healing intestinal permeability. In other words, it helps the gut lining. Bone broth contains collagen, which supports the gut lining and reduces inflammation.
Extra-virgin olive oil, specifically, is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, brain cancer, and other detrimental health conditions. Unlike more refined olive oils, extra-virgin olive oil offers great anti-inflammatory benefits.
Mushrooms have been reported to contain antioxidant properties. These antioxidant properties enable them to neutralize free radicals. In fact, research shows that shiitake mushrooms may boost your immune system.
Salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc., are fatty fish with omega-3s, which research has shown has potent anti-inflammatory properties. EPA and DHA, both present in these fish, reduce inflammation that can lead to chronic illness and disease.
Chia and flaxseeds are both high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are proven inflammation fighters. Best of all, they’re super easy to incorporate. You can add a couple of tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds to your cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt, baked goods, or smoothies. Otherwise, start seed cycling!
Images courtesy of Unsplash. This article contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Wellness with Edie. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.