8 Foods To Eat Your Way To Clear, Smooth Skin

Acne is determined by a number of factors we can't control: genes, age, gender. Luckily, there's one thing we can do something about, and that's diet. Eating foods that balance your gut microflora can do wonders for your skin.

Regularly incorporating the following eight foods will keep skin clear. And those who suffer from acne will be delighted to see that these foods' anti-inflammatory effects also help you look younger!

1. Fatty fish

Sardines, mackerel and salmon all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help to combat inflammation. Theses "good" fats also help with the health of your cell membranes, meaning the stronger they are, the better they're able to keep harmful things out of your cells and let the right nutrients in. Eating fatty fish a few times a week is perfect. You can also substitute a daily fish or krill oil supplement.

2. Fermented foods

Kimchee, sauerkraut and yogurt balance microflora in the gut and as we all know, a healthy gut equals a healthy body. Since microbial balance is one of the keys to maintaining optimal health, I'd recommend eating fermented foods 2-3 times a week. If you're on antibiotics (which can throw off the balance of good bacteria in your gut), get some every day.

3. Nutritional yeast

For optimal skin health, moisture retention and the ability to fight redness, B vitamins are crucial. Unfortunately, they're notoriously difficult to get through diet alone. However, nutritional yeast contains the B vitamin complex (which includes thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin). Just a half t`ablespoon can provide you with a day's worth of B vitamins.

4. Garlic

With large amounts of allicin — a compound that has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties — garlic is a master blemish fighter. It's also full of anti-aging and skin-smoothing antioxidants, meaning it helps reduce inflammation in the body and enhance blood flow.

5. Green herbs

Parsley, basil and watercress are very high in vitamin A, an essential component to happy, healthy skin. These greens are so vitamin-rich that you don't need to eat a lot of them to reap the benefits; simply sprinkling a handful over your food daily is perfect.

6. Walnuts

Very high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants and selenium, walnuts are your skin's best friend. Add small handful to your diet every day in salads, oatmeal or stir-fry.

7. Green tea

Contains polyphenols and catechins — powerful antioxidants that maintain skin cell health — green tea should be a healthy skin diet staple. Aim for 2-3 cups every day. You can even apply it topically to prevent acne or soothe tired eyes.

8. Zinc

An important factor for normal sebaceous gland function, zinc can help regulate overactive oil glands. In fact, low levels of zinc are frequently found in people who suffer from acne. Foods high in zinc include pumpkin seeds, poultry, fish and lean red meat. Eat daily.

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