5 Foods To Soothe And Calm Stressed Out Skin

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It’s a well-known fact that an unhealthy diet filled with greasy foods and white carbohydrates, although delicious, can wreak havoc on our skin… Queue the breakouts and inflammation! However, food can also be used to soothe stressed out or aggravated skin, and it’s the most natural skin healer you can find, with a lower risk of further irritation in comparison to some topical skincare products.

So, the next time your skin’s acting up, you might want to check in on your diet, rather than immediately switching up your skincare. As you’d expect, some foods are more impactful than others, so we spoke to wellness expert and nutritionist, Mona Sharma, for her top, skin-soothing recommendations.

However, Mona’s first tip for fighting skin issues to cut back on skin-aggravating ingredients, “When it comes to soothing skin fast, the most important thing to do is eliminate what could be causing the inflammation, to begin with. Common culprits include dairy, chocolate, gluten, inflammatory cooking oils/trans fats, sugar, and alcohol. Next, it’s time to eat the right foods to ease stressed-out skin.”

Here are Mona’s favorite foods to incorporate into your diet for bright, glowing skin.

1. Avocados 

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“Believe the avocado hype. This fruit is loaded with good quality, anti-inflammatory fat (monounsaturated) that also have fiber to help remove excess toxins from the system. Avocados are also packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, and a variety of minerals that help with acne, scarring, and anti-age benefits. They also contain lauric acid, which is rich in anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that is very useful in managing stressed skin,” Mona says.

Like any true millennial, we love smashed avocado on wholemeal toast. Alternatively, you can add half an avocado to your morning smoothie. Try to avoid using too many berries in your smoothies, which although packed with great health benefits, can be too high in sugar if you have too many.

2. Fatty Fish

“Wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring, which contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids that calm inflammation are essential for healthy skin.” Another major benefit? According to Mona, “They also contain vitamin E, which protects the skin from free radical damage and zinc that allows the skin to heal faster.” Finally, she adds that “Omega-3 also supports the skin’s natural barrier that keeps irritants and toxins out.”

3. Leafy Greens

We’re instructed to “eat our greens” from an early age, and for good reason! Mona reveals their long list of benefits, “They contain vitamin A, which is great for anti-aging and vitamin C to support collagen, vitamin E to work fast on inflammation and the effects of environmental damage, and folate, which helps repair skin.”

Mona’s go-to greens include, “Spinach, kale, and rainbow chard, which provide a healthy dose of antioxidants for happy skin.” However, if you’re struggling to add them into your diet Mona suggests “Adding a handful to your morning smoothies,” which when combined with a banana or berries will not impact the flavor of your smoothie. Alternatively, she says that you can, “Sautee greens with a high-quality extra virgin olive oil and some sea salt as a skin-soothing side dish.”

4. Spices

turmeric - ingredient spotlight

“Turmeric and cinnamon are my go-to superfood spices,” says Mona. She utilizes the benefits of, “Turmeric to ease inflammation from the inside out and work against the effects of inflammation.” She also likes to add cinnamon to her diet as “It brightens the complexion and supports blood sugar balance, which is attributed to dermal flare-ups. Add these to a dairy-free golden latte for a soothing elixir to leave skin glowing.”

5. Wild Blueberries

Mona told us to think of blueberries as, “Magic berries as they provide a mega-dose of antioxidants along with vitamin A, C, and E, the vitamin trio to soothe, protect and optimize skin.” This means, “They essentially turn off the switch for inflammation,” insists Mona.

“Fresh or frozen, you can enjoy these every day in smoothies, or on top of some coconut yogurt for a mid-day snack. A perfect skincare smoothie includes wild blueberries, avocado, spinach, cinnamon, unsweetened coconut milk, and a dash of monk fruit if you need some added sweetness.” We’re heading to the grocery store to load up now!

For more healthy food recommendations, check out these 15 foods that’ll up your glow game.