For hunger-taming snacks that are good for your skin (and your whole body), keep these five foods on hand.
Do you ever get stressed out? Have trouble sleeping? Eat a bit too much processed food?
You’re not alone! Many of us, when work or family demands push us to (or beyond!) our limits, find ourselves skipping healthy habits—and sooner than we imagine, the repercussions can show up on our faces in:
- poor skin texture
- dry patches
- acne, and more.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Here are 5 easy, tasty, healthy-skin treats you can keep on hand, and/or grab-and-go, that will also do your skin and body a world of good.
Seeds are a top pick for omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E: sunflower, flax, and chia, are good options. Their hunger-minimizing protein serves you well between meals, too.
Whether you choose to eat them plain, as part of a trail mix, or stirred into your yogurt, smoothie or cereal, get in the habit of incorporating seeds into your daily snack routine. (Did you know that omega-3 fatty acids also help your skin retain collagen? Enough said!)
SNACK TIP: Before bed (or at least a few hours before you plan to eat), mix 2 tbsp chia seeds with 1/2 cup low-fat, unsweetened milk (almond, soy, coconut or cow’s milk). Let this sit in the refrigerator until the seeds are plump, then top with 1/2 c berries before eating. Or, add 1 tbsp each dark cocoa and either honey or maple syrup for a chocolatey treat.
Fresh, crisp greens like kale, spinach, and collards, as well as tasty cruciferous veggies like brussels sprouts and broccoli, are among nature’s gifts to us for our skin’s health. Packed with Vitamins A, E, and C, as well as an abundance of antioxidants, and folate, greens are an easy snack to help bulk up your nutritional count.
Eat raw, or lightly cooked (aim for a bright to medium green shade when cooking, to help retain maximum nutritional value). Brussels sprouts and broccoli can also be sliced thinly and sauteed, or try them shredded for a vitamin-packed alternative to traditional cabbage-based slaw.
SNACK TIP: Baby greens are a top pick if you’ll be enjoying your leafy snack in a salad: these young leaves have a more delicate flavor and tender texture. AND as a bonus: they typically a higher concentration of nutrients, too. And if you need some crunch to add satisfaction to your salad, try a serving of protein-and-omega-3-packed chopped nuts, or even chopped radish to give your meal a kick!
Green tea has catechins—a compound loaded with antioxidants that can help counter sun damage, and may even scale back the redness you experience when you’re out in the sun. So sipping green tea with or between meals is a smart habit to begin.
As with all caffeine-containing beverages (since caffeine is a diuretic), don’t overdo it; too much caffeine can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Thankfully, non-caffeinated options are widely available.
SNACK TIP: Enjoy a cup of hot or cold green tea, with or without additional herbal flavor (jasmine, lavender, lemon etc).
70% (OR MORE) DARK COCOA/CHOCOLATE
Looking for snacks that are good for your skin AND feel a little indulgent? This is a good choice. Chocolate lovers will almost certainly have heard the news that the antioxidants in dark chocolate get two thumbs up for your well-being.
But, it’s worth repeating the importance of checking the quality of your snack if you want your skin to experience benefits, not just your taste buds: 70% cocoa or more is what most studies recommend.
And it’s certainly worth the hunt (and somewhat higher price), since researchers have observed benefits like better skin texture, and thicker, more hydrated skin.
SNACK TIP: nibble on 1-2 oz of a good quality dark chocolate.
CITRUS FRUITS: tasty snacks that are good for your skin
Fresh citrus fruits (oranges or grapefruit), are a good natural source of nature’s wrinkle-fighter: VItamin C. Since they contain water and electrolytes, they also help with hydration—something many people are battling at some level, and a key component of health skin and body.
If possible, choose the whole fruit, vs juice, so you get the benefits of fiber too! These are among our favorite snacks that are good for your skin.
(Lemons and limes contain vitamin C, too, but we tend to be able to eat quite a bit less of these mouth-puckering sources! Still, feel free to squeeze liberally in your beverages and foods.)
SNACK TIP: Many people avoid whole citrus fruits because they’re messy to peel, so avoid the drips by cutting your fruit into wedges. Bite from a pointed tip, peeling the skin back so you’ll have minimal mess. Add a handful of nuts to stave off hunger pangs and/or re-energize after a workout.
And in times of stress, when you need to make a choice, do your best to prioritize positive lifestyle behaviors like:
- drinking plenty of water,
- eating fresh fruits and vegetables at each meal and/or snack,
- resting (vs. grabbing another coffee drink or soda!) when your mind and body are tired.
These small, simple steps and snacks for your skin can make a world of difference in how you look and feel. So, pick one or two and make the switch. Then add a natural skin cleanser or moisturizer to your routine for even better health-boosting results.