The top 20 pantry staples to get a glowing complexion, one bite (or sip) at a time. “Greek Yogurt – Probiotics do more than just heal your gut, says Whitney Bowe, NY-based dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin. They boost the production of ceramides (healthy fats in skin) and aid with recovery from exposure to UV rays.
Did you know that antioxidants supply the rich, colorful pigments that make our fruits and veggies so vibrant? The brighter the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it contains. For instance, lycopene makes tomatoes and watermelon red, and beta-carotene gives carrots and sweet potatoes their orangey hue.
In Antioxidants 101, I explained why antioxidants are so critical to restoring and maintaining your skin’s health. Now, I’m going to give you the scoop on how to get the right antioxidants into your diet to help you achieve your glowing skin goals.
Here’s my list of 5 antioxidants which boost your skin’s health and where you can find them:
- Vitamin C, to help synthesize collagen and prevent and treat UV-induced damage: Vitamin C is found in oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit, guava
- Lycopene, to help stabilize DNA structures in the nuclei of skin cells and promote smoother skin: Mostly found in tomatoes, small amounts in guava, watermelon, and pink grapefruit
- Polyphenols, to help repair damaged skin and restore elasticity: These are the flavonoids and catechins (powerful antioxidants) found in green tea, dark chocolate, blackberries, cherries, guava, and apples.
- Zinc, to help support antioxidant pathways overall: Oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains
- Vitamin E, one of the most important antioxidants in the skin: it protects sebum from inflammatory damage, found in: almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, sunflower seeds. olive oil.
And, in very exciting news -here’s our twist- sunscreen dietary supplements are starting to emerge on the market which are based on the power of antioxidants. As I share on my Dr. Whitney’s Picks Page, which is a curated collection of my favorite products backed by strong science, Heliocare dietary supplements are a patented specialized extract of Polypodium leucotomos (PLE), a tropical fern native to Central and South America that has been used for centuries as a remedy for skin related conditions. The science behind Heliocare is strong and solid, which is critical to me when I recommend a product to people who trust me or use it myself.
Made of a powerful blend of antioxidants, Heliocare protects your skin from the inside out from free radicals. Those free radicals can come from UV light, infrared light, visible light, pollution, or even from our natural metabolic processes. Heliocare is one extra layer of protection against premature signs of aging, including brown spots, and skin cancer. I suggest that my patients take one pill every morning. If you’re heading out in the sun, consider taking 2 each morning. But it’s not a substitute for sunscreen. It’s meant to work synergistically with sunscreen.
So, there you have it! Not only will your body feel energized and strong by these antioxidant-packed picks, but your skin will thank you, too! Next up: which antioxidants you should be incorporating into your skincare routine, including product recommendations. Stay tuned!
Our family absolutely loves summer! We also love picking our own fruit and going to local farm markets! When peaches are in season, I love to make this delicious salad. I bet you will love it as much as I do!
This simple salad of grilled chicken, peaches, arugula, and balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect combo of sweet and savory. Lean chicken breast gets a quick marinade in a tangy balsamic dressing and it’s onto the grill. Peaches and red onions are grilled, allowing their natural sugars to caramelize and become sweet and smoky. I like to use slightly firmer peaches here because they’ll soften as they cook.
I love arugula, not only for its high vitamin C levels which support collagen growth, but for its peppery bite. Unlike regular lettuce, it’s also sturdy enough to hold up to the heat of the warm chicken and fruit. Quinoa plays a supporting role here, adding texture and fiber without impacting blood-sugar levels. It’s also a great source of amino acids that help in skin repair.
My salads need a crunch, so I sometimes include pumpkin seeds, which are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and other nutrients like zinc and magnesium that our skin cells crave for growth and repair.
If you’re having guests over and want to maximize your time with them, make the dressing and quinoa ahead of time, slice your peaches and onions, and start marinating the chicken right before guests arrive. The rest is as easy as turning on the grill!
Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Peachy Arugula Salad
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for grilling
- 2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (organic and/or cage-free)
- 2 peaches, sliced into 8 wedges each
- 1 small red onion, sliced into ¼ inch rings
- 5 ounces baby arugula (about 5 cups, loosely packed)
- ½ cup fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook quinoa. Bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
Preheat grill to high. In mixing bowl, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place chicken on plate, sprinkle with chopped garlic, and drizzle all over with 2 teaspoons balsamic vinaigrette. Allow to marinate briefly while grill preheats. When grill is ready, cook chicken for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Bigger chicken breasts will need more time and will be done when thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Set chicken aside. Drizzle peaches and sliced onions with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil. Reduce heat of grill to medium and grill peaches 1 minute per side or until just starting to release their juices and and onions 3 minutes per side, or until softened. Remove from grill.
Assemble salad. Toss arugula, basil, and cooked quinoa with 2-3 tablespoons vinaigrette. Place on platter. Arrange grilled peaches, onions, and sliced chicken over top. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and drizzle with additional dressing if desired.
I wanted to share more insight into the food swaps for beautiful, clear skin that I discussed on GMA!
As I discussed on Good Morning America, a number of studies are now showing that if you drink dairy milk, you will be more likely to struggle with breakouts and acne. We believe this issue arises from a combination of hormones that are found in the milk as well as milk proteins like casein and whey. Skim milk has actually been found to show the STRONGEST link to acne flares.
SIMPLE SWAP #1:
Instead of SKIM MILK, choose ALMOND MILK OR COCONUT MILK. Both are low in calories and are delicious!
Whey Protein Dietary Supplemnents:
As I also mentioned on GMA, the vast majority of protein powders and nutritional bars are made with whey protein, which has also been shown to contribute to inflammation and acne in the skin. Many of my friends and even my family members drink shakes containing whey protein daily as part of their meal plan! However, many athletes who use whey powder in their shakes or eat protein bars made with whey are finding that they are breaking out on their faces, chests and back.
SIMPLE SWAP #2:
Instead of WHEY PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS, opt for VEGAN OPTIONS. Many of the companies that make these dietary supplements now offer vegan alternatives which do not contain whey. Look for pea protein or rice protein!
If you are breaking out, you want to make sure to avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread, cornflakes, chips and pretzels.
SIMPLE SWAP #3:
Instead of REFINED CARBS, choose QUINOA, BARLEY or SWEET POTATOES. These choices are great for your skin and for your waistline!