The saying “you are what you eat” holds true on a variety of levels. While a low carb diet can help you lose weight and also may lower your risk factors for conditions like heart disease and diabetes, a low carb diet might even be good for your skin. Think about it this way: have you ever indulged in cookies or candy, only to find your skin suffers as a result? Sugar and high-glycemic carbs raise your blood sugar, making your body produce more insulin and causing inflammation, which can lead to breakouts, acne, aging and loss of elasticity. In fact, high blood sugar levels play a role in the aging process1 in that the organs and tissues of people with diabetes tend to be similar to those of people who are much older.
Fortunately, a low carb diet focusing on nutrient-rich foods featuring skin-friendly antioxidants, phytochemicals, and omega-3 fats may have you glowing from the inside out. Here’s why:
- Antioxidants like vitamin C can help repair and prevent dry skin and boost collagen production and generally improve the appearance of your skin.
- Phytochemicals help protect the skin from damaging free radicals and are found in fruits like berries, apples, pomegranates, citrus and tomatoes.
- Omega-3 fats help moisturize your skin, can help reduce inflammation (which leads to acne) and protect your skin against sun damage.
- Collagen is a protein that is one of the main building blocks for bones, skin, hair, muscles, ligaments and tendons, and also keeps your skin from sagging. Your body naturally makes collagen, but it decreases with age.
To start, check out these seven low carb foods that are good for your skin, and plenty of delicious low carb recipes featuring these foods.
Next, you can start your day with these smoothies, which may give a boost to your breakfast and your skin health:
This smoothie boasts skin-boosting collagen and nutrient-rich spinach.
Berries are naturally a great source of phytochemicals and vitamin C.
If would rather go the savory route, a steaming cup of bone broth is rich in collagen and makes an excellent snack or delicious nutrient-packed base for low carb soup recipes.
In addition to these tasty low carb foods and recipes for glowing skin, be sure to drink plenty of water (eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day) and get your share of ZZZs (7 to 9 hours a night).
- Sensi, M., Pricci, F., Andreani, D., et al., “Advanced Nonenzymatic Glycation Endproducts (AGE): Their Relevance to Aging and the Pathogenesis of Late Diabetic Complications.” Diabetes Research, 16(1), 1991, pages 1-9.