We are all familiar with the old saying that “You are what you eat.” While this statement isn’t literally true for people who do not practice cannibalism, there’s sound science behind it: the things that you eat do provide the building blocks for everything else in your body, especially for healthy skin. If the building blocks you provide are weak, inadequate, or missing something important, then the same problems will be true of your body as well.

Of course, different structures need different building blocks. As a result, even if you have a general idea of how to eat for a healthy lifestyle, you may not have a clear idea of how to alter your diet to get highly specific results. If, for example, you’re looking to have healthier, clearer skin, there are specific foods you should eat— as well as foods you should avoid.

Eat More Antioxidants

Antioxidants are extremely beneficial to the health and well being of your skin, because they repair your skin and strengthen the blood vessels, which make it easier for your body’s circulatory system to provide nutrients to the dermis and take away pollutants and waste. Additionally, antioxidants combat the damage brought on by sun, pollution, wind, and temperature changes, and fight off free radicals. Foods that are high in antioxidants tend to protect the skin from damage. So if you’re looking to give your face a little armor, it’s best to eat a diet high in blueberries, pomegranates, spinach, tomatoes, beans, salmon, carrots, nuts, peas, kale, apricots, mangoes, and other foods high in vitamins A, C, and E.

Eat Less Fat And Carbohydrates

Just as eating the right foods can be beneficial to your skin, it’s important to avoid eating foods that would be detrimental to your skin if you want to keep it happy, fresh, and supple. Foods that are particularly greasy or low in vital nutrients— sometimes referred to as “empty calories”— take up room in your stomach without providing your skin the tools it needs to fight off free radicals and stay radiant. Some research and studies have shown that a diet high in carbohydrates and fat intense food can actually accelerate the skin’s aging process by a considerable amount— an effect which can be exacerbated by not drinking enough water. After all, the only thing worse than not having enough of the right nutrients to feed your skin is not having the delivery system to get the nutrients to your skin in the first place.