A radiantly healthy person lights up a room. Someone who takes good care of his or her body literally glows. Clear, vibrant skin is not made by using the right products as much as by taking care of the body through a healthy diet, exercise, and other vital lifestyle choices.

Skin is the largest organ of the body. It is also the last stage of detoxification. If our liver and kidneys get overwhelmed by toxins, it will show up on the skin. This is why alcoholics tend to have red skin with a harsh texture, and people who eat a lot of sugar or processed foods usually have acne.

But this also means that we can inspire our skin to glisten by making healthful choices about what we eat. Here are a few ways to improve your skins texture, color, and tone.

Drink Water

Proper hydration is key for radiant, soft skin. When we are insufficiently hydrated, the body draws moisture from the surface to give it to the more essential organs. If your lips are at all dry, you are dehydrated. Drink at least two liters of water per day, more if you are a taller or larger person.

Get Off the Sugar

Nothing shows up on our skin as intensely as sugar. Eating sugar and other simple carbs spikes blood glucose and insulin levels. This damages collagen, the structural protein that is responsible fore skin elasticity. Eating processed sugar accelerates the development of wrinkles and destroys skin tone.

Bread Is Not Your Friend

Nearly as damaging as straight sugar, processed grains have similar insulin spiking and skin ruining effects. If you are going to eat grain, stick to whole grains, preferably gluten-free and sprouted, like millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa.

The More Alive, the Better

Like nearly every part of the body, our skin thrives when we eat a diet of mostly living, raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Choose to eat fresh plants whenever possible.

Eat Your Greens

Dark leafy greens are especially important for radiant skin. They provide essential vitamins and minerals used in the production of skin, as well as micronutrients that add extra glow. Berries are also high in anti-oxidants, which protect our bodies from being damaged by the free-radical toxins. Those toxins are created by environmental stress and metabolic byproducts.

Beautiful Berries

Berries are high in flavonols, a type of antioxidant that protects the skin from sun damage and increases softness. They also taste delicious, and nothing makes us as pretty as a smile.

Royal Red (and Orange) Foods

Bright red and orange foods are high in lutein and beta-carotene, anti-oxidants that are vital for skin development and maintaining even skin tone. Tomatoes, carrots, and goji berries are great foods for the skin. Bright melons like cantaloupe and watermelon contain these precious nutrients and are very hydrating, a win-win.

Oranges, and other citrus fruit, are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for healing blemishes, producing collagen, and keeping the capillaries healthy.

Find the Friendly Fats

Skin loves the right kinds of fat. Not from fried foods or animal products, but from seeds, nuts, avocados, and coconuts. Soaked raw almonds are particularly helpful, as they are both alkalinizing and full of vitamin E. Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative and sun damage and acts as a natural preservative for skin tone and radiance.

Brazil nuts are another great fat, and a very high source of selenium. Selenium helps to beautify skin and protects it from skin cancer and age spots.

Finally, omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) are important for reducing inflammation and swelling. They are especially helpful for healing eczema and psoriasis.

Fermented Foods

Probiotics are important for feeding the beneficial bacteria in the intestines and supporting digestion. When the digestion is functioning optimally, we process our food better and are less likely to experience skin-ruining toxin overload.

Mind Your Minerals

The skin depends on an array of minerals to keep it healthy and vibrant. Many of these can be supplied by leafy greens and nuts, but with the global pandemic of poor soil quality it might be wise to supplement. Magnesium, iron, and selenium are particularly important for skin health.

Sleep Like You Mean It

Okay, not exactly a food rule, but this last tip will make a huge difference on how you look and feel over time. Under eye bags can be avoided, or at least held off for many more years, if you get sufficient sleep every night. This needs to be quality rest in a cool, dark, quiet room, for 7 to 9 hours a night.

As within, so without. Beauty is not something we can slap on ourselves with the right outfit, but rather a natural expression of self-care and happiness. Treat your body like a temple by being careful what you put in it, and everyone will be able to bask in your radiance.