Food For A Healthy Skin covers topics that women can use right away to improve their health and their appearance. Topics include what the latest research has to say about the effects of nutrition on skin and body, how to achieve a healthy weight, which diets are best for different types of skin and body types, product reviews on the newest and most popular products on the market right now as well as some oldies but goodies too!
Food For A Healthy Skin
Nutrition is important for health. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain, and even damage organs, such as your heart and liver.
But what you eat also affects another organ — your skin.
As scientists learn more about diet and the body, it’s increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health and aging of your skin.
This article takes a look at the best foods for keeping your skin healthy.
1. Fatty fish
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring, are excellent foods for healthy skin. They’re rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining skin health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to help keep skin thick, supple, and moisturized. In fact, an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency can cause dry skin.
The omega-3 fats in fish reduce inflammation, which can cause redness and acne. They can even make your skin less sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Some studies show that fish oil supplements may help fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions affecting your skin, such as psoriasis and lupus.
Fatty fish is also a source of vitamin E, one of the most important antioxidants for your skin.
Getting enough vitamin E is essential for helping protect your skin against damage from free radicals and inflammation.
This type of seafood is also a source of high quality protein, which is needed for maintaining the strength and integrity of your skin.
Lastly, fish provides zinc — a mineral vital for regulating the following:
overall skin health
the production of new skin cells
Zinc deficiency can lead to skin inflammation, lesions, and delayed wound healing (6Trusted Source).
Fatty types of fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and keep your skin moisturized. They’re also a good source of high quality protein, vitamin E, and zinc.
Avocados are high in healthy fats. These fats benefit many functions in your body, including the health of your skin (7Trusted Source).
Getting enough of these fats is essential to help keep skin flexible and moisturized.
One study involving over 700 women found that a high intake of total fat — specifically the types of healthy fats found in avocados — was associated with more supple, springy skin.
Preliminary evidence also shows that avocados contain compounds that may help protect your skin from sun damage. UV damage to your skin can cause wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant that helps protect your skin from oxidative damage. Most Americans don’t get enough vitamin E through their diet.
Interestingly, vitamin E seems to be more effective when combined with vitamin C (5Trusted Source).
Vitamin C is also essential for healthy skin. Your skin needs it to create collagen, which is the main structural protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy (10Trusted Source).
Vitamin C deficiency is rare these days, but common symptoms include dry, rough, and scaly skin that tends to bruise easily.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from oxidative damage caused by the sun and the environment, which can lead to signs of aging.
A 100-gram serving, or about 1/2 an avocado, provides 14% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin E and 11% of the DV for vitamin C.
Avocados are high in beneficial fats and contain vitamins E and C, which are important for healthy skin. They also pack compounds that may protect your skin from sun damage.
Walnuts have many characteristics that make them an excellent food for healthy skin.
They’re a good source of essential fatty acids, which are fats that your body cannot make itself.
In fact, they’re richer than most other nuts in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
A diet too high in omega-6 fats may promote inflammation, including inflammatory conditions of your skin like psoriasis.
On the other hand, omega-3 fats reduce inflammation in your body — including in your skin.
While omega-6 fatty acids are plentiful in the Western diet, sources of omega-3 fatty acids are rare.
Because walnuts contain a good ratio of these fatty acids, they may help fight the potential inflammatory response to excessive omega-6.
What’s more, walnuts contain other nutrients that your skin needs to function properly and stay healthy.
One ounce (28 grams) of walnuts contains 8% of the DV for zinc.
Zinc is essential for your skin to function properly as a barrier. It’s also necessary for wound healing and combating both bacteria and inflammation (14Trusted Source).
Walnuts also provide small amounts of the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, in addition to 4–5 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams)
Walnuts are a good source of essential fats, zinc, vitamin E, selenium and protein — all of which are nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy.
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4. Sunflower seeds
In general, nuts and seeds are good sources of skin-boosting nutrients.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent example.
One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds packs 49% of the DV for vitamin E, 41% of the DV for selenium, 14% of the DV for zinc, and 5.5 grams of protein .
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant for the skin.
5. Sweet potatoes
Beta carotene is a nutrient found in plants.
It functions as provitamin A, which means it can be converted into vitamin A in your body.
Beta carotene is found in oranges and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes .
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source — one 1/2-cup (100-gram) serving of baked sweet potato contains enough beta carotene to provide more than six times the DV of vitamin A.
Carotenoids like beta carotene help keep your skin healthy by acting as a natural sunblock.
When consumed, this antioxidant is incorporated into your skin and helps protect your skin cells from sun exposure. This may help prevent sunburn, cell death, and dry, wrinkled skin.
Interestingly, high amounts of beta carotene may also add a warm, orange color to your skin, contributing to an overall healthier appearance.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock and may protect your skin from sun damage.
6. Red or yellow bell peppers
Like sweet potatoes, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
One cup (149 grams) of chopped red bell pepper contains the equivalent of 156% of the DV for vitamin A.
They’re also one of the best sources of vitamin C. This vitamin is necessary for creating the protein collagen, which keeps skin firm and strong.
A single cup (149 grams) of bell pepper provides an impressive 211% of the DV for vitamin .
A large observational study involving women linked eating plenty of vitamin C to a reduced risk of wrinkled and dry skin with age.
Bell peppers contain plenty of beta carotene and vitamin C — both of which are important antioxidants for your skin. Vitamin C is also necessary to create collagen, the structural protein that keeps your skin strong.
Broccoli is full of many vitamins and minerals important for skin health, including zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that works like beta carotene. Lutein helps protect your skin from oxidative damage, which can cause your skin to become dry and wrinkled.
But broccoli florets also pack a special compound called sulforaphane, which boasts some impressive potential benefits. It may even have anti-cancer effects, including on some types of skin cancer.
Sulforaphane is likewise a powerful protective agent against sun damage. It works in two ways: neutralizing harmful free radicals and switching on other protective systems in your body.
In laboratory tests, sulforaphane reduced the number of skin cells UV light killed by as much as 29%, with protection lasting up to 48 hours.
Evidence suggests sulforaphane may also help maintain collagen levels in your skin.
Broccoli is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids that are important for skin health. It also contains sulforaphane, which may help prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sunburn.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and contain all of the major carotenoids, including lycopene.
Beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene have been shown to protect your skin against damage from the sun. They may also help prevent wrinkling.
Because tomatoes are rich in carotenoids, they’re an excellent food for maintaining healthy skin.
Consider pairing carotenoid-rich foods like tomatoes with a source of fat, such as cheese or olive oil. Fat increases your absorption of carotenoids.
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and all of the major carotenoids, especially lycopene. These carotenoids protect your skin from sun damage and may help prevent wrinkling.
Foods for Better, Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin
We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” It’s a cliché, but consistently eating healthfully can really help get you that radiant look. Shifting toward more Mediterranean-style meals is arguably the best way to eat for better skin and overall health. The antioxidants, like beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and B vitamins, function as bodyguards to your skin cells, helping protect them from damage. Omega-3’s are also key for skin health and appearance, helping minimize the inflammation that can lead to cell degradation over time. To get those crucial nutrients, add these foods to your grocery shopping list. Water
Drinking more water is the simplest and speediest way to boost your glow and keep skin (and your tissues!) functioning at their best. Try adding fresh citrus or berries to liven up plain sparkling or still water. How much you need to drink varies depending on the person, but I’d make two liters (about eight cups) your minimum. You’ll need more if you exercise vigorously or generally sweat a lot! Watermelon
Two cups of cubed watermelon equal a full cup of water and can help you (and therefore your skin cells) stay hydrated. Plus, the beta-carotene and vitamin C found in watermelon makes it an antioxidant-packed snack. Try cutting it up and storing it in the freezer for a treat during warmer months. Cod
If there is one way all of us could improve upon in our diets, it’s eating more seafood. Less than 10% of us get the recommended 8-12 ounces per week! The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are key to offsetting inflammation, which can lead to skin cell damage, flaking, dryness, and overall dull appearance. Other great sources of omega-3’s include herring, mackerel, tuna, shrimp, sardines, sea bass, halibut, and lobster. Oats
Oats provide selenium, an antioxidant compound that helps protect cells from damage (the type that could ultimately lead to mutation and tumor growth long-term). Plus, the prebiotics found in oats fuel your body’s beneficial probiotics, bolstering your immune system overall. Corn Oil
Plant-based oils like corn oil also supply your body with omega-3’s, helping to minimize inflammation. Since these oils are also low in saturated fat, they’re the perfect choice for cooking to add flavor and increase the antioxidant content of your meal — benefiting your skin cells and heart health. Pecans
The ellagic acid found in many plant-based foods like nuts has been linked to protecting skin cells from UV damage. Pecans also pack antioxidants and minerals, like vitamins A and E, plus calcium and potassium. They’re also a source of zinc which is another nutrient that may help to promote glowing skin and protect immunity. Olives
The polyphenolic compounds found in olives may help protect cells from disruption and improve blood flow throughout your body. Choose these antioxidant-packed fruits to help protect skin cells and improve health overall. They’ll fill you up with a combo of unsaturated fat and fiber. Garlic
Herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger can lend a hand, too. Early research has linked them to reducing the production of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). These compounds can cause structural changes in skin when they accumulate, but your favorite flavorings may help slow down the build-up of AGEs.