You are what you eat. And what you eat shows up on your face. An unhealthy diet can impede your metabolism, result in weight gain, cause hormonal imbalances, increase sugar and blood pressure, and damage certain organs.
But, it can also affect your skin. There are a lot of foods that can protect your skin from damage and make it look younger and healthier. Let’s take a look at the foods you should be eating for healthy skin.
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Fatty fish, like mackerel, herring, salmon, are excellent foods to get healthy skin. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to maintain skin health. These acids keep your skin thick, moisturized, and supple. In fact, the deficiency of omega-3 acids can cause dry skin.
These fats reduce inflammation, which causes acne and redness. Besides, they can make your skin less sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Some studies have also suggested that fish oil supplements can help fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions that might affect your skin. Some common examples of such conditions include lupus and psoriasis.
In addition, fatty fish also provides Vitamin E, which is a critical antioxidant of your skin. Your skin needs enough vitamin E to protect itself from damage from inflammation and free radicals.
Avocados contain healthy fats that provide a plethora of health benefits, including healthy skin. These fats help keep your skin moisturized and flexible. Studies also suggest that avocados are rich in compounds that help protect your skin from sun damage. UV rays from the sun can cause wrinkles, signs of aging, and skin cancer.
Avocado is also a rich source of vitamin E, which, as discussed before, is an oxidant for your skin and protects your skin from oxidative damage. Avocados also contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the essential components for healthy skin. Moreover, vitamin E and vitamin C are more effective when combined with vitamin E. And since Avocado is a source of both, it can do wonders for your skin.
Walnuts are a good source of essential fatty acids (the fats your body cannot make on its own). They are known to be richer in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than most other nuts and sources.
An excess of omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammatory conditions in your skin, like psoriasis. On the other hand, omega-3 fats can reduce inflammation in your skin and body. In a typical western diet, omega-6 acids are plentiful, but omega-3 acids are rare. Walnuts contain the ideal ratio of these two acids and can balance the inflammatory effects of omega-6.
Moreover, walnuts contain other nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy and function properly. Take, for example, Zinc. Walnuts contain zinc, which is an essential element for your skin. It helps your skin combat bacteria and inflammation and provides wound-healing capabilities. Besides, they also contain small amounts of antioxidants, like vitamin E and selenium.
Nuts and seeds are excellent for your skin, sunflower seeds being an excellent example. Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and protein. All these components work towards boosting your skin health and helping it function better.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene. Beta carotene functions as provitamin A, i.e., it converts to vitamin A in your body. Beta carotene and other carotenoids act as a natural sunblock and can keep your skin healthy. When you consume sweet potatoes, your skin absorbs the antioxidants, which are then used to protect your skin cells from sun exposure. Additionally, large amounts of beta carotene can add a warm, orange texture to your skin, giving it a healthier appearance.
Similar to sweet potatoes, bell peppers are a good source of beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your body. They’re excellent sources of vitamin C, too. Vitamin C facilitates creating the protein collagen, which keeps your skin strong and firm. Both beta carotene and vitamin C are important antioxidants for your skin. And since bell peppers contain both, they can go a long way in keeping your skin stronger, healthier, and attractive.
Brocolli is like the Micheal Jordan of healthy foods. It is full of various vitamins and minerals essential for the health of your skin, such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin A. It is also a good source of lutein, a beta carotene-like carotenoid that protects your skin from oxidative damage and prevents it from becoming dry and wrinkled.
However, it is worth mentioning that the benefits of broccoli go beyond keeping the skin healthy. It contains sulforaphane, a compound that has anti-cancer properties and prevents certain types of skin cancer. Sulforaphane also acts as a protective agent against sun damage by neutralizing harmful free radicals. It may also help maintain collagen levels in your skin.
Tomatoes’ skin benefits are no mystery. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and all major carotenoids, like lycopene. As discussed before, beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene protect your skin from sun damage. They also prevent wrinkling. And since tomatoes are rich in all these carotenoids, they are excellent for maintaining healthy skin.
Isoflavones are a type of plant compounds that block or mimic estrogen in your body. They can benefit various parts of your body, including your skin. Isoflavones are known to be more effective in restoring skin elasticity in middle-aged women.
Soy contains isoflavones. Apart from helping middle-aged women with their skin health, soy also increases collagen and improve skin dryness in postmenopausal women. Isoflavones in soy also help to protect your skin from UV radiation, thus, reducing the risk of some skin cancers.
Dark chocolates can help fight migraines and mood imbalances. But if you need one more reason to eat dark chocolate, here you go: cocoa can cause some phenomenal effects on your skin. It contains antioxidants and can make your skin thicker and more hydrated. It also makes your skin less rough and scale, less sensitive to sunburn, and promotes the flow of blood and nutrients in your skin. Various studies have confirmed that dark chocolate can cause improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and skin quality.
Green tea brings a lot of health benefits to the table, including the protection of your skin from aging and damage. It contains powerful components called catechins that improve the health of your skin in several ways. Catechins are antioxidants and can help protect your skin from sun damage.
In addition, green tea improves moisture, roughness, elasticity, and thickness of your skin. However, avoid drinking your green tea with milk. There is evidence that milk could reduce the antioxidant properties of green tea.
Red grapes contain resveratrol, a compound extracted from the skin of red grapes. Resveratrol is known to offer a wide range of health benefits, such as protection against cancer, heart disease, and of course, unhealthy skin.
It helps slow down the production of harmful free radicals that damage skin cells and promote aging. This beneficial compound is also found in red wine. However, it is not clear if red wine can provide benefits to your skin. Also, red wine is an alcoholic beverage, so consuming excessive amounts of it can be injurious to your health. So, don’t increase your intake of red wine just because it may have skin benefits. Instead, increase the intake of resveratrol from natural sources like red grapes and berries.
As you can see, some foods can have a significant impact on the health of your skin. As a rule of thumb, look for foods that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids, and avoid foods that contain unhealthy fats, spices, and bases. Also, be sure to add the foods mentioned above to your daily supper.