Our skin is our body’s largest organ and most of us aim for healthy-looking skin. As we know, drinking water, keeping hydrated, and getting plenty of rest is important for younger looking, healthy skin. We apply masks, moisturizers, and regularly exfoliate to help our skin look healthier but the food we intake also has a significant impact on our skin.
In order to keep this vital organ in tip top shape, here are some tips for how eating right can help your skin have a healthy look:
Plant-based Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A is considered to be a very important vitamin for skin health. Carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin, canteloupe, mango, sweet red pepper, spinach, black-eye peas, and other colorful vegetables have a lot of this vitamin.
The recommended DV is 5,000 IU for adults and children aged 4 years and older. Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in the U.S., and most people do not need to worry too much about counting vitamin A values.
Vitamins C is a water-soluble vitamin found abundantly in vegetables and fruits of all kinds. It is beneficial for the skin, hair and nails due to the way it supports collagen function, fights off free radicals in the body and it also prevents aging and inflammation. Vitamin C is found in citrus foods such as orange, kiwi, lemon, guava, grapefruit, also black currants, strawberries, papaya, and cantaloupe, vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, capsicums, tomatoes, bell peppers, and herbs such as rose hips.
Vitamin E also important for skin health occurs in avocados and most nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts/filberts, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils such as wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the skin is said to be an indicator of a person’s liver and other digestive organs. This makes sense, as the liver stores toxins that enter the body to keep them from circulating and causing harm. Antioxidants help boost liver health and, in turn, skin health.
Another way that antioxidants in the diet may help skin is by protecting the skin cells themselves. Damage from free radicals – pesky molecules that form as a result of toxin exposure, as a by-product of certain body processes, or from sun exposure – may be prevented by antioxidants in the diet. So eating foods rich in antioxidants may help prevent this free radical damage from occurring. Antioxidant-rich foods include dark chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pecans, kale, pinto beans, red cabbage, artichokes, and tea.
Fats and Oils
Fat intake does have a place in a healthy skin diet – as long as it’s beneficial fat. The fatty acids found in salmon, nuts, seeds, and some oils (such as olive and canola) help build strong cell membranes. They also help the body digest and use fat-soluble vitamins, such as the aforementioned vitamin A and also vitamin D, another vitamin associated with healthy skin.
What to Avoid
Deep-fried foods and junk food do not provide the nutrients your skin needs to be healthy and should be avoided as much as possible.