Having a healthy diet for healthy skin is a choice! Your nutrition choices are very important to the look and feel of your skin overall. An unhealthy diet can also damage your metabolism, cause weight gain and affects your heart and liver. What you eat also affects the health of another organ — your skin!
Healthy Diet for Healthy Skin
The more information we gather on how our diets affect our bodies, the clearer it is to know that what we are eating is significantly affecting the health and the aging of our skin.
This article is part one, and will focus on some of the best foods to include in your diet.
Avocados are high in healthy fats. Yes, there are fats that we can call healthy! You don’t have to remove all fats to have a healthy diet for healthy skin. Healthy fats benefit many functions in your body, including the health of your skin. Getting enough of these fats in your diet is an important factor in keeping your skin moisturized and flexible.
Studies have found that a high intake of total fat (specifically the types of healthy fats found in avocados) was associated with having more supple, springy skin. Preliminary evidence also shows that avocados contain compounds that may help to protect our skin against sun damage. UV damage to the skin can cause signs of aging, such as wrinkling. Avocados are also a very good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that helps protect the skin from oxidative stress.
Other studies have shown that vitamin E seems to be even more effective when it is combined with vitamin C. Vitamin C is also essential for maintaining healthy skin. Our skin needs vitamin C in order to create collagen. Collagen is the main structural protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy. A deficiency in vitamin C is very rare these days. Common symptoms would include dry, rough, scaly skin that can bruise very easily.
Vitamin C is also an anti-oxidant that protects your skin from oxidative damage. This can be caused by the sun and the environment, which can lead to signs of aging skin.
Broccoli makes the list because it 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. It protects the skin from oxidative damage, which can cause skin to become dry and wrinkled.
Broccoli florets also contain a special compound called sulforaphane, which seems to have some impressive health benefits. It may even have anti-cancer effects, including some forms of skin cancer. Sulforaphane is also a powerful protective agent against sun damage. It works in two ways: by neutralizing harmful free radicals and turning on other protective systems in the body. There is also evidence that it helps maintain collagen levels in the skin.
Does anyone need a reason to eat chocolate? The effects of cocoa on your skin are pretty impressive! One study found that after 6 – 12 weeks of consuming a cocoa powder high in antioxidants, participants experienced a thicker, more hydrated skin. Their skin was also less rough and scaly, less sensitive to sunburn, and had better blood flow which brings more nutrients to the skin.
Several other studies have produced similar results, including improvements in the appearance of wrinkles.
Evidence shows that cocoa may be a powerful tool for keeping your skin young and protected from damage. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in order to maximize the health benefits and keep added sugar to a minimum. Who said a healthy diet for healthy skin meant no chocolate!
Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel and herring) are an excellent choice to eat to maintain healthy skin. They are all rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are an important part of the diet when wanting to have a healthy diet for healthy skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are a necessary component to keep your skin thick, supple and moisturized. Having a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids can also cause dry skin. The omega 3 fats found in fish are known to reduce inflammation, which can be the cause of redness and acne.
There has been some research done and studies have found that fish oil supplements may help fight inflammatory and auto-immune conditions affecting the skin, such as psoriasis and lupus. Fatty fish are also a good source of vitamin E, which is one of the most important antioxidants for the skin. Getting enough vitamin E is essential for protecting the skin against damage from free radicals as well as inflammation. Fatty fish are also a source of high-quality protein, which is necessary to grow the structural proteins that maintain the strength and integrity of our skin.
Fatty fish is also a source of zinc, a mineral that is important for regulating inflammation of the skin as well as the production of new skin cells and overall skin health. Having a deficiency in zinc can lead to skin inflammation, skin lesions and the delay in the healing of any wounds.
Drinking green tea also has the ability to protect your skin from damage and aging. The powerful compounds found in green tea are called catechins. They work to protect and improve the health of your skin in several ways. Like several other antioxidant-containing foods, regularly consuming green tea can help protect your skin against sun damage.
One 12 week study in 60 women found that drinking green tea daily could reduce redness from sun exposure by up to 25%. It also improved the moisture, roughness, thickness and elasticity of their skin. While green tea is a great choice for healthy skin, you may want to avoid drinking your tea with milk. There’s evidence that milk could reduce the beneficial effects of its antioxidants.
Red or Yellow Bell Peppers
Like sweet potatoes, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta-carotene. They are also one of the best sources of vitamin C, the antioxidant that’s necessary for creating the protein collagen, which keeps skin firm and strong. A large observational study in women found that eating plenty of vitamin C was associated with a lower chance of skin appearing wrinkled and becoming dry with age.
Being aware of what you are putting in your mouth has a huge effect on your skin is step one. Maintaining a healthy diet to ensure your healthy skin is step two. You have the power to maintain a healthy diet for healthy skin! Watch for next months blog where we reveal the other food items that are great to have as part of your healthy diet for healthy skin.