Our health is very dependent on what we eat. If we consistently eat foods that have no natural benefit our metabolism suffers, we get fat and our main organs such as heart and liver may get damaged.
Healthy eating also promotes healthy skin.
The more research is done the more we become aware of the links between good diet and healthy skin.
Let us take a look at 12 foods that can promote healthy skin.
- Fish – Oily Fish
Fish containing Omega – 3 fatty acids are the fish that benefit us most and help promote healthy skin. These are salmon, mackerel, and herring. There are others but these are the most universally known.
Omega-3 fatty acids keep the skin thick, moisturized and flexible. If our diet lacks Omega – 3 fats it may become dry.
Omega-3 fats found in fish are known to reduce inflammation. This can cause redness and acne. Your skin may be less sensitive to harmful UV rays. Fish fats also provide a source of vitamin E. This is a powerful source of free radicals which protect the skin from free radicals and/or inflammation. And last but not least fish is a source of Zinc. Zinc is an essential part of healing skin issues – plus it can assist prostate issues in men.
- Avocados – Healthy Fats
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats. These fats help keep skin supple and moisturized. There have been numerous studies
Avocados have been shown in testing to contain compounds that can protect the skin against sun damage. We know that UV damage is a major cause of wrinkling and the appearance of aging.
Avocados also contain vitamin E. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage. Vitamin E effectively combines with vitamin C to provide powerful skin nourishment.
Vitamin C helps create collagen to keep your skin healthy skin. A deficiency in vitamin C has symptoms such as dry, rough and scaly skin. It can also be prone to bruising.
About 1/2 an average sized avocado provides 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E and 17% for vitamin C.
- Dark Chocolate – but make sure it is 70% or better.
Cacao not only tastes great but its effect on wrinkles makes you want to eat more. Tests show that cacao powder, high in antioxidants, may thicken and hydrate the skin in 8-12 weeks.
Dark chocolate helps to provide the skin with more nutrients. It makes the skin feel smoother, less dry and reduces the sensitivity to sunburn. It can also improve blood flow.
Eating 20 grams of 70% + chocolate daily may help skin cope with up to twice as much UV radiation, before burning. Unfortunately, it is not the same result for lighter chocolate.
Other studies have produced similar results. They also have shown chocolate can reduce wrinkles. Evidence shows that cacao may protect the skin from damage and help it look younger. Remember 70% cacao is the magic number to maximize the health benefits. Stay away from added sugar or at least minimize it.
- Walnuts – great for healthy skin
Walnuts are full of essential fatty acids. On top of that, they are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
An excess of omega-6 fats can cause psoriasis or other skin inflammation. However Omega-3 fats combat Omega 6 fats to reduce these issues.
Our western diet has too much Omega-6 fatty acids but sources of omega-3 fatty acids are uncommon. Good quantities of these fatty acids are present in walnuts and can balance the intake of omega-6.
It doesn’t stop there for the mighty walnut. It has lots of additional nutrients that help skin to do what it needs to be healthy.
An ounce of walnut has 6% of the recommended daily dose of zinc. Zinc helps the skin as a barrier to UV rays etc. It also assists healing and fighting bacteria and inflammation in wounds.
But the walnut does not stop there! It has small amounts of antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium, plus 4–5 grams of protein per ounce.
- Sunflower Seeds
Nuts and seeds are good sources of important nutrients for healthy skin. Sunflower seeds are excellent.
One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds contain 32% of the RDI of the antioxidant selenium, 10% of the RDI for zinc,5.4 grams of protein, 37% of the RDI for vitamin E.
A tasty way to get sufficient quantities of vitamin E and anti-oxidants!
Linoleic acid, an important omega-6 that helps prevent the aging process is also found in Sunflower seeds. This will help your skin to moisturize and thicken.
- Sweet Potatoes – a Nutrient from plants.
Sweet Potatoes have Beta-carotene. This converts to Vitamin A in your body. You will also get beta-carotene from carrots, spinach, and dark green veggie.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source. Half of a cup of baked sweet potato has nearly 4 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
Beta-carotene acts as a natural sunblock. When eaten, it is incorporated into the skin and offers protection from sun exposure, preventing sunburn and wrinkled skin.
Beta-carotene will tan your skin giving it a healthy look but don’t overdo it, you may go a shade of orange!
- Broccoli – the green powerhouse
Broccoli contains many vitamins and minerals important for your skin. These include zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Lutein, a carotenoid similar to beta-carotene is also present in Broccoli. You can see the benefits of beta-carotene in the information above on sweet potatoes and bell peppers.
The broccoli florets contain sulforaphane. Sulforaphane claims to have powerful health benefits, including possible anti-cancer properties. It is noted that it may be effective on some skin cancers.
It is also a powerful agent protecting against sun damage by neutralizing free radicals and activating the body’s protective systems.
There have been laboratory tests showing sulforaphane can reduce the effect of UV light on skin cells by as much as 29% for up to 48 hours. It may also help support collagen levels in the skin.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and contain all of the major carotenoids, including lycopene.
Research shows Beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene can protect the skin against sun damage may also help prevent wrinkling.
As all of the major carotenoids are contained in tomatoes, they are excellent in helping to maintain healthy skin.
Carotenoids must be paired with fat to be properly absorbed, so our suggestion is to add them to cheese or olive oil when eaten.
- Bell Peppers – Red or Yellow
Bell peppers are another great source of beta-carotene. All chopped up, one cup of red bell pepper is equal to 92% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin A.
They abound in vitamin C, the antioxidant necessary for the creation of collagen. As we know, collagen is essential for healthy, firm skin.
You get 317% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C from one cup of bell pepper. This will reduce your chances of your skin appearing wrinkled and dry as you age.
Soy contains the plant compounds isoflavones. These may either mimic or block estrogen in the body.
Soy may possibly provide some potential health benefits, including some for the skin.
One small study of women in their 30s and 40s found that eating soy isoflavones every day for 8–12 weeks improved fine wrinkles and skin elasticity.
In postmenopausal women, soy may also help improve skin dryness and increase collagen, which helps keep your skin smooth and strong (29).
These isoflavones not only protect the cells inside of your body from damage but also protect your skin from damage from harmful UV rays. This may even help prevent the development of some skin cancers.
- Red Wine
It is well known Red wine contains resveratrol. Resveratrol is produced by the skin of red grapes. It is credited with many health benefits; one of the best known is to reduce the effects of aging.
The skin binds with resveratrol and when applied can slow the aging process.
Drinking red wine may reduce harmful free radicals, which damage skin cells and cause signs of aging.
Just enjoy red wine but not to excess in the hope you will gain more benefits for your skin. But it is a pleasant drink.
- Green Tea
It is very likely Green Tea may protect your skin from damage and aging.
Green tea contains catechins, powerful compounds which offer several options to protect and improve the health of your skin.
Drinking green tea often can help protect your skin against sun damage.
In one 12-week study of 60 women, it was shown that drinking green tea daily may reduce redness from sun exposure by up to 25%. The general health of the skin including, moisture, thickness, and flexibility were also improved.
Avoid drinking Green tea with milk. On its own, it is shown to be very good at promoting healthy skin. Milk can reduce the benefits you will get from the antioxidants found in Green tea.