Healthy, beautiful skin comes from the inside out. Good nutrition promotes a healthy glow. So what we put in our bodies is as vital as what we put on our bodies. A healthy skin diet is a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Research suggests that certain antioxidants such as vitamin C, Vitamin, E, Selenium, and Vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene) nourish and protect the skin to extend it’s youthful appearance.
Here are some of the most important components for a healthy skin diet:
1) Vitamin A. Found in low-fat dairy products, and Vitamin A found in fruits and vegetables (beta carotene). Beta Carotene is a nutrient that is critical for skin health. It is converted to Vitamin A in the body to aid in the growth and repair of body tissue, including your skin. Best foods for beta carotene are: Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Carrots, Turnip Greens, Mustard Greens, Spinach, Dried Herbs, Butternut Squash, Lettuce (Romaine & Red Leaf) and Collards.
2 ) Vitamin C. Naturally found in skin, it is involved in collagen production and protects cells from free radical damage. Vitamin C is destroyed by exposure to sunlight, even when you spend a short amount of time in the sun. It can leave the skin depleted. That’s why it is important to replenish your skin’s Vitamin C by eating plenty of Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Best foods for Vitamin C: Red and green hot chili peppers, guavas, bell peppers (all colors), kiwi fruit, fresh herbs (thyme and parsley), bark cauliflower, brussels sprouts, papayas, oranges, tangerines, asparagus and strawberries.
3) Vitamin B3. is one of the best forms of the B vitamins for your skin. Also known as Niacin, It is a skin-conditioning powerhouse, B3 treats a variety of skin conditions and irritations, including dermatitis, acne, rosacea, eczema, dry and sun-damaged skin, and hyperpigmentation. It’s also a strong anti-aging ingredient and as such, features prominently in skin care products targeted at fine lines and wrinkles. Best foods for Vitamin B3: Turkey, chicken, dairy products, liver, mushrooms, fish, peas, fortified breads and cereals
4) Vitamin E. Protects cell membranes and guards against UV radiation damage. Some research suggests that Vitamin E may work with Vitamin C to provide an extra boost of anti-aging skin protection. Best foods for Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, paprika & red chili powder, almonds, pine nuts, peanuts, dried herbs (basil & oregano), avocados, dried apricots, pickled green olives, cooked spinach and cooked taro root.
5) Selenium. An antioxidant mineral that helps safeguard the skin from sun damage. It helps delay wrinkles by protecting the skin’s quality and elasticity. Best foods for Selenium: Nuts (brazil buts), shellfish (oysters, mussels, whelk), brown rice, liver, fish, sunflower seeds, bran (wheat, rice & oat), caviar, bacon and pork chops, mushrooms, lobster, crab, whole wheat pasta and shrimp.
6) Zinc. Your skin contains six percent of all the Zinc in your body. This mineral is necessary for protecting cell membranes and helping to maintain the collagen that keeps the skin firm. Best foods for Zinc: Oysters, toasted wheat germ, skinless chicken (dark meat), lentils, roasted pumpkins, squash seeds, dried watermelon seeds, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, lean lamb, peanuts and crab.
7) Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Healthy fats help maintain cell membranes. They are effective barriers allowing water and nutrients in and keeping toxins out. Also known to protect the skin against sun damage. Best foods for Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Chinook salmon, herring, mackerel, halibut, sardines, eggs, soy milk, yogurt, oatmeal, walnuts, brussel sprouts, kale, mint rapeseed oil, cod liver oil, flax seed oil, and olive oil.
8) Hydration. When hydration comes from pure clear water the skin cells rejoice. Drinking water will help your body flush away toxins and allow the smooth flow of nutrients into the cells. Cells that are well hydrated are plump and full. This means that the skin will look firmer and clearer (but not “fat”). Many fruits and vegetables have high water content that contribute to overall hydration. Best foods that are high in water content: Watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries and plums, celery, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, tomato, zucchini, mushroom, eggplant and spinach.
You may already be practicing a healthy skin diet without even knowing it. This information on how a healthy diet nourishes your skin will give you some more ideas to expand your practice. (Photo: Daria Shevtosova | Pexels).