Diet Tips for Healthy Skin
Beautiful skin starts from within. Older cells are constantly shed and replaced by younger ones. It is important that we eat right and take care of our bodies so that a constant supply of needed nutrients is available to support this rapid growth. In this post we will discuss diet tips for healthy skin. If we eat high nutrient foods, we will be more likely to have healthy skin that is blemish free. Dr. Ruthie Harper who specializes in nutritional medicine states, “If you’re not getting the right nutrients, skin gets cheated out of what it needs for optimal health and beauty.”
Optimize your nutrition by eating antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, healthy fats from oily fish and nuts and lean protein. This balanced diet should give optimal levels of the nutrients that are crucial for healthy skin, including beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc and selenium.
Diet tips for healthy skin -fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants which help to protect skin from the cellular damage. This damage is caused by free radicals. Pollution, smoking and too much sun exposure all increase the risk of free radicals.
Antioxidant rich foods,
Betacarotene is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, broccoli, and leafy greens.
Lutein is found in kale, papaya and spinach.
Lycopene is found in tomatoes and watermelon.
You can see why we are told to eat our fruit and veggies, they are packed with antioxidants.
Polyphenols are micronutrients found in plants, they typically act as antioxidants. Polyphenols can help prevent cellular damage from free-radicals. They have also been shown to help reduce inflammation which decreases the risk of chronic diseases. Flavonoids are the most studied group of polyphenols. One study found that those who ate dark flavonoid rich cocoa experienced less skin redness and irritation.
Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative stress. Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and corn oils.
Diet tips for healthy skin -omega fatty acids
Research shows that eating more omega-3-rich foods may even help protect against sun damage and skin cancer. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel all contain omega-3. For those who do not to eat fish, flaxseed and chia seeds offer a great alternative. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds which may help reduce inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Eating healthy fats which include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds can help moisturize the skin. Think of ways to increase your fatty acid intake, for example you could cook with olive oil, sprinkle seeds on salads or top it with avocados.
Diet tips for healthy skin -phytoestrogen
Phytoestrogens are natural chemicals found in plant foods that have a similar structure to the female sex hormone estrogen. They are thought to help prevent premature aging of the skin. Phytoestrogens can be found in tofu and other soy products.
Diet tips for healthy skin -proteins
If you don’t eat enough protein, you are depriving your skin of the amino acids that go into making collagen. Collagen helps our skin stay strong.
Diet tips for healthy skin minerals
Selenium is an antioxidant that works with other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C. Antioxidants can help decrease sun damage and age spots. Sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, wheatgerm, tomatoes and broccoli.
Clinical trials, researchers at Edinburgh University showed that when levels of selenium were high, skin cells were less likely to suffer the kind of oxidative damage that can increase the risk of cancer. The results were published in 2003 in both the British Journal of Dermatology and the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. Source WebMD
Zinc is needed for sebaceous gland function, these glands produce oil in the skin. Sebaceous glands are needed to help repair skin damage. They also help keep the skin soft and supple. Zinc-rich foods include fish, lean red meat, wholegrain, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish.
There is some literature to support that the guts bacteria can affect our health and inflammation levels. A probiotic supplement or fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, buttermilk, miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut may help balance gut bacteria decreasing inflammation.I have tried this brand Probiotic 40 Billion CFU. Guaranteed Potency Until Expiration. Patented Delay Release, Shelf Stable Probiotic Supplement with Prebiotics. Probiotic with Acidophilus. Best Probiotics for Women and Men
Add spices to your cooking
Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon have been associated with decreased inflammation. Spices can add flavor without calories.
The glycemic index (GI) is a system that ranks carbohydrate as to how slowly or quickly they are broken down. Avoid high glycemic foods such as processed carbohydrates, they have been associated with inflammation which can lead to collagen breakdown and wrinkle formation.
Sugar causes inflammation. It binds to proteins and speeds the formation of advanced glycation end products (known as AGEs) which leads to increased inflammation and aging.
When food is cooked at high temperatures, glycation end products also referred to as AGEs can form. They have been associated with inflammation and premature aging similar to eating too much sugar.
Avoid diuretics in your diet
Alcohol and products that contain caffeine such as coffee and tea contain diuretics which can be drying to your skin. Drier skin will make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. The skin may also appear dull. Ensure you are limiting their intake and drinking plenty of water to help keep your skin hydrated.
Dairy contains a fair amount of sugar. If you have acne you may want to consider limiting the amount of dairy as sugar has been associated with inflammation. The literature does not support a clear connection between acne and sugar but if you ask my daughter she will tell you that her acne is better if she avoids sweets.
As you can see our skin’s health depends on what we feed it. If you are good to your skin your skin will show it!