Ever heard of a famous Dr. Goodfood quote “let thy food be medicine, and let medicine be thy food”. This statement is true also for those aspiring to have a glowing and radiant skin. Healthy food choices ensure that you get nourishment from the inside out and the results of that is a glowing skin.
This week we look at 12 best foods that when eaten in right amounts could lead to a radiant and healthy skin, talk about eating for beauty!
- Food and skin
- 12 foods good for skin
- Essential Nutrients for Skin Health
Food and skin
Steady supply of key nutrients is essential particularly for the skin that constantly shed off older cells while replacing the old cells with new ones. This process is internal, and a healthy beauty routine alone is not enough to ensure such rapid growth occurs normally.
As such it is important to know which food has a good effect on your skin so you can adjust your diet accordingly. The goal is to slow down the inevitable process of aging by reducing wrinkles, dark spots and general photo-aping through eating vital nutrients.
However, eating right should be accompanied by adopting a healthy routine, avoidance of harmful substances like by naked exposure to the UV sunlight (without the sunscreen), tanning beds, strong soaps, use of harsh and harmful chemicals through creams, etc.
The food selected as our 12 best for a healthier skin are packed with a lot of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds defending our cells from free radicals that could be very damaging leading to increased cancer risks. The accumulation of molecules called free radicals yield oxidative stress which are damaging to your cell structures including the DNA.
Thus, eating antioxidants rich food increase your blood antioxidant levels that are known to curb oxidative stress while reducing disease risks altogether. Foods rich in antioxidants are mostly fruits and vegetables, which have a lot of vitamins and minerals which are also good for immunity.
12 foods good for skin
Here are the 12 best foods to get a glowing skin which should be complemented or supplemented by a healthy and balanced diet.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These are poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) widely distributed in nature. There are many benefits of eating omega-3 fatty acids;
- Maintain skin health
- Responsible for keeping skin thick, supple and nourished
- Prevents skin dryness and dullness.
- Prevents redness and acne that can be caused by inflammation.
- Skin becomes less sensitive to UV rays from the sun which could potentially harm the skin.
- Can fight psoriasis and lupus, as autoimmune conditions affecting your skin
You can also take Omega 3 as supplement like Omega XL
Good food sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- and herring
Want to know more ? Here is the Omega 3 benefits for your body and mind
People who eat lots of avocados were found to have more elastic and supple skin. This is because;
- avocados are high in healthy fats.
- Sun damage protection.
- Prevents wrinkles and ageing that could be caused by UV damage to the skin.
- Good source of vitamin E, antioxidant that protect your skin from oxidative damage.
They are a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Walnuts are a good source of Zinc, essential for healing of wounds, with properties to combat bacteria and inflammation.
4. Sunflower Seeds
Seeds are packed with nutrients that are good for skin health. sunflower seeds are good antioxidants which fight free radicals and keep the skin safe.
5. Sweet Potatoes
A good source of beta-carotene, nutrient found in plants. Beta carotene is a natural sunblock protecting your skin from sun damage.
6. Red or Yellow Bell Peppers
They are good in that they create collagen protein responsible for keeping the skin firm and strong. These are also rich in beta carotene and vitamin c.
Broccoli are rich in vitamins, minerals and carotenoids. The sulforaphane in Broccoli prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sunburn.
Tomatoes rich with the major carotenoids, especially Lycopene which protect your skin from sun damage and may help prevent wrinkling.
The isoflavones found in Soy helps improve wrinkles, collagen, skin elasticity and skin dryness. They are known to protect your skin from UV damage.
10. Dark Chocolate
Eating a lot of dark chocolate can ensure your skin remain thick or retain its elasticity. It also has a hydration effects as well as improving blood circulation.
11. Green Tea
These rehydrates the skin and also reduce redness. Skin is elastic and thick with antiaging effect.
12. Red Wine
The Resveratrol in wine is good for slowing down your skin’s aging process by damaging harmful free radicals that could harm your skin.
Essential Nutrients for Skin Health
Moreover, for a body to be healthy, all essential nutrients must be consumed in right amounts. And these are; carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, and water.
Consequently, some nutritional deficiencies could lead to the development of skin lesions and many other disorders. (source)
These are responsible for giving the skin its glow that everyone is dreaming about. Healthy fats prevent wrinkling and dryness of the skin. Not all fats are healthy or good for your skin, so it is important to know which ones are your healthy fats. Eat the monounsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats like;
- plants like nuts, seeds, and avocados and
- animal sources fish; salmon, mackerel, and herring.
This means that all saturated and trans fat as they are bad for your heart as well. Moreover, the kind of polyunsaturated fat that is beneficial for your skin is the Omega-3 fatty acids. The cell walls of the skin are built using these Omega-3 fatty acids.
Functions of healthy fats
- moisturizes the skin.
- Firming the skin up
- Curbs skin sagginess
- also keep the skin flexible.
- omega-3 fatty acids protect skin from harmful. chemicals and cancers by building protective cell walls.
- can lower inflammation, skin irritation, and redness.
The skin is formed by structures called collagen and keratin. These two are made from amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. After eating protein, the protein gets broken down into amino acids, which get reused by the body in order to form skin structures.
Amino acids are essential for the skin health because of its antioxidants properties. This means eating protein-rich foods will sure protect your skin cells from UV rays and free radicals which could harm the skin and even cause cancers in the worst case scenarios.
Vitamin A protects the skin by interrupting the process that breaks down collagen by preventing sun damage on the upper and lower layers of skin. Other functions include;
- the oil glands around your hair follicles is helped to work properly.
- Healing of cuts and scrapes
- Deficiency of vitamin A cause dry, itchy or bumpy.
- Antioxidant protective against sunburn
The twisted web (collagen) of protein is helped by vitamin C to hold and maintain its normal shape. It protects the collagen of the skin from free radicals thereby reducing chances of skin cancer. People who eat a lot of vitamin or even use it on their skin heal faster if they are wounded.
The energy from UV light is absorbed by vitamin E to prevent wrinkles, sagging, and skin cancer. Vitamin E and C work together to strengthen cell walls of your skin. Like all the other vitamins vitamin E is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
A mineral that is densely found in the outer layer of your skin.
- Healing your skin after injury
- Stabilize the cell walls
- Responsible for cell division as new skin forms.
- UV damage protection as an antioxidant
- Prevents eczema
Another mineral helping other antioxidants protect your skin from UV rays and thus tremendously protect the skin from skin cancer.
Foods and Supplements
Eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables exposes you to vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants. That’s why these are beneficial if added on the diet on a daily basis. Good sources of vitamins and minerals are;
- Healthy fish (salmon, sardines, tuna): protein, omega-3s, selenium
- Leafy dark greens (kale, spinach, collards): vitamins A, C, and E; omega-3s; protein — plus selenium in spinach
- Eggs: protein, vitamins A and E, selenium, zinc
- Flaxseeds: omega-3s, selenium
- Legumes (lentils, chickpeas): protein, zinc
- Avocados: healthy fats, vitamins C and E
- Extra virgin olive oil: healthy fats, vitamin E
Vitamins and mineral supplements
These are called supplements because they are supposed to supplement NOT replace the vitamins and minerals consumed from the balanced and healthy diet.
That’s why it is imperative that your consult with your doctor before taking these supplements especially for patients with pre-existing conditions. This is because taking some of these supplements might inhibit absorption or contraindicate with your medication which could cause serious health problems.
One of the most important antioxidants essential for skin health is beta carotene. These are converted to vitamin A after consumption from various food items. The coloration of some fruits and veggies are done by beta carotene and thus it is found in fruits and vegetables that have red, yellow, and orange colour.
They are useful for;
- cognitive function Improvement
- Promoting good skin health by reducing sun sensitivity to people with that disorder.
- the effect of phototoxic drugs is reduced
Spices that are rich in beta carotene are;
Food rich in beta carotene are
- sweet potatoes
- dark leafy greens, such as kale and spinach
- romaine lettuce
- red and yellow peppers
Eating a healthy diet benefits your skin and the glow will show from the inside out. The plan is to target food rich in antioxidants to protect the skin from UV rays, sunburn and wrinkling.
Diet alone is not sufficient to achieve the goal of luscious, radiant and glowing skin. There are factors that could complement and catapult you to your dream; achievable beauty routine, exercise, avoiding stress, quitting to smoke and many other factors.