“Best foods for skin health” is a popular search term these days. Sadly, most people are only interested in skin health for aesthetic purposes. While that might be a good thing nonetheless, one has to consider that it has a purpose as well.
Understanding Our Skin
Many people are not aware that the skin is one of the largest organs of the body. It is a waterproof shield that serves many purposes.
It regulates body temperature. This is why you shiver when you are cold, and you sweat when you feel hot. The skin acts as our first line of defense about immunity. It keeps infectious microorganisms from invading by fighting off infections. The skin also relays touch or sensation to the brain, thanks to the nerve endings.
The skin is not merely a barrier or a shell that keeps our insides in place. It is a complex system that has so many uses. This is why we should care about skin health, not just for aesthetic purposes.
What Are The Best Foods For Skin Health?
Slathering beauty products will not do much to keep the skin healthy. For optimal skin health, one has to nourish it from the inside.
Here are some of the best foods for skin health and a brief explanation about how each one of them helps keep the skin in optimal shape.
Oysters are rich in zinc. This mineral plays an important role in skin health. Zinc is a key component in cellular function and growth. Studies show that people who have ample amounts of zinc are less likely to suffer from acne and skin inflammation.
Kale is one of the best foods for skin because it contains so many nutrients that aid in restoration and repair. One cup of kale contains large doses of vitamin C and A.
It also contains zeaxanthin and lutein. This help protects the skin by absorbing and neutralizing free radicals that are created by UV light. If you enjoy being in the outdoors, it would be best to include at least one cup of kale to your daily diet.
Fight off dangerous free radicals with pomegranates. They contain polyphenol antioxidants that improve blood flow to the area. Pomegranates help smooth fine lines and moisturize the skin when applied topically. It is so effective that many beauty product companies include it in their face creams.
Sardines are a good source of omega-3, a healthy fatty acid. This type of fish produces fat that contains DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). This is a potent anti-inflammatory substance.
Aside from helping clear the circulatory system of bad cholesterol and improving cardiac health, omega-3 helps prevent acne. This is because inflammation is the key factor that contributes to acne development.
Anti-aging creams might help slow the aging process. But no serum can compare to ingesting healthy food. Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, they contribute to enhancing skin elasticity. They also contain copper. This mineral aids in boosting collagen production. Therefore, it will keep the skin looking youthful and is one of the best foods for skin rejuvenation.
If you suffer from eczema, eating walnuts will help treat your skin condition. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid. A deficiency in this type of fat may lead to eczema as it prevents scaly skin and dryness.
• Green Tea
Aside from being effective at burning stomach fat, studies show that people who drink this beverage have more elastic and smoother skin. Green tea contains catechins like EGCG. This is a potent antioxidant that protects the body from UV damage. It also boosts blood circulation.
Our body creates Coenzyme Q10. This is an important antioxidant that keeps the blood vessels strong and also aids in skin elasticity. CoQ10 aids in energy production and cellular health. Salmon is one of the healthiest sources of CoQ10.
Aglycone is an isoflavone found in soy. Studies show that people who eat soy regularly have better skin elasticity. This is because aglycone prevents collagen breakdown, the leading cause of sagging skin and wrinkle formation.
Tofu tastes amazing and can be used as a meat substitute. In some countries like Japan and Korea, soy products are daily meal staples, hence their clear and almost ageless skin.
No one wants to have dry and acne-prone skin. This is why it would be best to add retinoids to your diet. Carrots contain large amounts of vitamin A. This vitamin helps prevent and banish both wrinkles and skin discolorations. However, it would be best to avoid eating carrots daily as doing so may give your skin an orange tinge.
• Acerola Cherries
Acerola cherries are packed with vitamin C. They contain the highest amounts of this antioxidant. Studies show that it is one of the best foods for skin protection against sun damage.
Vitamin C protects the skin by repairing sun damage to collagen and elastin. Therefore, people who ingest food that is high in vitamin C will have improved skin texture and elasticity. They will also be less susceptible to skin cancer.
• Green and Yellow Peppers
Yellow and green peppers are great with salads or even on their own. Aside from tasting good, they serve as a great source of carotenoids.
Carotenoids are found in green and yellow vegetables. They are potent antioxidants that decrease skin sensitivity to the sun. People who eat at least two cups of peppers daily are less likely to have crow’s feet and will have fewer wrinkles.
• Dark Chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth, you will be glad to know that dark chocolate is one of the best foods for skin health. It is a rich source of antioxidants and cocoa flavanols. It increases blood circulation and hydrates the skin as well.
However, that is no reason to binge on a whole box of chocolates. Studies show that ingesting a 1-ounce portion of dark chocolate is enough to prevent rough and scaly skin.
• Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E. This protects the top layers of the skin from sun damage. Since sunflower seeds contain large amounts of essential fatty acids, they moisturize the skin from within and keep skin aging at bay. Adding a handful of these seeds to your diet will be enough to reap the benefits.
• Orange and Lemon Peel
Studies show that people who eat orange and lemon peel are less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma. This is because the peel contains d- limonene. This is found in the oil of the peel and offers UV protection.
Lemon and orange peel can be incorporated into one’s diet by adding them in sandwiches, salads and even in pastries. As an added benefit, you will enjoy the tangy yet slightly bitter taste, a great palate cleanser.
Coffee is a potent antioxidant that helps lower your risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. Studies have shown that people who drink coffee are 30% safer from this dreaded form of cancer. However, too much coffee may cause other systemic issues. Therefore, it would be best to drink this beverage in moderation. One or two cups daily will suffice.
Rosemary is a versatile herb. It can be used in salads and main courses. It adds a woodsy hint to any meal. Aside from being a taste enhancer, rosemary helps protect the skin from melanoma.
This herb contains antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage. It can be used topically as well. Some people crush rosemary and mix it in olive oil. They leave the mixture sealed for a few days and apply it topically to help scars fade.
Our skin does so much for us daily. This is why we should show this organ the respect it deserves. By eating the best foods for skin health, we can keep our first line of defense healthy and enjoy having younger looking skin.
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