Healthy Diet for a Healthy Skin
Healthy Living

Healthy Diet for a Healthy Skin

Mehvish Hamdare profile Authored by Mehvish Hamdare on 7 Aug 2014 - 14:59.

The adage "you are what you eat" not only applies to our overall health and nutrition, but how our skin looks and feels as well. As the largest organ in the body, our skin can benefit from the same nutrition we get from foods that have a positive effect on our heart and other major organs.

Putting your best face forward starts with putting the right ingredients in your mouth. "The same foods that are good for your health are good for your skin". While genetics and lifestyle habits play a significant role in skin health, the right foods can also help you fight acne, minimize wrinkles, and enhance your skin's natural beauty. Some foods — depending on their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content — can actually help promote healthy skin.

Here are some foods that do a super job of protecting skin from the damaging and aging effects of the sun, while enhancing the glow.

Water: It's not a "food," per se, but water is crucial when it comes to skin health because it flushes toxins out of your body, delivers nutrients to your cells, and keeps your organs functioning. Our skin needs moisture to stay supple. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Hence it’s important to at least drink six to eight glasses of water every day.

Green Tea: Loaded with the unique polyphenol antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Green tea provides protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Whether you apply it directly to the skin or enjoy it as a beverage, the antioxidants in it work to prevent DNA damage and repair existing damage. A 2007 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that drinking 2-6 cups a day not only helps prevent skin cancer but may reverse the effects of sun damage by neutralizing the changes that appear in sun-exposed skin.

Dark Chocolate/Cocoa powder:  Flavonols, the antioxidants in dark chocolate, reduce roughness in the skin and protect against sun damage. In a study published in Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology it was concluded that regular consumption of a chocolate rich in flavanols confers significant photoprotection and can thus be effective at protecting human skin from harmful UV effects.

Flaxseeds:  The British Journal of Nutrition reported that participants in one study who took about half a teaspoon of omega-3s daily in 6 weeks experienced significantly less irritation and redness, along with better-hydrated skin. The Omega 3 in flaxseed promotes healing of eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, acne, and other skin conditions. The Lignans are anti-inflammatory and help the body heal the skin inflammations.

Walnut: Walnuts are storehouses of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that's a key component of the lubricating layer that keeps skin moist and supple. The nuts are also loaded with copper, a mineral that boosts collagen production. So if you want glowing skin, snack on a handful of walnuts each day to improve your complexion's texture, and slough tough calluses.

Almonds: The vitamin E in almonds can help nourish your skin and protect it from the sun's damaging UV rays, as it acts as a potent sun blocker. Volunteers who consumed 14 milligrams of the vitamin per day (about 20 almonds) and then exposed to UV light, sunburned less than those who took none.

Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a skin superfood because they contain essential fatty acid, vitamin E, selenium and zinc.  Zinc protects your cell membranes, helps maintain collagen, and promotes skin renewal, while selenium provides UV protection to prevent skin damage.

Fish: Fish is a great source of essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-3 and omega-6, which reduce inflammation in the body. EFA’s improve cellular health and functioning and also help skin maintain a smooth, elastic texture. Some research has found that they prevent wrinkles and work against the aging process.

Oranges: The high levels of antioxidants found in oranges help to reduce skin damage caused by excess free radicals. A diet rich in oranges can thus result in fewer wrinkles and healthier-looking skin as you age, which will leave your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes are considered as a superfood for skin as it contains high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene and it has been found that beta-carotene combats the free radicals which cause skin aging. They're also loaded with vitamin C, which smoothens wrinkles as this vitamin is essential for collagen production.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain age-defying ingredient ie. lycopene - the natural pigment that makes tomatoes red. According to a 2008 UK study people who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily, along with almost a tablespoon of olive oil for 12 weeks, had 33 percent more protection from sunburn compared to a control group that ate just olive oil. The antioxidant lycopene improves skin’s natural SPF.

Try incorporating at least a few, if not all of these healthy options in your daily meal and in a few days you will certainly realize the difference, especially when others compliment. 

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*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.