You are what you eat. This phrase is popular for a reason – it holds some truth. The evidence of this is best seen on your skin. It goes without saying that if you want a clear and smooth complexion, you need to eat healthily.
How do you know what’s good for your skin and what’s bad? This guide will show you exactly what you need to have in your diet and which ones to omit to promote healthy skin.
Why Is Diet Important in Skincare?
Skincare is more than just slathering on cleansers, moisturizers, and creams. While the use of the right products and topical treatments matter, bear in mind that everything starts from within.
You need to acquire the nutrients your skin needs to stay clear and plump. Hence, think about how diet affects the skin and what you put inside your body in the same way that you dedicate a lot of time in choosing what to apply on it.
Nutrition can affect your complexion just as it does the rest of your body. It is as much of a prerequisite as exercise is. On that note, before delving into how diet affects the skin, you need to know these recommended pre-workouts for running to achieve that natural glow too.
Are you curious about what to stock up on and consume more of? Check out the recommendations below to help you formulate the right diet.
The Best Foods for Your Skin
Avocado is one of the best foods for your skin. (Image Source: Unsplash)
When it comes to eating right, balance is key. You need to have an equal and moderate amount of the following food items to ensure that you get all the necessary nutrients.
First off, you need to incorporate a lot of fatty fish into your meals. This is exactly how diet affects the skin well. Salmon is on top of that list, but you can also include herring and mackerel. These are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for maintaining skin health.
Getting an adequate amount of these oils can keep skin moisturized and supple. This is a good way to avoid dry and itchy skin. Other benefits of consuming fatty fish include fighting inflammation including that related to acne as well as receiving antioxidants to get rid of free radicals and protein to maintain the integrity of your skin.
Another type of food that is beneficial for your skin is avocado. Like the fishes mentioned above, this is rich in healthy fats. Eating plenty of avocados can keep skin moisturized and flexible. Furthermore, it can protect the skin against UV damage so you are less likely to develop wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.
Broccoli is another one of those food items that benefit your skin, so make sure you get enough of it in your diet. It is a rich source of vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, zinc, and vitamin C which are excellent for your complexion. It also contains lutein that protects the skin from damage and keeps it from becoming dry or wrinkled.
If you love dark chocolate, you have more reason to add it to your diet. Cocoa is abundant in antioxidants meaning it fights free radicals that can make your skin look old and wrinkled. On the flip side, consuming dark chocolate can stimulate blood flow and make you less sensitive to sunburn. If you want to maximize the skin benefits of consuming chocolate, make sure you go for the ones that are made with 70% cocoa.
Consider switching from coffee to matcha green tea as well. It doesn’t contain as high a dose of caffeine which causes the body to produce more stress hormones. As you may already be aware, stress is bad for your skin as it makes you appear more ragged.
Additionally, matcha is rich in antioxidant substances, particularly catechins. These have been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer properties among others. Studies show that it can reduce redness in reaction to UV radiation by about 25 percent.
A few other items that you need to add to your diet to promote better skin include tomatoes, red grapes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and sweet potatoes.
The Worst Foods for Your Skin
Knowing which food items to incorporate into your diet for healthy skin is not enough. You must also identify the worst foods for your skin so you can eliminate them from your diet.
Ice cream and other dairy products can be bad for your skin. (Image Source: Unsplash)
Sugar, particularly refined sugar, is one of the worst for your skin. For one, it is pro-inflammatory so it can make you prone to developing various skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, melasma, and eczema. At the same time, it can make your skin look aged fast. So, you must avoid food items rich in refined sugar such as white bread, sugary cereals, candy, and soda. Watch out for chocolates that contain more sugar than cocoa too.
Dairy products are included on the list of items you must try to avoid if you want to keep your skin healthy. These contain prebiotics and hormones that can disrupt hormonal balance. When you eat dairy products such as ice cream, cheese, or milk, you may become more prone to developing acne and various skin conditions.
In addition to refined sugar and dairy, you must also steer clear of food items grown using pesticides. There have been numerous studies that support how these can accelerate skin aging, while also placing you at greater risk for developing skin cancer.
When you buy fresh produce such as grapes, berries, spinach, peaches, celery, and the like, make sure to check how they are grown. If they are exposed to pesticides, they can cause your skin to be prone to damage. To avoid the harsh effects, see to it that you go for ones that are organically grown instead.
Maintaining a balanced diet is the secret to healthy, glowing skin. Make sure you get a good amount of the best food items listed above for healthier skin that is youthful and glowing. Also, avoid or minimize certain things so you don’t cause your acne to flare up or anything of the sort.
Diet Tips to Improve Your Skin
If you want healthy and glowing skin, you might think that finding the right cream or topical treatment is the answer. In reality, eating the right type of food might be all you need to appear youthful despite what your real age is.
What you consume will determine what nutrients your body gets. These are needed in order for your skin to stay supple, soft, and blemish-free. With that said, this is a good time to remind yourself to make dietary changes if you want to improve your skin or keep it healthy.
The following are guidelines that you need to adapt in order to keep your complexion naturally glowing.
Get enough Vitamin C
Vitamin C is highly beneficial for your skin. (Image Source: Pexels)
Vitamin C is one of the nutrients needed by your skin to stay soft and supple. If you want to achieve anti-aging benefits to your skin, you need to get sufficient amounts of vitamin C in your diet. Vitamin C is a type of antioxidant that is vital to your immune system. It is also known to eliminate free radicals from your cells, which can make your skin look dull, wrinkled, and aged.
When you get enough vitamin C in your diet, your skin looks radiant and fresh. It also facilitates the fast healing of blemishes and acne. To ensure that you have enough vitamin C, add the following to your daily diet: oranges, strawberries, papaya, kiwi, berries, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Another skin-enhancing benefit of vitamin C is that it promotes collagen production. Collagen is needed by the skin to support the capillaries so your skin looks supple and youthful for longer.
Eat fruits and vegetables daily
It’s no secret that how diet affects the skin is strengthened by eating fruits and vegetables. However, to maintain or improve your skin, you need to consume them on a daily basis. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants that fight free radicals.
Without free radicals, your skin is protected from cellular damage. Preserving cellular structure can help to maintain that youthful glow. On the flip side, free radicals result in the faster appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Experts recommend that you get all kinds of fruits and vegetables across all color spectrums. The more colorful your diet is, the healthier it is for your skin. This is how you can ensure that you get a good mix of vitamins and nutrients that will nourish your complexion from within.
You can also try to make smoothies and shakes using fruits and vegetables if you want to find new ways to add them to your diet. Discover the best fruits and vegetables to mix with protein powder or smoothie recipes.
Consume selenium-rich foods
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your skin against age spots, sun damage, and skin cancer. It is also needed by the body in order to support your immune system development.
To boost your selenium level, consume plenty of Brazil nuts. You need only to consume four nuts in order to meet your required daily intake. You can eat it along with other types of nuts and seeds to enrich your body. If you cannot get your hands on Brazil nuts, you can get selenium from eggs, shellfish, broccoli, tomatoes, and wheat germ instead.
Remember vitamin E is a must-have
Do you want to support healthy skin cell growth? Do you want to protect your skin cells from oxidative damage? Then you need to incorporate food items that are rich in vitamin E in your daily diet. Vitamin E is one of the best kinds of nutrients for your skin as it aids in maintaining your youthful appearance while keeping your skin healthy.
Almonds are good sources of vitamin E. (Image Source: Pexels)
The best sources of vitamin E include sunflower oil, corn oil, almonds, pine nuts, and hazelnuts.
Indulge in healthy fats
Fat is often a dreaded word but the healthy kind is actually beneficial for your skin. In particular, you need omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as part of your daily diet. These cannot be produced by your body so it is important that you get them from your food.
Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in various fish and plant sources such as salmon, grapeseed oil, walnuts, and chia seeds. This type of fatty acid is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, it can protect your skin from developing various skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Another good source of healthy fat is avocado. Eating avocado provides a natural moisturizing effect on your skin. It facilitates in keeping your skin elastic and supple so you look more youthful as you age.
Make sure you get enough zinc
Zinc offers plenty of health benefits when you get an adequate amount of them regularly, but did you know that it is good for your skin, too?
Eating shellfish provides your skin with zinc. (Image Source: Pexels)
Zinc is vital in ensuring the function of your sebaceous glands. This gland is responsible for the production of oil on your skin. Getting an adequate amount of zinc from your diet will ensure the repair of skin damage while also maintaining that softness on your skin. To ensure you get the right amount of zinc needed by your skin, add lean red meat, nuts, seeds, fish, shellfish, and whole grains to your diet.
Drink plenty of water
Getting plenty of water on a daily basis is one of the basics of healthy skin. It boosts your natural glow while keeping your skin healthy. Make sure you get at least 8 glasses of water per day, or more if you exercise vigorously in which case you will be sweating a lot. If you want to liven up your traditional glass of water, add a few slices of citrus fruits or berries. The important thing is that you stay hydrated so your skin is well hydrated, too.
So, which of the above tips are you excited to try for your diet? Start with one and slowly integrate the rest until you’re doing all of them. You’ll soon begin to see a change in your complexion after religiously following the guidelines suggested.