Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? And it does more than hold us together. It provides a protective barrier from our environment and plays a huge role in immunity. If you’ve been on the planet for more than 7 seconds then you’ve no doubt heard about the importance of sunscreen. But you may be surprised to learn that you can actually promote healthy skin from the inside with the foods you eat! And nothing says “healthy skin” like a beautiful glowing complexion; and who doesn’t want that?!
Balance is Best
If we simply concentrate on a good overall diet, it’s likely that the most skin-friendly foods will be included. Choosing lots of fruits and vegetables while limiting refined sugar and highly processed foods will ensure that you’re getting antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber while avoiding counterproductive “junk” food. The good news is that the top foods for healthy skin also support our overall health; so you can feel extra good about diving into these choices!
7 Foods to Boost your Skin
Fatty fish like salmon are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. The omega-3 fats in fish reduce inflammation, which can cause redness and acne. They can even make your skin less sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays! Vitamin E is critical in helping protect your skin against damage from free radicals and inflammation.
In addition to packing a punch with fatty acids and vitamin E, avocados additionally provide vitamin C and other phytocompounds that protect your skin from sun damage.
3. Citrus Fruits
The vitamin C content of citrus is well documented. But did you know you were doing something good for your skin when snacking on these fruits? Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, the most abundant protein in the body that reduces signs of aging and keeps the skin supple and soft.
These weird-looking nuts are often hailed as being “brain food” and there’s a lot of truth in that! But just like all the foods on this list, they are multi-taskers and also promote skin health. Only one ounce of walnuts provides 8% of your DV in Zinc which is essential for your skin to function properly as a barrier. It’s also necessary for wound healing and combating both bacteria and inflammation. Walnuts also provide small amounts of the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, in addition to 4–5 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams).
5. Sweet Potatoes
Loaded with skin-supportive beta-carotene, a phytonutrient that is also found in other orange-pigmented vegetables (like carrots!). This phytonutrient is essential for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the skin, which often occurs due to unprotected sun exposure. As a result, regularly adding a variety of these vegetables to your diet can help protect the skin against premature aging caused by prolonged sun exposure. Slower aging, yes, please!
6. Dark Chocolate
Need another reason to indulge in dark chocolate? Consuming flavanol-rich cocoa has been shown to increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin. In a study conducted on women experiencing moderate photoaging, researchers demonstrated that regular cocoa consumption has a positive effect on both elasticity and the appearance of age-related wrinkles. Heyy-ooooo!
7. Green Tea
While you may not be considering dropping your SPF for a tea bag, several studies have provided evidence that both external and internal applications of green tea may provide protection from sunburns. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an anti-inflammatory component of green tea, has been shown to protect against skin cancer caused by chemicals and UV radiation. In a 12-week study of 60 women, green tea improved the moisture, roughness, thickness, and elasticity of their skin.
Healthy is Beautiful
When you feel your best, it always shows in your appearance. Don’t stress about choosing foods specifically for your skin but enjoy a variety of nutrient-dense foods and make sure to incorporate some of the foods on this list. And remember the SPF–your skin will thank you!