There is no doubt that eating well and maintaining a good diet is essential for not only our general well-being but skin health also. Glowing, lustrous, wrinkle-free skin is a common goal for many women and this is unlikely to be achieved by skincare regimes alone. What you put inside your body needs the same care and thought as what you apply on the outside.
So what should a healthy diet that has benefits for your healthy skin look like? Well, the ideal diet aims to reduce inflammation and free radical damage in the skin. Antioxidants, minerals and other nutrients are needed to maintain skin integrity and act as co-factors to support biochemical processes in the body. Where possible, it is far better to get these from your diet in the form of whole foods than to take supplements.
Here is the list of 5 foods that are beneficial to your general well-being as well as healthy skin.
Salmon, mackerel, and herring are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids besides being naturally high in protein and zinc. Omega-3 fatty acids can be helpful in reducing inflammation in skin cells and may make your skin less sensitive to damage by UV radiation from the sun.
Fruit and vegetables
The antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables will neutralize damage by harmful free radicals in the skin. Vitamin C and E, beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein can offer some protection against damage generated by UV rays.
- Citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C.
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene.
- Sweet potato contains beta-carotene.
- Dark, leafy green and yellow vegetables contain lutein.
- Spinach and avocado contain vitamin E.
Nuts and seeds
Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E and linoleic acid, a type of fat that can help skin hydration. Walnuts contain antioxidants such as vitamin E, essential fatty acids (which the body is unable to make) and minerals such as zinc and selenium. They should be consumed in moderation due to their high calorific content.
Green tea contains compounds known as polyphenols which, when consumed regularly, can protect your skin from free radical damage from the sun. It may reduce the number of fine wrinkles and prominent blood vessels. Avoid consuming with milk.
Cocoa is high in antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids. They can potentially improve blood flow to the skin and limit the damage caused by the sun. Look for chocolate that is a minimum 70 percent cocoa solids as anything with less is high in sugar. Again, moderating consumption is key.
So, a well-balanced diet is high in fish, olive oil, antioxidants, fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Conversely, there are a number of foods that should be limited in our diet. Sugar and refined carbohydrates, in particular, have been linked to acne and premature skin ageing.