High-quality beauty products may come and go, but they cannot promise you great skin if you lack a healthy diet. While nutrition is crucial for a healthy body, it is also what keeps the skin in its best form. Studies have shown that certain nutrients are responsible for enhancing skin radiance, reducing wrinkles and preventing acne. In reality, our genes are only 20 percent responsible for the health of the skin; 80 percent of it mainly depends on our lifestyle and extent of exposure to the sun/pollution. Nourishing the skin from inside-out is the best way to healthy skin. There are a number of skin-friendly foods that can be easily included in your daily diet.
Read further to find out what kind of nutrition is essential for maintaining and accentuating the natural beauty of your skin:
Broccoli – Broccoli is a super food for your skin, containing minerals and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc. Lutein, a carotenoid similar to beta-carotene is also present in broccoli and helps in preventing oxidative damage of the skin. Another important compound packed in broccoli is sulforaphane, which is responsible for protecting the skin from cancer, sun damage, maintaining collagen levels, switching on your body’s protective systems and neutralizing free radicals.
Avocado – The healthy fat in avocado helps to keep your skin moisturized and nourished. It also protects the skin from harmful UV rays, thereby preventing aging and wrinkles. While the vitamin E in avocado serves as an antioxidant and prevents oxidative damage of your skin, and vitamin C prevents the skin from getting scaly and dry. It also contains biotin that helps in boosting skin hydration.
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Fatty Fish – Did you know that omega-3 fatty acids play a major role in keeping the skin moisturized and reducing inflammation? Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, and salmon contain rich amounts of omega3 fatty acids. They also contain vitamin E, proteins and zinc that protect the skin and help in the regeneration of new cells. Beans, legumes, and eggs also contain protein and are great for the skin.
Tomato – Tomato is a rich source of all major carotenoids that prevent wrinkling and protect the skin from sun damage. Carotenoids such as lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein help in maintaining healthy skin. Furthermore, pairing carotenoid-containing foods like tomatoes, with fats like olive oil or cheese aids in better absorption of carotenoids.
Dark Chocolate – Cocoa flavanols are a type of antioxidant, known for providing hydration to the skin and enhancing blood circulation. Consuming about 28 grams of cocoa, one or two times a week offers great benefits by preventing scaling and roughness of the skin. Cocoa also helps to protect your skin from sunburn and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. However, keep in mind that the dark chocolate you choose contains very less sugar and at least 70 percent cocoa so that you gain maximum benefits.
Soy and Kale – As per studies, consumption of soy on a daily basis for 8 to 12 weeks showed improved skin elasticity and reduction of wrinkles. This is because the isoflavones in soy are capable of protecting the skin from UV radiation and dryness, further increasing the amount of collagen. Kale, on the other hand, is rich in potassium, which helps in keeping the skin firm and hydrated. It also contains vitamin K (an antioxidant), which aids in blood clotting and repairing of scars, spider veins and dark circles under the eyes.
Green Tea – We have already talked about antioxidants and their benefits in maintaining healthy skin. Green tea contains antioxidants known as Polyphenols and compounds called catechins. These antioxidants help to protect the skin from sun damage, aging, and roughness and improve the skin’s elasticity, moisture, complexion and thickness.
Blueberries – Blueberries, pomegranates, and oranges are some of the most antioxidant-rich foods that greatly benefit your skin. Consume them in their original form or mix the blueberries with your breakfast, salads, snacks, and smoothies for a savory delight. Pomegranates lower your cholesterol levels and improve immunity, collagen production, and blood circulation. Oranges, on the other hand, contain vitamin C and fight aging.
Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, and spinach contain beta-carotene that is converted to vitamin A by your body. Beta-carotene (and similar carotenoids) serves as a natural sunscreen and further prevents wrinkles, sunburn, dry skin, and cell death.
Yogurt – Greek yogurt or plain yogurt is a great source of protein, which helps in firming the skin and improving skin complexion. Applying yogurt on the skin also helps repair dry, sensitive or irritated skin.
Apart from these, the secret to gorgeous skin includes consumption of 8 to 10 glasses of water daily for flushing out toxins, lots of vegetables, turmeric, oysters, olive oil, walnuts, fresh green juice, coconut oil, sunflower seeds, and wine. Exercise and vitamin D from the sun is also important. Check out the amazing collection of wines at Dan Murphy’s and choose the ones best suited for your skin.
In addition to including skin-friendly foods in your diet, also make sure to avoid consumption of harmful foods like refined sugar and junk food. You may even consider omitting sugar completely from your diet if your skin problems are severe, and replacing sugar with honey, maple syrup or natural sugars.