5 Key Nutrients for Healthy Skin
Healthy skin is often viewed the result of good genes and an effective skin-care routine. However, studies suggest that the old saying “you are what you eat” couldn’t be truer. Just as some foods are associated with skin damage, some foods have a protective effect for the skin. Here are five key nutrients for healthy skin, and foods that contain them:
- Vitamin C
You know vitamin C boosts your immune system, but did you know that it also promotes radiant skin? A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals who consume foods rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and age-related dry skin than those who don’t.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your body from harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals damage collagen, the fiber responsible for your skin’s elasticity, which leads to wrinkles. Foods that are rich in vitamin C include strawberries, blueberries, oranges, kiwis, papaya and sweet potatoes.
2. Vitamin E
Like vitamin C, vitamin E promotes healthy, youthful skin by protecting your skin against free radical damage. Vitamin E-rich foods include almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts, spinach and sunflower seeds.
In addition to protecting your body against skin cancer caused by sun exposure, the mineral selenium also delays aging by protecting your skin’s elasticity. High-selenium foods include Brazil nuts, fish, eggs, tomatoes, broccoli, shrimp, and lamb.
4. Vitamin A
You may have noticed that your favorite anti-wrinkle product contains vitamin A; this is no coincidence. In addition to supporting healthy vision, vitamin A also improves skin health by causing your body to produce more collagen. Increase your vitamin A intake by adding carrots, oranges, cantaloupe, sweet potato, kale and/or squash to your diet.
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Also known as the “good fats”, omega-3 fats reduce your body’s production of inflammatory compounds–the natural chemicals involved in the aging process. The result: healthier, younger-looking skin. Walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil, tuna, and salmon are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to these foods, consider adding more water to your diet. Water is essential to healthy skin as it allows your cells take in nutrients and removes toxins from your body. Moreover, drinking several glasses of water daily keeps your skin hydrated, which makes wrinkles less noticeable. If you don’t see a change in your skin after adding water and the above nutrients to your diet, ask a dermatologist.
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. I moved to the Bay Area in January 2013 and I attended the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley from 2013 to 2014 as a visiting PhD candidate. My PhD thesis is on Digital Health and so far I have published 4 peer review scientific papers. I founded First Derm in 2014.