Top 5 Foods For Healthy Skin
Lately, we have discussed the importance of antioxidants for our skin and we have outlined the abundance there is within our tea and coffee. However, what other foods are great for our skin and why? Here’s our top 5…
We’ve actually touched on the benefits that fish has for our skin in our piece on food to avoid but let’s get into the details here. Firstly, fatty fish constitutes fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring. They are rich sources of omega-3 and that’s the key to maintaining skin health.
Omega-3 Is the Key
Omega-3 will do wonders for your skin due to so many reasons. Firstly it keeps the skin thick, supple and moisturized. As demonstrated in this research, a deficiency in omega 3 can even cause dry skin. Omega-3 doesn’t stop there either; it reduces inflammation and can even reduce the affects of harmful UV rays from the sun.
As mentioned in our antioxidants post, Vitamin E does wonders for the skin and fish is a great source for this wonder vitamin. Lastly is the Zinc content, fatty fish is high in Zinc and this has been shown to be important for the production of new skin cells, without Zinc you are at an increased risk to skin inflammation, lesions and a delay to healing wounds.
Following on from the Omega-3 content in fatty fish, we have the humble Walnut. Rich in essential fatty acids that your body cannot make itself this nut has more omega-3 and omega-6 content than almost all other nuts.
The only warning is to be careful with Omega-6. A diet too high in this omega may lead to inflammation but due to the good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in Walnuts they have our seal of approval. If you’re still not convinced, walnuts are high in Zinc and contain Vitamin E, C and selenium – all key nutrients for healthy skin.
Lets briefly move away from all those omegas to bring the nutrient rich sweet potato to the front. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Beta-Carotene – this effectively functions as Provitamin A which means it can be converted to Vitamin A in the body.
Beta-Carotene can be found in other vegetables too such as carrots and spinach.
When consumed, Beta-carotene acts as a natural sunblock to keep your skin healthy and can even give your skin a healthy and warm glow.
Following in similar vain, the Tomato is another great source of beta-carotene as well as many other nutrients such as Vitamin C plus all major carotenoids.
A quick tip with tomatoes is to pair it with a source of fat such as cheese or olive oil. Fat will increase the absorption of carotenoids so it’s a great excuse to add some fat to your tomatoes…
Last but certainly not least is the Avocado, we could have chosen from a plethora of foods but it had to be this one. No doubt you’ve already tried this super fruit that is now more popular than ever. What you may not have known is the vast benefits it can have on our skin.
Avocado is high in healthy fats, which is great for skin flexibility and skin moisture. In fact, a study with over 700 women found that a high intake of total fats from foods like avocado improved the skin, reduced wrinkles and made the skin more supple.
Not only is it high in healthy fats, the avocado also contains many of the important nutrients we have mentioned previously such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C. An added bonus is that avocado has been shown to suppress the inflammatory response caused by UV damage.
Hopefully this list has given you a few ideas and some encouragement that foods great for our skin are not too difficult to find. If you do your best to follow a balanced diet you’ll no doubt incorporate many of these nutrients into your diet anyway. A couple of other foods to aim for would be; sunflower seeds, red peppers, soy, green tea and even a few bonuses such as dark chocolate and red wine can be great for your skin in moderation!
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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.