Lifestyle habits, the environment and genetics all play a significant role in skin health – but let's not forget the biggest player of all – food! Making nutritious food choices can help your skin maintain normal moisture content and even soothe skin-related issues associated with seasonal allergies. The types of food you choose also makes or breaks normal detoxification processes and gut health – both associated with skin health.
When eating for your skin, include more of these foods.
1. Tropical Fruit
Eating guava, pineapple, papaya, kiwi, and other tropical fruits that contain vitamin C will help defend your skin against damaging free radicals. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant naturally found in the skin, so eating tropical fruits and other vitamin C-rich foods can replenish your skin's stores. Vitamin C also helps your body produce collagen, a protein that helps support normal skin elasticity.
This cruciferous veggie is high in antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. The vitamin C in broccoli helps your body produce collagen, a protein that supports normal skin elasticity and skin health, while vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, supports cell membranes and fights free radicals.
I like this fermented broccoli sprouts. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts offer potent support for your body’s detoxification processes and cellular health – both associated with skin health.
These nuts are one of the best food sources of vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant essential to support skin health by removing damaging free radicals and reactive oxygen specias. Eat whole almonds as a snack, add sliced almonds to salads, cereal, yogurt, stir-fry or baked goods or add almond butter to your favorite crunchy fruit. You can also toast almond slivers and serve them on top of fish, chicken, or even rice or pasta dishes. The vitamin E in almonds can help nourish your skin and protect it from the sun's damaging UV rays.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a skin superfood because they're so high in zinc. Zinc supports healthy cell membranes and collagen levels. Enjoy pumpkin seeds on their own as a snack, add them into a homemade trail mix, or sprinkle them on yogurt or oatmeal.
5. Brazil Nuts
Another skin-friendly antioxidant is the mineral selenium, which Brazil nuts contain a lot of. Selenium plays a role in the functioning of the thyroid gland and in every cell that uses thyroid hormone, and supports the immune system. High-dose selenium supplements have been linked to health problems, so it's always best to get your selenium from delicious food sources.
Crunch on carrots to keep your skin healthy and vibrant. Carrots are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A inside the body. Vitamin A supports healthy skin tissue and is involved in collagen production. Enjoy carrots raw in salads or with a low–calorie dip, or try roasting them to develop a rich, sweet flavor. Bonus! Cooked carrots deliver even more skin–friendly beta carotene than raw ones.
Salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and rainbow trout all contain omega-3 fats, which are a crucial part of your skin's lipid (fat) content. When working properly, the fat acts like a seal that keeps moisture in and irritants out, to ultimately help your skin maintain normal moisture content.
Omega-3 fats also support your skin's structure and normal inflammatory levels. Just don't cancel out the benefits of eating fish by preparing it in unhealthy ways. Avoid deep-fried fish, and go for baked, grilled, roasted or poached instead.
It's not a "food," per se, but water is crucial when it comes to skin health because it supports normal detoxification processes, delivers nutrients to your cells, and keeps your organs functioning. It also helps keep your cells plump and full, which help your skin maintain normal moisture content. To get more water in your daily diet, fill up a large reusable container with ice cold water each morning, and keep drinking from it throughout the day. And drinking water isn't the only way to keep your skin cells hydrated. Many fruits and veggies are more than 75 percent water (by weight), so they're a terrific source of H2O, too.