Healthy eating not only affects your inside but your outside too. What you eat can show up in your skin’s appearance—a steady diet of junk food can result in dull, dry skin or acne, while a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables can keep skin glowing, supple, and youthful.
What you put in your mouth is just as important as what you apply to your skin.
While skincare products have come a long way and can do wonders for many skin types, they can’t fix your skin imperfections if you aren’t eating nutritious food. A diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, fiber, healthy oils, lean proteins, nuts, and whole grains is best for supporting healthy skin, in addition to overall good health.
Eating healthy foods that contain amino acids (which are the building blocks for healthy skin), foods rich in antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory foods can promote healthy skin and protect your skin against environmental stressors. One such stressor is free-radical damage, which can weaken your skin’s immunity (causing skin tone to become uneven) and activate inflammatory reactions that can damage collagen, leading to thin, blotchy skin and more wrinkles.
Skip sugar for healthier skin.
We know eating too much sugar can cause all sorts of health problems including weight gain and tooth decay, as well as inflammation that can lead to a host of diseases. But did you know that sugar has also been shown to have a direct impact on acne-prone skin?
Dermatologists recommend that patients who are struggling with acne eat a low-glycemic diet and reduce their sugar intake as much as possible. Replace sugary foods with fruits, vegetables, and nuts, especially when it comes to snacks. For example, protein bars may be a convenient snack when you’re on the go, but they are one of the biggest offenders, as they are essentially a glorified candy bar. This rush of sugar can aggravate acne, cause rashes, and promote wrinkles.
Eat superfoods for super skin.
Try incorporating these superfoods into your diet to boost collagen, fight wrinkles, clear blemishes, and give you a healthy glow.
- Salmon. Salmon contains antioxidants that can calm inflammation. The fatty acids in salmon can help your skin retain moisture and keep irritants out. Try eating salmon two or three times per week.
- Watermelon. Is puffiness around your eyes a regular problem for you? Try eating more watermelon! The high-water and low-sugar content in watermelon can help reduce water retention that causes puffiness around the eyes and help with skin moisture in general.
- Tomatoes. Juicy, red tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a strong antioxidant that can protect your skin from UV damage including sunburn and skin cancer.
- Carrots. Carrots are known for helping with eyesight, but the vitamin, beta-carotene, found in this orange vegetable has been found to decrease the skin’s oil production. There have also been some studies that suggest carrots can help improve psoriasis.
- Avocados. Have you noticed the popularity of avocado face masks? There’s a reason why. Avocados infiltrate cells at the deepest level, giving skin a dose of vitamins A, D, and E, healthy fats, and phytonutrients.
- Almonds and walnuts. Nuts are a super food, and almonds and walnuts in particular have skin-boosting qualities. Almonds contain vitamin E, which can help prevent signs of aging caused by free radicals and may even help protect against skin cancer. Walnuts boost collagen production because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and can help keep your skin plump and young looking.
- Berries. The bright colors found in blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are thanks to antioxidants. Eating berries on a regular basis can help protect your skin from free radicals that cause skin damage.
- Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is rich in B vitamins, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Make sure you choose plain Greek yogurt, as flavored yogurts contain sugar that will contradict the skin benefits.
- Olive Oil. Not only is olive oil a heart-healthy oil, but it also contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which may keep skin looking youthful and help protect against free radicals.
- Broccoli. This super vegetable has all sorts of healthy vitamins including vitamin A, C, and K which can help collagen production, speed up the healing of bruises, and improve dark under-eye circles.