Good skin (and health), of course, depends on the overall balance of your diet, but these five skin-loving “superfoods” will help, too. Including these skin-friendly foods as a regular part of your weekly diet can help you achieve healthy skin. As long as the rest of your diet is based on whole, unprocessed foods, and you’re getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and managing your stress levels, you’ll reap visible benefits.
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 essential fats, which act as a natural moisturizer and brightener for your skin from within. Omega-3 deficiencies can cause premature wrinkles, dry skin, brittle nails, and damaged hair. Omega-3s also have anti-inflammatory actions in the body, helping to calm any breakouts or redness on the skin. Additionally, salmon is a prime source of the mineral selenium, which supports our internal antioxidant defense systems to protect against oxidative stress.
It also provides protein that is needed for the formation of collagen. The pigment that gives salmon its pink color, called astaxanthin, is being hailed as an anti-aging miracle nutrient. Research indicates several benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving the appearance of the skin, reducing wrinkles, and improving elasticity.
DMAE is another skin-sparing nutrient found in fish, and especially high in salmon. It helps reduce the production of arachidonic acid, which contributes to wrinkles and stimulates nerve impulses that cause facial muscles to contract, helping skin appear firmer.
- Goal: 2-3 servings per week, along with other fish and shellfish.
- Tip: Bake or scalpel and not heat above 180°C to retain nutrients.
POMEGRANATE RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Pomegranates contain a substance called punicalagin, an extremely powerful antioxidant. This is present in both the skin and the pomegranate juice and has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Both oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to skin damage and aging, so anything that can reduce them should benefit the skin’s condition.
Pomegranates are also a good source of vitamins, including vitamins K, A, E, and C, which are needed for healthy collagen formation. One study found that pomegranate extract may protect skin fibroblast cells (the ones that make collagen) against damage and death from UVA and UVB rays.
An excellent source of vitamin E, which helps the skin retain moisture and helps skin heal. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant, protecting the skin from the aging effects of free radicals. Vitamin E can also help protect against sun damage and reduce inflammation in the skin, which is involved in acne and rashes.
The healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados also act as a natural moisturizer and softener for the skin. Avocados contain a type of fat called oleic acid, which can help maintain moisture levels in the epidermis layer. Avocados are also another great source of antioxidants, including carotenoids, which have been linked to many health benefits,
Spirulina is a blue-green alga, often called a “whole food” due to its extremely high nutrient content, which includes the essential nutrients our bodies need. These include protein, essential fats, antioxidants, olimp vitamins, and minerals. Spirulina is rich in protein, including all the essential amino acids, and provides the amino acid “building blocks” necessary for producing collagen and elastin.
It contains essential fat called GLA, which has anti-inflammatory effects and can help balance hormones and relieve eczema. Spirulina also detoxifies the body, making it good for keeping the skin clean. It is an excellent source of iron to maintain good energy levels, magnesium,
Vegetables like carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes contain particularly high levels of beta-carotene and other carotenoids, which give them their lovely color. Beta-carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A, an essential nutrient for skin integrity, meaning skin that is firm, resistant to damage, and heals quickly.
Beta-carotene also helps prevent free radical damage that can lead to aging, as it has antioxidant effects. Orange vegetables also provide a healthy dose of vitamin C for healthy collagen formation, vitamin E, and other protective plant compounds. Just 100g of sweet potato provides the RDA of vitamin A.