Are you distressed of using cosmetics to cover your impurities and fake a picture-perfect glow? Are you tired of avoiding the sun and being fearful of what it can do to your sensitive skin? Have you tried the best skin care products but you’re still not impressed with the results? Well, maybe there’s something wrong with your diet, which plays a vital role in making or breaking your skin.
The saying “you are what you eat” has never been more true if you’re dreaming of a fair, radiant skin. In a 2014 article published in Forbes, the author of Feed Your Face and dermatologist Jessica Wu shared some tips she used to tell her patients. “What they put in their mouths is as important as the products they apply on their skin,” Wu claimed. She also explained that when foods get digested, they are broken down into vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and these nutrients are used by the body to build healthy skin.
The nutrients ideal for skin health are usually found in most fruits and vegetables. But there are certain high-nutrient foods, including the ten listed below, which are proven to be best in achieving a clear and healthy skin.
Red vegetables like tomatoes are known for their high lycopene content, an essential antioxidant that acts as a natural sunscreen to fight cellular damage. Daily consumption of these lycopene-rich fruits may help protect the skin against UV-induced erythema, an illness that promote reddening of the skin. Tomatoes also help retain skin moisture and prevent appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
In general, the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it contains. The antioxidant is also absorbed most when these round and juicy fruits have been cooked. Aside from including tomatoes in your diet, try to apply tomato juice on your skin to cure severe sunburns, remove dead skin cells, and revive the skin’s natural glow.
Avocados, which are known for their tasty and creamy goodness, prove that “yummy” and “healthy” can go hand in hand. The superfood boasts its healthy fatty acids, phytonutrients, and antioxidants such as carotenoids, vitamin E, and vitamin C, which can improve your skin from the inside and help protect your skin against damage from free radicals.
Joanna Vargas, a celebrity esthetician in NYC, advises her clients to start eating a bit of avocado every day as part of their salad or making a refreshing morning smoothie out of these fruits. She also recommends using an avocado as a facial mask to soothe, protect, and moisturize your skin.
3. Green, leafy vegetables
We weren’t thrilled every time our parents say that we’re going to have green and leafy vegetables for dinner. They don’t look appetizing and they taste, well, like leaves. But if you’re conscious about your overall health and physical appearance, eating these green stuff is a must.
Green, leafy veggies are often associated with glowing skin. Just remember that green vegetables are not made equal. The darker and more vibrant the color of the vegetable, the more nutrients it has. Three of the vegetables that stand out are kale, spinach, and arugula.
Kale is rich in natural exfoliator vitamin A, collagen-producing vitamin C, and beta carotene, which helps renew your skin for a youthful glow; Spinach has vitamin A and iron, which are essential for healthy skin, nails, and hair; and arugula has high levels of sulfur, which also boost collagen production.
4. Red Bell Pepper
Bell peppers contain a high vitamin C content, an essential vitamin in producing collagen and improving skin hydration. These sweet and spicy vegetable helps firm skin, promote even skin tone, eliminate dark spots, and get rid of free radicals that may destroy the skin.
When we think of vitamin C, oranges are usually the first that come to mind. The truth is bell peppers, especially the red one, have nearly three times more vitamin C content than oranges.
5. Fish oil
Not all animal-based oils are bad for your health. Fish oil contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that benefits the skin. EPA regulates oil production to boost hydration, prevent acne, and delay signs of aging. EPA is also an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that protects the skin from sun damage and prevent inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psorasis. Aside from taking fish oil supplements, you can get your daily dose of omega-3 fats by eating oily fish like mackerel, tuna, anchovies, herring, and salmon.
6. Nuts and seeds
Most people believe that nuts are bad for your skin and can cause acne but it appears that it’s the other way around. Munchies such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are packed full of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin from cell damage and promotes regeneration of skin cells. Walnuts, butternuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, on the other hand, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You can replace croutons with these powerfoods to your salads if you’re looking for a little crunch. They are also best eaten raw, unsalted, or oven-roasted.
The pumpkin’s vibrant orange hue isn’t just ideal for making jack-o’-lanterns, but is an indication that it is rich in a wrinkle-fighting plant pigment called “carotenoids.” These pigments help in keeping free radicals from damaging the cells, which may result in premature aging. West Palm Beach dermatologist Kenneth Beer explains that pumpkins are filled with vitamins, A, C, and E, and powerful enzymes that help cleanse the skin.
Pomegranates contain a powerhouse of nutrients including polyphenol antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin K, which help you attain a glowing and younger-looking skin. The fruit can help hydrate dry and dull skin, keep complexion smooth and radiant, and stimulate collagen production. Adding one pomegranate or a few glasses of fresh juice on your diet daily should do the trick.
9. Kidney beans
If you’re suffering from acne, try to add a handful of kidney beans in your diet. Kidney beans are loaded with zinc, an essential mineral that is often linked to acne prevention. In a 2007 paper published in the Turkish Academy of Dermatology, it is found that people with low blood zinc levels were nearly five times as likely to have acne compared to respondents with normal zinc levels. A four-ounce serving of kidney beans daily is recommended to keep your skin clear.
10. Green tea
Aside from calming your mind and body, a soothing cup of green tea improves your skin appearance as well for it is filled with a high amount of inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Hasan Mukhtar, Ph.D., the director of research in the department of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland believes that the green tea’s antioxidant component, which he claims to be the most potent of all antioxidants, is key to its skin-protective qualities.
When she’s not busy mastering face contour, Carmina Natividad spends her time writing articles focused on aesthetics and overall health and wellness. She is one of the daytime writers for The Australasian College of Health and Wellness, a government accredited educational institution specializing in the discipline of health science.