Foods for healthy Skin
For healthy skin and a glowing complexion, nutritional foods play a big part and affects your largest organ: the skin. Here we hand over some reminders of which foods to include in your diet, as well as some lesser known foods that really encourage our skin to both look and feel hydrated and well cared for.
Which foods are good for the skin?
Foods containing healthy fats with omega-3 are vital for the skin’s hydration as well as keeping inflammation down. Antioxidants, vitamin C, E and B, and selenium act as protection for your skin cells which is crucial for your skin’s health and its appearance. If you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, your metabolism can be harmed, and you could suffer other health risks, which will also show on the skin.
Organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic ones. They are richer in vitamins and many times richer in antioxidants.
Happy Gut, Happy Skin:
Your gut health plays a key role in the health of your skin, so consuming live yoghurt will give a great source of friendly bacteria and probiotics. There are many ways to eat foods with friendly bacteria including the probiotic drinks Kefir and kombucha and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and sourdough bread. By including friendly bacteria, it will encourage a healthy digestion and will also aid inflammation avoidance.
Fish and Algae:
Omega-3 good fatty fish: salmon, trout, mackerel, herring.
These species of fish contain rich healthy fatty acids that are a great source of good protein, vitamin E, and zinc and keep your skin well-nourished and moisturised. These types of fish also help to reduce inflammation, which can cause redness on the skin and acne.
It is interesting to know that fish contains omega-3 from algae, so if you are vegetarian or vegan then you can eat the seaweed and still get your omega-3 from the source directly. You could add seaweed flakes to salads or stews, or the powdered form can be a nutritional additional flavour in soups and smoothies.
Nuts are packed with good fats, vitamins and minerals including copper, zinc, vitamin A, C and E which all contribute to glowing, and plumper healthy-looking skin.
Walnuts are an excellent source of essential fats, as well as contain antioxidants, zinc, vitamin E, selenium and protein.
Walnuts strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, helping to harness in moisture so your skin stays hydrated and looking glowy and supple. They also protect the skin against any toxins that may damage it, such as UV rays.
Other nuts high in omega-3 include: brazil, almonds, cashews, and pistachio nuts.
Oil-loaded seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds are all rich in selenium, Vitamin E, magnesium, antioxidants and protein, which all feed your skin with crucial nutrients for well-nourished skin.
Pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of nutrients, so even just a handful a day provides a sufficient amount of healthy fats full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Pumpkin seeds are also densely packed with zinc which helps your skin’s elasticity.
Fruit and vegetables
Colourful fruits and vegetables are essential in our diet for a healthy skin, as they are filled with antioxidants and vitamins. We need to take particular attention to purchase fruit and vegetables that are in-season, meaning that they are fresh and have not been picked months before and kept refrigerated to delay spoilage. Knowing which fruits and vegetables are in season before heading for the shops is probably best. Purchasing your produce from a local farmer’s market can ensure freshness, but you need to be careful of the pesticides that have been used to grow it, therefore, certified organic fruit and vegetables are always best.
I would say that all fruit is good for the skin, however only if in moderate quantities to avoid the intake of too much sugars. Try to avoid packaged juices, though, as these have concentrated amounts of sugars, as well as have been squeezed long before, which lowers the amounts of vitamins that are left in the juice.
Choosing between to squeeze some fruits and eat them un-squeezed, I prefer the latter, to avoid eating too many fruits in the juice. This also promotes the intake of healthy fibres.
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and also carotenoids like lycopene, which are in the skins of the tomatoes so don't peel them off before eating them! Lycopene is a very beneficial antioxidant that destructs harmful toxins, functioning as a protection barrier against sun exposure and general cellular damage.
Sweet potatoes and carrots:
Sweet potatoes and carrots are loaded with vitamin E and C which are vital for keeping the skin looking soft and plump. Vitamin C encourages collagen production and helps to keep the skin taut. Sweet potatos and carrots also contain beta carotene which protects your skin from sun damage.
Avocados are wonderfully rich in healthy fats for the skin.
They are full of vitamin C and E which are again excellent sources of moisture-boosting benefits. Because of the rich amount of protein, avocados really help to keep your skin hydrated and looking glowy.
Broccoli is an absolute super food, jam packed with vitamins and minerals that your skin will love.
Broccoli also contains powerful properties of zinc, which aid in calming inflamed and acne-prone skin, as well as rejuvenating the cells that produce collagen.
Cocoa beans contain high levels of antioxidants, so a good quality dark chocolate in dosed quantities will provide many benefits for your skin. The benefits include smoother skin, reduced redness, increase in blood flow and protection against UV radiation.
Foods to avoid for healthy skin.
Eating the right food is not enough to keep the right diet for a healthy skin. We also need to try and avoid certain foods and drinks that are detrimental to a healthy skin. Without going too deep in explaining the reasons why you should try to avoid these foods and drinks, we will list them for you here.
- Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the skin bringing long-term damage at times
- Dairy products increase inflammation, and can promote hormonal imbalances
- Sugar-filled foods and deserts impair skin collagen
- Gluten-based foods can promote acne
- Fried foods promote free radicals, so accelerate skin ageing
As much as we are attracted to sugary, fried, or gluten foods, as well as others, we should try to avoid them as much as possible.
To conclude our thoughts on healthy foods for healthy skin.
We can see that many of these foods contain high levels of moisture-boosting benefits for the skin, like omega-3 in oily fish, nuts and seeds and seaweed that increase your skin’s natural lustre and keep it glowing. Many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, and E and also carotenoids, which are antioxidants that protect cells against free radicals.
It is a great idea to be creative and try to maintain a diverse diet, even when choosing what skin-boosting foods you want to eat: the wider and more colourful the range of foods you choose, the better! Your skin will whole-heartedly thank you for it and will look and feel healthier than ever!
We recommend reading our article on Good Habits for Great Skin! as well, should you wish to know about other habits that are not food-related that help keep the skin nice and healthy!