There are so many factors that go into having healthy skin. From the products you use to how much sun you get, all have a profound effect on how your skin looks and feels. One of the most important matters to focus on for your skin’s health is nutrition.
According to Healthline, an unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain and even hurt organs, including the largest one in your body: your skin. This article shares helpful information about how your nutrition impacts your skin and will also explore which foods to add to give you healthy skin, which foods to avoid and the reasons behind both.
The Basics of Nutrition for Healthy Skin
The best advice when it comes to nutrition, regarding the impact on healthy skin, is to have a balanced diet. Your body is a complex machine and it needs different types of fuel to work properly. For the best nutrition, make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet and eat healthy meals more often than not.
Try to start each day with a glass of water. After sleeping for hopefully eight hours (which is also important for healthy skin), your body needs to rehydrate. However, you may be surprised to learn that it is not necessarily true that you need to drink eight glasses, or 64 ounces, of water a day. According to Men’s Health, how much water you need is based on your body type, weight and height. However, you do need to drink plenty of water, as it is the key component for hydrated healthy skin. Keep in mind that if you are consuming large quantities of salt, coffee or other dehydrating foods, it’s necessary to balance these things out with more water.
As mentioned previously, making sure you have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet is central to good nutrition and healthy skin, as they provide powerful antioxidants. It is recommended you eat five portions of both fruits and vegetables a day. Even though they are good for you and are brimming with vitamins, fruits are also full of natural sugars, so consuming more than necessary can have a negative effect on your overall nutrition.
Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant, particularly for the immune system. According to BBC food, the best fruit and vegetable sources for vitamin C are:
- Kiwi Fruits
- Sweet Potatoes
Vitamin C is also needed to produce collagen, which strengthens the capillaries that supply blood flow and oxygen to healthy skin. Fruits like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums are also loaded with other antioxidants, which help protect your skin cells.
A healthy diet should also include low-fat dairy products. According to WebMD, the health of our skin cells is dependent on how much vitamin A we have in our bodies. One of the best sources of vitamin A is low-fat dairy products. Low-fat yogurt is a good choice as it has two benefits:
- It contains an abundance of vitamin A
- It also contains live bacteria that is crucial for digestion – and good digestion leads to clear, healthy skin
You may have heard that greasy food has a reputation for causing acne. There is some truth to that. According to BBC food, acne is caused by infections and inflammation of the skin. Junk food, foods high in saturated fats and processed foods often cause clogged pores which lead to inflammation and infection, resulting in increased acne. To avoid this, replace highly processed foods with more raw vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruit and fish.
Now that you know some basic facts about how nutrition affects healthy skin, let’s look at the foods you should be eating, according to Healthline, to maximize a gorgeous glow.
11 Foods that Support Nutrition for Healthy Skin
- Fatty Fish
Fish is full of nutrients your body can use to develop radiant skin. Fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining healthy skin. Not consuming enough omega-3 can actually lead to dry skin.
While it is true that avocados are full of fat, it is healthy fat your body needs to keep your skin flexible and moisturized. As a bonus, avocado helps protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
Walnuts are a great source of essential fatty acids, which your body needs and cannot produce by itself. They are also an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It’s important to note that excessive omega-6 acids may cause inflammation, so make sure you don’t go overboard.
- Sunflower Seeds
According to Healthline, nuts and seeds are good sources of healthy skin-boosting nutrients and also provide a bump in protein which is great for overall nutrition.
- Sweet Potatoes and Bell Peppers
Bell peppers and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A – an important nutrient that’s fantastic for healthy skin.
Find yourself hungry frequently? You can never eat too much broccoli. It is full of vitamins and minerals important for healthy skin development, including vitamins A and C, as well as zinc. Broccoli is also full of sulforaphane, which is vital for protection from the sun. In recent tests, sulforaphane reduced the number of skin cells killed by UV light by as much as 29 percent, with protection lasting up to 48 hours.
According to Health Line, tomatoes are a terrific source of vitamin C and contain all of the major carotenoids, including lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene, which have all been shown to protect your skin against damage from the sun, and have the ability to slow down the aging of your skin.
Soy can be particularly helpful to women’s skin. One study found that consuming soy products every day for eight to 12 weeks reduced fine wrinkles and improved skin elasticity. For women who are postmenopausal, soy can also improve skin strength.
- Dark Chocolate
Luckily for chocolate-lovers, dark chocolate won’t cause any damage to your skin and can actually help hydration. One study found that after at least 6 weeks of consuming a cocoa high in antioxidants each day, skin became less rough, less sensitive to sunburn and had better blood flow. You will want to consume dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao, as that contains the necessary antioxidants.
- Green Tea
The powerful compounds found in green tea are called catechins and work to improve the health of skin in several ways. A recent study found that green tea improved skin’s moisture, thickness and elasticity. However, you will want to avoid adding anything into your tea, like milk for example, because it can counteract the positive effects of the tea.
- Red Wine
Red wine does have health benefits for your skin, although there is not yet conclusive data to show how much benefit you get from drinking just one glass. However, moderation is key to nutrition for healthy skin.
6 Types of Food to Avoid for Healthy Skin
If glowing, healthy skin is your goal, it’s also important to know which foods are good to avoid. Here is a list of six foods that are best to enjoy only occasionally:
While a delicious doughnut is wonderful with a cup of coffee, the high level of processed sugar and saturated oils can lead to your pores becoming blocked. Fried foods, in general, encourage acne.
- Soda and Energy Drinks
There are no health benefits to drinking soda. According to Food Network, soda and other high-sugar beverages can damage the formation of collagen, the connective tissue that help keeps healthy skin firm. Additionally, energy drinks can be catastrophic to your health. While they may give you an extra boost of energy, they also fill you up with excessive sugar and caffeine, neither of which is good for your nutrition or healthy skin.
Alcohol, like coffee, is a diuretic (something that makes you dehydrated) and can leave your skin in poor shape if used in excess. However, alcohol is fine in moderation; just be sure to drink extra liquids, especially water, when you consume it.
Almost all candy is high in processed sugar, which can lead to poor skin health by promoting inflammation, which causes acne.
As mentioned before, coffee is a diuretic and can leave your skin dehydrated. If you put excess cream or sugar in your coffee you may be ingesting too much processed sugar, as well. Drinking too much coffee can also lead to a disruptive sleep schedule, which is detrimental to healthy skin.
- Processed Foods
According to Food Network, eating a lot of high-fat and high-sodium processed meats, white bread, salami and hot dogs won’t do your complexion any favors. They tend to overload your system with extra fats and encourage the development of acne.
Helping Your Skin
When it comes to good nutrition and healthy skin, it’s important to eat a wide variety of foods and make sure you enjoy everything in moderation. As long as you keep a balanced diet, you’ll reap the benefits with glowing, healthy skin.
In addition to what you eat, if you are looking for excellent skincare products to enhance the way your skin looks and feels, check out the entire line of Sensia Skin products here.