You’ve heard the old adage “you are what you eat.” While it may seem silly, it’s also very true. Your dietary choices affect your body and your skin too. As older skin cells shed, newer cells need key nutrients to support healthy growth in order to give you a glowing appearance. Eating a balanced diet will nourish your skin to keep it soft, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and avoid flare-ups.
While we can’t stop time and halt the signs of ageing, eating a skin smart diet, following an exercise routine, and avoiding sun and tanning bed exposure will save you from speeding up the process.
Eat Your Way to Healthy Skin
Antioxidants help protect your skin from collagen and elastin damage cause by free radicals. Eat a spectrum of colorful fruits and vegetables every day to get the best of all possible worlds. The three main antioxidants found in vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Beta-carotene helps suppress UVA-induction to prevent premature ageing caused by sun exposure. This powerful antioxidant can be found in a number of foods including carrots, leafy vegetables like collard and turnip greens, pink grapefruit, corn, cantaloupe, broccoli, beets, asparagus, apricots, tomatoes, tangerines, squash, and watermelon.
Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, which gives your skin structure. Its antioxidant properties help your skin’s natural regeneration process to repair damaged skin cells. Beyond the more obvious citrus fruits, you can easily get your daily dose of vitamin C from eating these foods: red peppers, papaya, sweet potato, kiwi, blueberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, and even Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties that supports cell function and skin health. This antioxidant is found across a spectrum of foods. Richer sources include those found in cooking oils, seeds, and nuts. Other foods include almonds, hazelnuts, avocado, pine nuts, sunflower and almond oils, abalone, red pepper, mango, lobster, pistachios, and pecans.
Brazil nuts, which are a source of Vitamin E are also a great source of another powerful antioxidant, selenium. A selenium-rich diet is said to support the immune system while also protecting against sun damage, skin cancer, and age spots. A handful of Brazil nuts a day is more than enough to get your daily dose.
Other nutrients you should pack into your diet are omega-3s and omega-6s, found in oily fish, as well as zinc, which assists in the function of the oil-producing sebaceous glands in the skin. You can find zinc in foods like fish, lean red meats, nuts, seeds, shellfish, and poultry.
Avoid These Foods for Skin-Smart Eating
If you are serious about making smart eating choices to keep your skin looking and feeling good, it’s time to make some changes. Try to avoid sugary foods, especially refined sugars, which are pro-inflammatory and can cause flare-ups for those with acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Cow’s milk dairy can also contribute to inflammation, particularly if there is an intolerance involved. Dairy is often a key cause of eczema flare-ups.
Anything that dehydrates you, like salt and alcohol, are also pulling moisture away from your skin. Stay hydrated by drinking more water than to think you need.