The best foods to eat for healthier looking skin.
There’s no such a thing as one miracle food that will change your skin overnight.
Avoiding processed foods, too much sugar, stress, smoking, alcohol, sleepless nights and excessive tanning is where you should start if you want your skin to be healthy, youthful and glowing.
Eating good quality foods in their natural form (or as close as possible) is equally as important and drinking lots of water is an absolute essential. Healthy skin contains between 10-20% water and dehydration (anything less than 10%) is one of the main reasons of premature skin aging and sensitivity.
However, the saying ‘You are what you eat’ is definitely spot on, as the food you eat is used to create every single cell in your body, including the skin cells.
Because the skin cells replace themselves regularly (i.e. every month in the outer skin layer), you need to consistently provide good building blocks for the rejuvenation. To ensure healthy, luminous skin, you should regularly include our top five skin foods.
Eating a wide variety of vegetables is essential for healthy skin for various reasons. All vegetables contain vitamin C, which is the main co-factor for synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid, the two compounds keeping your skin hydrated, wrinkle-free and plump.
Vitamin C also influences gene expression of antioxidant enzymes within our bodies. These enzymes are million times more potent than any antioxidant supplement in quenching free radicals thus preventing skin damage and premature aging.
Because different vegetables contain different mix of vitamins, minerals and polyphenols beneficial for your skin, you should eat a wide range of plants every single day. The recommended daily intake to keep your gut and skin healthy is 600g of non-starchy vegetables.
Organic bone broth is a great natural source of collagen and hyaluronic acid. While collagen is the main structural protein in the skin keeping it plump, firm and free of cellulite and wrinkles, hyaluronic acid is the skin’s natural moisturizer.
Several studies found significant increases in skin hydration, firmness and thickness and reduction in wrinkles just after 4-6 weeks of daily collagen and hyaluronic acid consumption. If you don’t like the taste of plain bone broth, use it as a base for soups and sauces or add it to smoothies in a form of bone broth ice-cubes.
If you are not a fan of bone broth full stop, you can have a collagen snack such as the Beauty Food Collagen Cookie or a supplement. Just make sure it has a sufficient amount of collagen per serving and no added crap such as sugar, preservative, fillers and artificial flavouring. And keep in mind that supplements are meant to supplement a healthy diet and not to replace meals or undo the damage from a junk food diet.
Seafood is a great source of zinc. Oysters contain more zinc than any other food, other shellfish being the second best.
Zinc has many anti-aging effects, especially because it stimulates the immune and antioxidant defences against aging and age-related diseases. The anti-aging benefits of zinc also include: cell protection against oxidative stress, prevention against aging of the skin, prevention against UV-induced damage and reducing the incidence of cancer growths.
Zinc also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help relieve some of the redness and irritation associated with moderate-to-severe acne. Furthermore, zinc may help reduce the appearance of acne scars. It has also been used for other inflammatory skin conditions, including melasma, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis and eczema.
If you don’t like or can’t eat shellfish, there are other foods you can have instead such as red meat, poultry beans and nuts.
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and trout are high in omega-3 free fatty acids which are super beneficial for the skin. Similar to vegetables, omega-3 influence the gut-skin axis, one of the most critical factors affecting skin vitality.
They are anti-inflammatory for the gut as well as for your skin and they also increase skin hydration, promote healthy insulin levels, and buffer the skin from sun damage.
Besides containing good fats, protein and fiber, nuts are also packed with vitamins and minerals like copper, zinc, vitamin A, C and E among others that are essential for a radiant, smoother looking skin. Same as with vegetables, you need a wide range as every nut contains a unique blend of nutrients.
For example, walnuts are the best anti-inflammatory, almonds are the highest in vitamin E, Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium and cashews are high in zinc. One small handful of raw mixed nuts is the way to a luminous skin.
Written by: Veronika Larisova – Nutritionist, Exercise Physiologist, Fitgenes practitioner and Educator, Veronika has worked with a wide range of clientele including Olympic athletes to weekend warriors. She is also the Co-Founder of Beauty Food.