Healthy skin reflects good health throughout your entire body. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and also the fastest growing, making it a #1 priority when it comes to your health.
What many people don’t realize is that the foods they consume on a daily basis have a direct correlation to their skin’s health. The good news is that there are foods that will help your largest organ look its best, regardless of the season or your age.
“What you put into your body affects your body’s health,” explains Dr. Sanjiv Saini of MD Dermatology and Laser Center in Maryland. “Eating too much sugar can cause diabetes and weight gain, eating too much greasy food can cause acne. However, there are some foods which can truly offer you healthy skin and therefore overall health.”
Maximizing a healthy diet is essential for your body and ensures healthy skin by including loads of nutrients and vitamins. Dr. Saini suggests these 10 foods to maintain healthy skin, prevent signs of aging, and to decrease your risk of developing skin cancer:
1. Chocolate. Cocoa hydrates your skin, making it firmer and adding a healthy glow. For maximum results, choose chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao. Eating a couple of squares a day can improve your skin’s appearance. The higher the cacao percentage, the better the benefits. Cacao contains a high amount of antioxidants, Magnesium, Vitamin C, and Omega-6 fatty acids which help in cellular healing. Being super absorbent, cacao also helps guard against UV rays and acts as a sunscreen. So the next time you plan to lounge in the sun, do so with a bit of dark chocolate to keep you deliciously protected.2. Olive Oil. For an anti-aging solution, about 75 percent of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which studies believe play a role boosting your skin’s health and making your skin look younger. The antioxidant polyphenols in olive oil can also eliminate damaging free radicals that negatively affect the skin. Olive oil has long held the title of anti-aging remedy and is also an excellent source of external nourishment for dry, chapped, and flaky skin.3. Tomatoes. Recent studies have shown that tomatoes play a role in preventing sunburns. The antioxidant lycopene (levels of which are higher in cooked, processed tomatoes) improves your skin’s natural SPF level. Tomato juice is also known for shrinking pores working as a natural astringent. Tomatoes are a naturally rich source of protein which offers cellular repair. They also offer further assistance in the aging process by helping skin absorb oxygen in a much more effective way. Eat them daily and add them to pretty much every meal. 4. Walnuts. Walnuts are full of copper, a mineral that improves collagen production in your skin. Eating a few walnuts a day can improve your skin’s texture. Walnuts are also packed with B vitamins which are an excellent way to manage stress and mood. Combine that with the presence of E, a natural antioxidant protecting the skin from free radicals, walnuts can’t be beaten for what they offer the skin and the rest of the body. Try warm walnut oil to reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. The oil is known to decrease puffiness and soften the delicate skin that resides under our eyes. Stock up on this wonder food and combine them with fruit, cheese, or add them to salads, pasta dishes, or just eat them solo for a healthy snack. 5. Oatmeal. Studies have shown that oatmeal takes longer for your body to process, which can help keep your blood sugar level at a healthy level. Blood sugar at a healthy level is known for healing the skin. Steel-cut oatmeal is less processed than other varieties of oatmeal, so it retains more vitamins. Oats can also absorb excess oil in the skin which is great for the treatment of acne. Oats contain zinc which helps with reducing inflammation and kills acne-causing bacteria. Taking an oatmeal bath is great for moisturizing skin and it also works as a natural cleanser.6. Blueberries.The high levels of antioxidants make blueberries a great asset for your skin. Antioxidants protect your skin cells from free radicals in the environment, such as sun exposure. Blueberries are considered a superfood as they are packed with Vitamins A, C, and E. They brighten the skin and offer a healthy glow to your complexion. 7. Kale. Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that eliminate free radicals in the environment, such as UV light that can damage your skin. Kale also contains vitamins A and C, which are known to firm your skin. A single serving of kale has all of the Vitamin K, which regulates normal blood clotting, you need in a day. Kale also boosts your intake of calcium and iron. If you’re not a huge fan of the taste, combine it with other leafy greens for an incredibly healthy salad.
8. Rosemary. Rosemary has benefits far beyond making great additions to holiday decorations and garnishing drinks and meals. Studies have shown that consuming rosemary can reduce your risk of developing a melanoma. The herb is full of antioxidants to eliminate free radicals before they can damage your skin. Try it in tea or add it to almost any dish to nourish your skin and taste buds.9. Soy. Soy has been linked to healthy skin by reducing fine lines and boosting skin elasticity. The isoflavone in soy helps stop collagen from breaking down and reduces your skin from sagging. The estrogen in soy also assists in maintaining elasticity. Soy contains Vitamin E which helps to renew skin cells and renews dead skin cells. Soy also has moisturizing properties, a large reason why you see it listed as an ingredient in many skin care products. Soy is easy to add to your diet. Try soy milk, edamame, or get creative with tofu. 10. Oysters. Oysters contain dietary zinc, which plays an important role in the growth and function of skin cells. Some recent studies have shown that people that suffer from acne have low zinc levels. “Your skin is susceptible to damage on a daily basis with all the pollution in the air and the UV rays that leave permanent marks on your skin,” adds Dr. Saini. “You don’t have to go through painful surgeries and recovery processes for great-looking skin. There are lots of foods in our daily lives that contain the ingredients we need for healthy, happy skin.”
- American Academy of Dermatology. About Skin: Your Body’s Largest Organ.
- Prevention.com. 25 Best Foods for Your Skin.
- WebMD. Foods for Healthy Skin: You are What You Eat.