Posts Tagged ‘Antioxidants’

Great Foods for Healthy Skin

Great Foods for Healthy Skin

 

As it turns out, a healthy diet has even more benefits than we may have considered, including those affecting the appearance and quality of the skin.   Our skin needs care from the inside and from the outside, and selecting foods that contribute to healthy glowing skin involves learning about super foods and those high in antioxidants.  Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.  These substances may prevent or delay the cell damage leading to a number of diseases, including cancer.  Antioxidants appear in many fruits and vegetables and other foods listed below.

 

Most health experts will agree that it is optimal to obtain nutrition mainly from food however, the following factors may indicate smart use of supplements:

 

  • The foods we purchase may vary in terms of nutrient levels
  • Extended periods of stress can deplete the body’s reserves
  • Certain medical conditions may benefit from targeted supplements

 

Super Foods High in Antioxidants 

Beans

Blue, Red, Purple Grapes

Blueberries

Dark Green Vegetables

Fish

Green Tea

Nuts

Red Berries

Sweet Potato/Orange Vegetables

Whole Grains

 

High Impact Foods for Enhancing Skin Health

 

Carotenoids

Carotenoids include: Beta-carotene (β-carotene) and A-carotene (α-Carotene), lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene. Along with active vitamin A, carotenoids help prevent premature skin damage and skin cancer. Diets high in carotenoids are beneficial for preventing UV light damage, which can lead to melanoma, aged-looking skin, wrinkles, drying, scaling and thickening of the skin.  Great choices for foods high in carotenoids include:

  • Acorn Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

 

Selenium

Selenium is an essential mineral found in small amounts in the body. It works as an antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E. Antioxidants like selenium help fight the damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. Foods containing selenium include:

  • Brazil Nuts (2-3 per day will fulfill this requirement)
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Garlic
  • Pork
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Wheat Germ

 

 

Alpha Linolenic Acid

Alpha linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that must be obtained from the diet or supplementation.  Omega-3s have been shown to reinforce the skin by protecting it from dryness and reducing skin sensitivity. Other benefits may include protection from autoimmune skin disorders like psoriasis or inflammatory conditions like acne and eczema.  Great sources of alpha linolenic acid include:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds/hemp oil
  • Walnuts

 

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse with multiple benefits. For the skin, Vitamin C fights free radicals and protects from sun damage, contributes to collagen production, better wound healing, prevents skin discoloration and improves skin texture. The overall health benefits of Vitamin C intake are considerable, and many dermatologists and aestheticians also recommend topical application of Vitamin C which is present in a wide variety of products from lotions to serums.  Great dietary sources of Vitamin C include:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Bell Peppers
  • Grapefruit
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries

 

 

 

 

Long Chain Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids have powerful anti-inflammatory effects and, in general, increasing intake will improve skin moisture and appearance and may improve eczema. Even psoriasis may benefit from increased omega-3 intake. While cold water fish has always been high in omega-3, grass-fed beef has a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids and is generally leaner in total fat. Good sources of these omega-3s include:

  • Grass-Fed Beef
  • Herring
  • Mackeral
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sablefish
  • Trout

 

Biotin

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for the breakdown of fatty acids. Often referred to as the beauty vitamin with benefits for hair, skin and nails, it is easy to obtain the recommended amount in the diet.  Including regular consumption of these foods with high nutritional value that ensure adequate intake of this vitamin:

  • Avocado
  • Eggs

 

Water, Water and More Water

Food choices can have wonderful skin benefits along with a recommendation we just can’t hear enough: maximize water intake, and minimize alcohol.  Alcohol dehydrates the skin, and those who overindulge may see it on their faces the next day. Chronic overuse negatively affects skin tone, dryness and reflects an aged appearance. Re-think those couple glasses of wine or cocktails you may be having each day…Water is your skin’s best friend, and the formula for staying hydrated is the amount of water it takes to consistently produce urine that is colorless.

 

What NOT to Eat for Beautiful Skin

Nutritionists and aestheticians recommend avoiding foods that cause inflammation especially for those who may be suffering with skin disorders.  Inflammatory foods include sugars, refined starches, vegetable oils, dairy products, wheat, processed corn, and many food additives.  Foods with a high glycemic index that produce a quick rise in blood sugar are not recommended for several reasons including the negative effects on your skin.

 

Following these nutrition and diet recommendations will result in multiple benefits, including better health and higher energy as well as keeping your skin feeling and looking its best.

 

 

* This information is not intended to substitute for the advice or direction normally provided by a licensed medical professional. See your physician or a registered dietician for optimal dietary recommendations that are consistent with your comprehensive wellness plan, treatment you may be currently receiving, and to avoid interactions with prescription or over the counter medications you may be currently taking.

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