Eat your way to beauty! – foods that affect Skin Health
Who wouldn’t want a clearer, shinier skin? And what better way to address this problem than diet? We’ve already published an article about how diet affects your hair, but what about skin? Making the right food choices can have a tremendous impact on how shiny, elastic or oily your skin is. Altering your diet in even the slightest of ways can make a huge difference when it comes to skin health. The change of course will not happen overnight, but be patient and there will be visible results after 4-6 weeks.
But most of these stuff are common sense anyway. I mean, who doesn’t know that alcohol dries up your skin (among other things). Dehydration even in a mild form can cause dry skin too. Lack of antioxidants in your diet can also have very bad effects on skin quality as well. Not controlling your stress levels can also have a negative impact, since byproducts of stress hormones increase the acidity of your body.
By making small changes to your everyday menu you can impact the way your skin repairs itself and add to skin elasticity. There are a lot of foods that are good for your skin, but I’ve picked the ones that benefit your skin the most:
1) Butternut Squash
We’ve placed Butternut Squash on the first place of this list since it really deserves this place. It’s high in Vitamin A and C, both healthy for your skin, but it’s also high in carotenoids.
The carotenoids contained in this vegetable are of high importance if you want to repair and rejuvenate your skin. They clear your bloodstream of free radicals that actually damage cells and their membranes, and the skin – being the largest organ, definitely needs them. An added bonus is that carotenoids protect your eyesight by filtering out UV light. Pretty neat no?
Other foods high in carotenoids include Kale, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Spinach and of course, Carrots.
While there a numerous methods of preparing this vegetable, we would suggest cooking a simple soup and eating it before your main meal. This will help the nutrients get absorbed more effectively. You can find a recipe for a simple butternut squash here.
2) Brazil Nuts
Sometimes I’m left wondering where would the world be without Brazil Nuts. They are the cornerstone of every healthy diet. This applies if you want to improve skin health too. Being high in Selenium, they sure deserve the second place on our list. Working together with other antioxidants like vitamin A and E, Selenium helps reduce the effects of aging throughout your whole body. For the skin this means less wrinkles, more elasticity and less age spots. Only 4-5 Brazil Nuts can fulfill your Selenium daily needs! Surely you can incorporate at least that much in your diet.
Other foods high in Selenium include fish, tomatoes, broccoli, and wheatgerm.
While you can snack on Brazil Nuts, we would recommend grinding them and adding them to any salad, fruit or vegetable. Their nutty flavor will just add an exotic note to it while still remaining barely detectable.
Having an Avocado might not seem like a go-to meal when trying to improve your skin health, but you can’t be more wrong. There is nothing wrong with natural fats. It’s the processed fats that you should avoid. Fats contain a lot of fatty acids, which are crucial for maintaining you skin moist. Most of the physical damage your skin endures is due to skin dryness. It’s also very suitable for the vegetarians out there, since it’s full of omega-3 fatty acids which non-vegetarians usually get from fish products.
Other foods recommended if you want to add more fatty acids to your diet and thus improve skin health include flexseed (quite high in fatty acids), fish, seafood and English nuts.
While I personally like my avocado fresh, there are many recipes out there on how to prepare it and combine it with other foods. Check out these easy recipes how to prepare avocado meals in no time.
4) Green Tea
This list could not have gone without it! Green Tea is among those mythical go-to drinks when it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine. It contains a lot of antioxidants which will help your skin stay fresher. An added bonus is caffeine. A study has shown that caffeine protects your skin from the bad UV radiation from the sun and reduces chances of developing a very dangerous form of skin cancer know as Melanoma. It also helps you with improving skin roughness and elasticity. A win-win if you ask me.
Caffeine can also be obtained from coffee, but we advise the use of green tea for two reasons. First it contains antioxidants that coffee is missing, and more importantly, coffee causes dehydration that is in turn bad for your skin
You can consume green tea any way you want, but try to stay away from adding sugar to it.
5) Water for skin health
The last missing piece of the puzzle. The one thing that absolutely thrashes everything else on this list. You can go without sex for a lifetime, without food for quite long periods of time, but take water out of the equation the negative effects rush in after a very, very short period of time. Hydration is a generous mistress nevertheless. Supply your body with enough water daily and it will reward you substantially.
This is because water plays a major role in pretty much any vital function you can imagine. On your skin this will reflect in every possible aspect but the biggest impact will be recognizable on elasticity. While getting enough water is essential, it’s also good to mention to avoid stuff that dehydrate you. Stay away from alcohol and too much caffeine. As mentioned earlier caffeine is beneficial for skin health in small amounts, but once you increase intake, it can have an adverse effect.
There is no substitute for water. Try and drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. Now all drinks contribute to this, but try and stick with water. You will feel very, very refreshed. If you want an added boost, try treating your body with Lemon Water each morning. The benefits can be amazing!
There are a lot of other changes that you can make to your diet, but we felt that these five were the easiest and least time-consuming. Implement some of these alternations, sit back and watch your skin gaining it’s glow!