Before you know it summer will be here and that means a lot more skin will be on display. Now is the time to begin revitalizing and renewing our skin that has been covered up all winter and one way is by eating certain foods.
Like the saying goes “you are what you eat,” really does apply to the health and complexion of our skin. While genetics and lifestyle habits play a significant role in skin health, the real path to youthful looking skin might be through our stomach. Scientist have uncovered that choosing the right foods can help fight acne, minimize wrinkles and dryness, and enhance your skin’s natural beauty.
Here are 7 foods that if consumed regularly, may help give your skin a more natural glow, smoothness and with fewer breakouts getting you ready to face the season ahead:
1. Green tea
This ancient beverage may be the answer to a dewy complexion. Scientists have discovered that polyphenols which green tea is brimming with may benefit your skin by providing protection against UV radiation as well as improving skin quality such as elasticity and dryness. Polyphenols appear to have some power in helping increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin. Aim to drink two to three cups of green tea daily.
2. Coldwater fish
Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna, anchovies, and rainbow trout – are valuable in helping fortify skin cell membranes, protecting against sun damage, and may also reduce the risk of certain forms of skin cancer. These healthy fats allow water and nutrients into the skin while keeping toxins out and may also fight inflammation in the skin. Prepare 2-3 fish meals each week by baking, grilling, roasting or poaching and avoid deep-fat frying of fish.
All chocolate lovers can rejoice as cocoa is a friend to your skin. A 2016 study in the Journal of Nutrition determined that the consumption of high amounts of cocoa flavonols can reduce signs of photo-aging such as age spots and wrinkles. It does this by having a positive impact on facial wrinkles and elasticity. Flavonols are powerful antioxidants that protect skin against the damaging effects of environmental stressors like UV rays. Choose products with the most flavonols which include dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), cacao nibs, and natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder.
Consider adding flax to your daily consumption of skin enhancing foods. Flax can reduce skin reddening while improving skin hydration making skin less rough and dry. What is flax’s secret - omega-3 fatty acids. Flax has an abundance of omega-3’s which can help skin retain moisture. Other omega-3 providers include hemp seeds, chia, and walnuts.
5. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are on this list as a skin superfood thanks to their high content of the mineral zinc. Zinc protects cell membranes, helps maintain collagen, and promotes skin renewal. Enjoy pumpkin seeds on their own as a snack, add them into a homemade trail mix, or sprinkle them on yogurt or oatmeal.
Bite into one of these fuzzy fruit and you’ll be taking in more than a day’s worth of vitamin C. British researchers found that people who took in the most vitamin C had the lowest risk of a wrinkled appearance and skin dryness. Vitamin C plays an important role in the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein responsible for holding the connective tissue in your skin together. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can also help clean up free radicals that wreak havoc on healthy skin cells and accelerate skin aging. Other vitamin C loaded foods include oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and kale.
7. Sweet potato
If you’re someone who tends to be a sun worshipper by spending lots of time outdoors, make sure to eat plenty of foods rich in beta-carotene. Foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, kale and collards, are brimming with beta-carotene. This nutrient has been shown to offer some natural protection against sunburn, which in turn, may lower signs of photo-aging, as well as skin cancer risk. In addition, a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that higher intakes of vegetables and fruits can be protective against adult acne.