Everybody wants beautiful healthy skin. Many of us are concerned with signs of aging. Women often ask the questions about skin health. They want to know about the best foods for glowing and healthy skin. Their interest is perfectly logical. Skin is, quite literally, the face we show to the world.
Most of us care mainly about the beauty of skin, beautiful skin is healthy skin. If battling acne or wrinkles makes you want to eat healthier foods or if the search for clear smooth skin makes you exercise more, its good because what’s good for your skin is good for the rest of you too. Skin is your first line of physiological defence against the external environment and it reflects your state of health. Skin can turn yellow from liver toxins, red from a rush of blood, blue from a lack of oxygen, or gray from cell death.
Common skin problems
In the search for more beautiful skin, the two most common concerns are acne and wrinkles. Acne happens when hair follicles (sometimes called pores) become blocked with natural oils. If the pore is open to the air, the clog will appear as a blackhead. But if oil is trapped below the surface of the skin, it provides a nice little breeding ground for bacteria, leading to pimples. Because hormones affect how much oil your skin produces, acne is more likely to flare up during times of hormonal upheaval, including adolescence, pregnancy, and premenstrual weeks as well as times of stress.
Wrinkles are a fact, of life. As we age collagen and elastin, the substances that keep skin firm and elastic, gradually decrease. Fat pads in the face also thin out. Without this underlying structure, skin sags, creases form, and we have wrinkles.
How quickly your skin shows signs of aging is largely determined by genetics, but the process accelerates if your skin is somehow damaged. Skin damage occurs as a result of oxidation, a chemical process during which unstable molecules called free radicals steal electrons from healthy cells. On the skin, oxidative stress can appear as wrinkling, thickening, discoloration and decreased elasticity.
The most damaging oxidative factors are smoking and sun exposure and the extent of the damage depends on how long and how much you smoke, how much time you spend in the sun, and how many severe sunburns you’ve had.
Best foods for glowing and healthy skin
Skin is built from the inside out. Day to day and year to year, skin draws its healthy glow from good nutrition. Even though acne and wrinkles have different causes and occur at different times in your life, nutrition can help minimize or prevent both of these problems and enhance your skin’s natural beauty.
It is so basic, but it can’t be emphasized enough, how important water is for skin’s health and beauty. Water helps your body flush away toxins, allows the smooth flow of nutrients into cells, and keeps your organs functioning at their best. Plus, cells that are well hydrated are plump and full, which means that your skin will look firmer and clearer. Recommendations vary, but according to the Institute of Medicine, the average requirement for women is 9 total cups of fluids from water and other beverages per day. For men it bumps up to 13 cups.
Fruits for glowing skin
Although liquids are the main source of water, many foods have such high water content, that they contribute to overall hydration.
The following foods are at least 75 percent water (by weight) and should regularly be included as part of a healthy skin regimen:
apples, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, and watermelon.
Vegetables for healthy skin
Following vegtables contribute to healthy and glowing skin:
artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, peppers (all types), rhubarb, spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips
Green tea for healthy skin
Another good option for hydration ia tea. Teas contain natural compounds known as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. When applied to human skin in the form of ointments and creams, topical green and white tea extracts have been shown to help protect skin cells against damage from harsh ultraviolet rays. Although there are no definitive human studies about the effects of drinking tea for skin health, tea—green, white, or black; caffeinated or decaffeinated—is always a better choice than soda, fruit juice or sugary coffee concoctions.
The best defense against the free radical damage of oxidation is a diet rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Research suggests that certain antioxidants— vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene)— nourish and protect skin to extend its youthful appearance. Topical preparations of these antioxidants—applied to the skin in a cream or ointment—have been shown to help protect the skin against radiation from the sun and even reverse some of the damage that, may already have occurred. They may even help prevent skin tumors. Some antioxidants such as the vitamin A are common treatments for acne and wrinkles.
Vitamin C, naturally found in the skin, is involved in collagen production and protects cells from free radical damage. Scientific studies found that when lab animals ate vitamin C—fortified food. their skin was better able to fight off oxidative damage. Because vitamin C is destroyed by exposure to sunlight, spending even a short time in the sun can leave skin depleted. It is important. to replenish your skin’s vitamin C stores by eating plenty of vitamin C—rich fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.
Foods rich in vitamin C
Following foods are best source of vitamin C:
guava, bell peppers (all colors), oranges and orange juice, grapefruit and grapefruit juice, strawberries, pineapple, kohlrabi, papaya, lemons and lemon juice, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, kidney beans. kiwi fruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cabbage (all varieties), mangoes, mustard greens, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, snow peas, clementines, rumbagus, turnip greens, raspberries. blackberries, watermelon, tangerines, okra, lychees, summer squash, persimmons.
Vitamin E to protect skin
Vitamin E helps protect cell membranes and guard against UV radiation damage. Some research suggests that vitamin E may work in combination with vitamin C to provide an extra boost of antiaging skin protection. However, because some studies have raised questions about the safety of vitamin E supplements, these nutrients should come from your diet, not from potent pills. It is recommended that you stick with food sources (and the small amount found in a multivitamin).
Vitamin E rich foods
Best foods for vitamin E are:
almonds and almond butter, sunflower seeds and sunflower butter, wheat germ, hazelnut , spinach, dandelion greens, pine nuts, peanuts and peanut butter, turnip greens, beet greens, broccoli, canola oil, oil, red bell peppers, collard greens, avocados, olive oil, and mangoes.
Selenium is an antioxidant- mineral that helps safeguard the skin from sun damage and delays aging by protecting skin quality and elasticity. Dietary selenium has been shown to reduce sun damage and even prevent some skin cancers in animals. He sure to get. your selenium from food, though, and not from supplements.
Selenium rich food to protect skin from sunburn
Best source of selenium are:
Brazil nuts, tuna (canned light), crab, oysters, tilapia, whole wheat pasta, lean cod, shrimp, whole wheat, bread or crackers, wheat germ, brown rice, skinless chicken or turkey, cottage cheese (fat-free, 1%), mushrooms and eggs.
Another nutrient critical for skin healthis beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body to aid in the growth and repair of body tissues, including your skin. Beta-carotene also acts as an antioxidant- that- may protect against sun damage.
Caution: In extremely high doses, straight vitamin A from supplements can be toxic, so it is not recommended to take it this way. However, ample beta-carotene from food is entirely safe.
Foods rich in beta carotene
Best food sources for beta carotene are:
sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash, turnip greens, pumpkin, mustard greens. cantaloupe, red bell peppers, apricots, Chinese cabbage, spinach, lettuces (romaine, green leaf: red leaf) butterhead, collard greens, Swiss chard, watercress, grapefruit (pink and red), watermelon, cherries, mangoes, tomatoes, guava, asparagus and red cabbage.
Zinc for healthy skin
Your skin contains about 6 percent, of all the zinc in your body. This mineral is necessary for protecting cell membranes and helping maintain the collagen that keeps skin firm. People with severe zinc deficiencies can develop redness, pustules, scaling, and lesions. In addition, there are microscopic changes in the structure of skin cells themselves. On top of that, zinc is critically involved in skin renewal—which means that, if you want to keep your skin fresh and as youthful as possible, be sure to include zinc-rich foods in your menu.
Best foods containing zinc
Food source of zinc include:
oysters, lobster, lean beef; crab, ostrich, wheat germ, skinless chicken or turkey (especially dark meat), lean lamb, clams, mussels, pumpkin seeds, yogurt (fat-free, low-fat), starchy beans (such as black, navy, pinto, garbanzo, kidney), lentils, black-eyed peas, soybeans (edamame), lima beans, pine nuts, cashews, peanuts and peanut butter, sunflower seeds and butter, pecans.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Healthy fats known as omega-3 fatty acids help maintain cell membranes so that they are effective barriers—allowing water and nutrients in and keeping toxins out. Omega-3 have also been shown to protect skin against sun damage, people who ate diets rich in fish oils and other omega-3 fats had a 29 percent lower risk of squamous cell skin cancer than those who got very little omega’3s from food.
Best foods for omega 3 fatty acids
wild salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, pacific oysters, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, walnuts, butternuts, seaweed, walnut oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, soybeans
Natural supplements for healthy skin
To improve skin health, it is strongly recommended to get all of your nutrients from food sources. However, if you would also like to consider supplements, we recommend multivitamins and natural herbs like turmeric.
Turmeric and rose water
Make a facial mask by mixing a pinch of turmeric powder and a tsp rose water, with a tsp milk. Mix it well and then add few drops of fresh lemon juice. Use this facial mask before going to bed for 30 days. Experience a fresh and glowing skin.
Taking a multivitamin will ensure that you get the minimal amount of vitamins and minerals necessary for good skin health, even on days when you might not eat as well as you should. Choose a brand that contains 100 percent DV for vitamin A (optimally, 100 percent—but at least 50 percent— coming from beta-carotene and for mixed carotenoids), vitamin C. vitamin E. and zinc. Your multivitamin should also provide 55 to 70 micrograms of selenium.
Fish oil supplement
People who don’t- eat fatty fish at, least once per week may want to consider taking a fish oil supplement. The two most potent types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Aim to take a daily dose of 1,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA combined. Because fish oil supplement companies balance these fatty acids differently, you’ll need to read the label carefully and tally up the DHA plus EPA total. You typically have to take more than one pill to reach the 1,000 milligram amount.
To lessen the chance of fishy burps or aftertaste, choose an enteric-coated variety, which is digested in the intestines instead of the stomach. making it less likely to repeat. on you.
Caution: Avoid getting omega-3 fats from cod liver oil because it may contain too much vitamin A.
Important note: Because fish oil acts as a blood thinner, it should not be taken by people who have hemophilia or who are already taking blood-thinning medications or aspirin.
Cigarette smoke fills your body with free radicals. Every lungful sends free radicals coursing through your bloodstream, where they can damage every organ in your body. including your skin. Smoking also impairs blood flow to your skin, starving the cells of nutrition and oxygen. It also damages underlying collagen and elastin and keeps your skin from its natural renewal process. These problems evolve slowly, so the damage to your skin can take up to ten years to appear. Unfortunately those effects are irreversible. To prevent skin damage from cigarette smoke, including wrinkles, don’t smoke and don’t spend extensive amounts of time in smoky rooms.
Sunlight as pleasant as it is, is a form of radiation, Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, to be more specific. UV radiation not only causes free radical damage, it can also cause cells to mutate and potentially turn cancerous. So excess sun exposure is a triple threat: sunburn in the short run, wrinkles in the long run and the possibility of skin cancer to boot.
Additional tips for healthy skin
- Use sunscreen. Whenever you are going to be spending more than a few minutes outside, protect- your skin from some of the sun’s damaging rays by applying sunscreen to all exposed areas of your body. Look for formulas designed to filter both UVA and UVB radiation, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Apply moisturizer with SPF every day to guard your skin against even casual sun exposure.
- Avoid sweets, sugary drinks, and the “white stuff.” Some researchers have theorized that low-quality carbohydrates raise insulin levels, which, over time, may increase levels of certain acne-causing hormones. These foods also cause inflammation in skin cells and throughout the body, causing premature aging and wrinkles.
- Consider a topical antioxidant.