Our skin can be a good reflection of our overall health. If you’re dealing with premature aging — which can manifest as wrinkles, rough texture, dryness, and loss of elasticity — it may be time to look at what you’re putting in your body.
Recently, there has been an increased focus on the connection between diet and skin. An unhealthy diet high in fat and sugar can harm our skin. On the other hand, certain foods appear to have a positive effect on our skin. A common thread that connects these foods is their ability to prevent oxidative stress.
Keep on reading to learn how diet can influence good skin.
12 Foods to Eat for Healthier Skin
Want to know what to eat to have healthy skin? Here’s a list of the best foods for healthy skin.
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines aren’t just good for the heart, but they can also make your skin soft and supple. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, significantly strengthening the skin barrier and regulating sebum production.
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can protect the skin from sun damage and premature aging. Studies also found that omega-3 fatty acids can help manage skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis by reducing skin inflammation.
Experts recommend having at least 6 to 8 ounces of fatty fish per week. Other great sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed oil, and canola oil.
Carrots are also an essential part of a healthy skin diet. That’s thanks to phytonutrients called carotenoids — specifically alpha-carotene and beta-carotene — which serve as a precursor to Vitamin A (retinol).
Carotenoids not only give your skin a healthy color. They are also powerful antioxidants that protect collagen and elastin fibers from free radical damage. This helps support your skin structure, making it less prone to fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging.
Since the body does not produce carotenoids, it’s important to incorporate carotenoid-rich foods into your diet. Apart from carrots, you can find them in bell peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, and many other vegetables.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin C helps stimulate collagen production, hydrate the skin, and brighten skin tone and texture.
As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C also protects the skin from signs of UV-induced photoaging, such as wrinkles and melasma. Studies also found that vitamin C promotes wound healing and skin regeneration after injury.
You can get your daily dose of Vitamin C from other fruits such as kiwi, cantaloupe, lemon, and strawberries. They can also be found in many vegetables, including tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli.
The high zinc content of oysters makes them one of the best foods for healthy skin. Zinc helps reduce inflammation and promotes skin regeneration. It can reduce redness and scarring for those with acne-prone skin.
Zinc also supports antioxidant activity. As such, getting your recommended zinc dose can help prevent tissue damage from oxidative stress.
Oysters also contain collagen, protein, and iron, which are essential for skin health. Meanwhile, beans, avocadoes, blackberries, and pomegranates are other excellent sources of zinc.
Spinach, like most leafy greens, is rich in vitamins and minerals, so there’s no doubt that it’s an excellent addition to a healthy diet. However, not many realize that spinach’s high iron content also plays a role in maintaining the health of your skin.
Itchiness, dark spots, dullness, and pale skin are all symptoms of iron deficiency. That’s because iron helps distribute hemoglobin and red blood cells to different parts of the body. The skin is less prioritized when there’s not enough to go around.
Besides giving you a healthy glow, iron promotes wound healing, strengthens hair, and boosts immunity. You can also get your dose of iron from clams, organ meats, pumpkin seeds, black beans, tofu, and lentils.
Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and photoprotective properties. It is also known for hydrating the skin, strengthening your skin barrier, and promoting wound healing. Vitamin E also works better when combined with Vitamin C.
One ounce of almonds already gives you 48% of your daily value of Vitamin E. Other foods rich in Vitamin E include salmon, broccoli, sunflower seeds, wheat germ oil, abalone, and hazelnuts.
Lycopene-rich tomatoes should be part of your diet if you want to have healthy skin. Among the carotenoids, lycopene is known for having the highest efficacy in neutralizing free radicals. As such, it can protect the skin from photosensitivity and photoaging.
Studies also found that antioxidants such as lycopene are associated with lower levels of skin roughness and wrinkles. Lycopene also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help manage psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
Other rich sources of lycopene include apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelons, and papaya.
8. Brazil Nuts
If you want youthful-looking skin, consider adding Brazil nuts to your diet. They’re rich in selenium, an essential nutrient that keeps our skin firm and elastic. It also protects against free radical damage, thereby reducing wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and inflammation.
Studies also found that selenium supports the antioxidant activity of Vitamin C and E. Thus, selenium can help reduce acne and promote wound healing.
Apart from Brazil nuts, you can get your daily value of selenium from crabs, salmon, tuna, peas, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat bread.
Did you know that the folic acid found in broccoli can give you a healthy glow? Folic acid strengthens the skin barrier to boost hydration levels and prevent dryness. It also helps stimulate collagen production to keep your skin plump and youthful.
Folic acid also protects against oxidative damage, which can reduce inflammatory acne and fight against premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Folic acid also keeps hair thick and lustrous.
Other sources of folic acid include beans, lentils, asparagus, beetroots, and leafy greens.
Tofu is a rich source of soy isoflavones. Isoflavones are known as phytoestrogens due to their structural similarity with estrogen.
Estrogen plays an important role in keeping skin smooth, plump, and youthful. However, since estrogen decreases with age, a diet rich in isoflavones can maintain your skin health. Studies found that isoflavones can help increase skin collagen content, improve dullness and pigmentation, and minimize fine wrinkles.
You can also get isoflavones from tempeh and legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils.
11. Red Grapes
Red grapes are another great food for healthy skin — all thanks to resveratrol and its anti-aging benefits.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant that protects our skin against UV-induced oxidative stress. This can prevent the formation of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and skin dryness. Resveratrol also helps boost collagen production for youthful, glowing skin.
In addition, resveratrol can help minimize redness and inflammation associated with skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. Apart from red grapes, you can find resveratrol in berries, peanuts, apples, and dark chocolate.
A hot cup of cocoa is relaxing and can also be good for the skin.
Cacao is a superfood that’s loaded with antioxidants. In particular, cacao is rich in flavanols, protecting the skin from external stressors such as UV rays and pollution. It can prevent wrinkles and promote skin firmness, elasticity, and texture.
Cacao also stimulates blood flow to give you a healthier glow. Meanwhile, anti-inflammatory properties help reduce redness and blemishes.
Besides flavanols, cacao also contains zinc, selenium, beta carotene, iron, and omega-6 fatty acids to further support skin health. However, keep in mind that not all chocolate is the same. Stick to chocolate with at least 70% cacao to maximize its skin benefits.
A Healthy Foundation for Healthy Skin
As you may have noticed, a diet high in fruit and vegetables can give you healthy skin. These 12 foods can create a good foundation for skin health. However, the options are limitless. The most important thing is to provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Since oxidative stress can also lead to premature aging, it’s crucial to have a diet packed with antioxidants. They are powerful scavengers that can neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative damage.
You can complement a healthy diet with supplements to ensure your body has the protection it needs. A multivitamin can ensure that you meet the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals.
At Xendurance, we have the Daily Foundation bundle that can serve as your cornerstone for healthy skin. It includes Essential supplements for anti-aging and for fighting oxidative stress; Immune Boost that’s packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients; and Omega+D3 for a healthy body and mind.
With a healthy foundation, you’re not just promoting healthy skin but also looking out for your overall health.