You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” As the Cleveland Clinic notes, specific dietary nutrients can help firm up your skin and reduce the effects of aging and ensure that your skin is as healthy as it can be. Here’s the best food for skin health.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s help to promote cell hydration while also reducing inflammation. They are found primarily in fatty fish, such as tuna, herring, mackerel, and salmon. But if you don’t eat fish, you can also get these essential nutrients from almonds or walnuts, chia seeds, edamame, or canola oil.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that keeps skin smooth. It’s found primarily in tomatoes and their products, including sauces. If you’re not much of a tomato lover, virtually all foods that are naturally pink to red contain some lycopene. Try watermelon, papaya, red peppers, or even pink grapefruit.
Vitamin C has a wide range of health benefits, including preventing wrinkles. It’s found in all citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, as well as many other fruits and vegetables. Good sources of vitamin C include broccoli, kiwi, strawberries, and bell peppers.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can reduce cellular damage. You’ll find it in almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, dark leafy greens, several types of seafood, and various fruits and vegetables.
Polyphenols are potent compounds that can reduce hyperpigmentation, smooth the skin, and even help to prevent sun damage. They’re found in surprising sources, including coffee, tea, chocolate, and grapes.
Bad food for skin
Of course, it’s not all about eating more of what’s good for your skin. You also need to eat less of the things that can contribute to skin damage. In particular, avoid foods with a high glycemic index, overly processed, or containing a lot of sugar. They can cause irritation, inflammation and breakouts, and even hasten aging.
You don’t need to cut fast food, fried foods, and desserts out of your life altogether. But practice moderation. Most of your diet should consist of fresh, healthy foods and plenty of water. Keep treats to a minimum by choosing smaller portions and supplementing unhealthy items with healthier ones. For example, if you really want a cheeseburger and fries, eat a small salad first. You’ll get the nutrients you need and will likely consume less of the unhealthy fats in the main course. Also, consider cutting back on your alcohol consumption. Alcohol can lead to the production of free radicals, which cause cellular damage over the long run. Light drinking is fine unless contraindicated by other health conditions or medications, but drink an extra glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.
Of course, diet can’t replace other skincare essentials. Limit sun exposure and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Develop morning and evening skincare routines for your unique skin type. Thoroughly remove all makeup at night, and avoid outdoor and indoor tanning. In tandem with eating for better skin health, these steps can help your skin remain as healthy as possible for a lifetime.