For many people, cosmetic surgery and less invasive treatments like Botox are considered a go-to for restoring their skin’s youthful appearance. Sure, these procedures are effective. However, you can also improve your overall skin health by consuming a healthy diet.
Similar to the rest of your body, the skin needs nutrients to look and function at its best. A healthy, nutrient-rich diet stimulates collagen production. That keeps the skin hydrated and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. All in all, the journey towards a healthy outside starts from the inside. In this article, we will take a look at a few vitamins that can help improve your skin health.
In addition to improving joint health, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help improve the appearance of your skin by keeping it hydrated and reducing fine line and wrinkles. These healthy fats, which are found in fish, avocados, seeds, and nuts, also aids in improving the skin’s elasticity and reducing inflammation.
Protein plays a critical role in the production of collagen, which is essential for healthy bones, muscles, and tendons. As far as skin is concerned, collagen serves as the fountain of youth as ample production of this protein can reverse many of the signs of premature aging. To help put this into context, the protein that we eat is converted into amino acids, which are then used to create collagen and other forms of proteins that collectively improve our overall health.
In addition to collagen, the skin needs vitamin A to look and function at its best, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Studies have shown that vitamin A can prevent collagen breakdown, which generally occurs as a result of sun damage. Along with contributing to improved skin, vitamin A also stimulates the oil glands around hair follicles, improving the strength and overall health of your hair. Lastly, vitamin A has been shown to help speed the healing time when it comes to small cuts and scrapes. All in all, this vitamin is a must-have for all around good health.
As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, vitamin E protects the body from the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays that would otherwise lead to wrinkles, skin cancer, sagging, and other forms of sun damage.
In addition to boosting the immune system, vitamin C also a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from damaging free radical and lowers the risks of skin cancer. However, the benefits don’t stop there as vitamin C can also improve your oral health by curtailing gum bleeding that stems from gingivitis and periodontal disease. Similar to Vitamin A, it can also speed the healing time for small cuts and scrapes.
Zinc can be a great ally in your fight to maintain the youthful radiance of your skin. This vitamin helps stabilize cell walls, allowing new skin cells to divide and grow. That said, this vitamin is essential as skin sheds old skin tissue and forms new ones to replace them. Beyond that, zinc also works to protect the skin from harmful UV rays and is equally effective in treating eczema and other forms of skin irritation.
SELENIUM AND VITAMINS FOR SKIN
While selenium is classified as a mineral as opposed to a vitamin, it still effective in improving the appearance of your skin. Similar to vitamin E and several other vitamins, selenium protects the skin from harmful UV rays and can lower your risk of skin cancer.
Having detailed some of the benefits of vitamins for skin, let’s take a moment to identify some of the foods sources that contain them.
THE 10 BEST FOODS WITH VITAMINS FOR SKIN
Fatty fish likes sardines, mackerel, and salmon are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids (polyunsaturated fat). These fats can ward off inflammatory and autoimmune problems that affect the skin like lupus and psoriasis, for example. It should be noted that fatty fish also contain vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant for the skin. Additionally, fatty fish contains protein and zinc. If taking an inordinate amount of supplements is off-putting, you can get fulfill most of your dietary needs by consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fish are not only delicious but also chock-full of health benefits.
Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Since the body cannot produce these essential fatty acids on its own, it is a good idea to consume the foods that contain it. Walnuts contain many of the properties needed for healthy, radiant skin. Beyond that, they taste great and can be beneficial in terms of healing wounds, combatting bacteria, and reducing inflammation throughout the body, including the skin. All in all, they complement many of the vitamins for skin detailed in this article.
If you’re not a fan of fatty fish, avocados are a delicious alternative as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and they provide many of the same properties that contribute to healthy, radiant skin. In fact, studies have shown that avocados can help keep skin moisturized and increase flexibility. It is also worth noting that avocados are rich in vitamin E, which, coincidentally, is one of the many vitamin deficiencies amongst most Americans.
4. BELL PEPPERS
Red and yellow bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C, which is instrumental in the body’s production of collagen. They are also a great source of beta-carotene, which serves as an antioxidant for the skin and protects it from sun damage while minimizing wrinkles.
Broccoli contains a variety of vitamins for skin, compounds, and minerals that all contribute to great skin health. For example, it contains lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid that safeguards skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a compound that has been shown to slow and reduce degeneration, disease, and many other effects associated with aging. The sulforaphane compound also helps in maintaining adequate collagen levels in the skin and also protects it from skin cancer, not to mention sunburn.
6. SUNFLOWER SEEDS
Similar to walnuts, avocados, and fatty fish, sunflower seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are also a great source of antioxidants and vitamin E.
7. SWEET POTATOES
For those who may not be a fan of broccoli, sweet potatoes can be a great alternative as they contain many of the same nutrients known to improve skin health like beta-carotene, for example. The antioxidant properties of beta-carotene can help protect the skin from sunburn while providing it with a healthy glow, which allows it to appear healthier.
8. DARK CHOCOLATE
Rich flavonoids, dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps reduce the risk of diabetes and can improve cognitive function. That said, not all chocolate is created equal. To receive these benefits, its best to consume dark chocolate containing a minimum of 70 percent cocoa. It is also worth noting that high-quality dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants. So how effective is dark chocolate at improving one’s skin? Well, according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Health, consuming dark chocolate can improve hydration as well as the overall appearance of the skin.
One of the best ways to improve the health of your skin is to eat foods rich in soy like tofu, soy milk, and soy nuts, for example. Soy is an excellent source of isoflavones. These are compounds that block estrogen in the body. Studies have shown that impeding the production of estrogen can lead to improved skin elasticity as well as an appreciable reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.
Also, soy helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays and reduces the risk of skin cancer. That said, soy is also beneficial for postmenopausal women in that it increases collagen and keeps skin hydrated.