The largest and most visible organ we have is the skin. It acts as part of our immune system by being the first line of defence against pathogens. And also as a protective layer that partially protects from external injuries. While it is easy for us to forget how important it is, skincare should be an essential part of our healthcare routine. And like almost anything in our body, it is affected by what we consume. Eat right and you positively glow. But the wrong kind of diet can be as detrimental as detrimental gets for us. So we come to you with Dietary Advice for Healthy Skin.
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What to Eat/Drink
There are just two questions we will answer in this piece today and the first is: “What to Eat?”. Well, there is plenty to choose from as there are many a delicious nutrient on this green planet that we call home that benefit us greatly. All we have to do is procure them, and here is what to eat for healthy skin:
Considered a delicacy since ancient times, almonds are a mainstay in Indian culture. And not for no good reason, rich in proteins, fibre, vitamin E, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Omega-6 Fatty Acids, calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium and much more. You name a nutrient, almonds got you covered. It is the vitamin E we will be focusing on, for now, it is fat-soluble and has anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to being an antioxidant. It helps support the immune system, skin health and cell function. Vitamin E levels in our bodies drop after exposure to Ultraviolet light and sun rays, which leads to the implication that it reduces UV damage to the skin.
So any food with vitamin E is a must for healthy skin and almonds are a great source. So good are almonds for your skin in fact that legendary Egyptian Queen Cleopatra famed for her beauty used them for skincare in her diet and as an ointment.
You might come here expecting a list of herbivorous options as meat is rarely associated with improvement in skin health, this to some extent is accurate, but this is an exception. An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish are delicious and highly nutritious. We have, on multiple occasions before, gone over the importance of omega-3 fatty acids and their benefits to the human body. We might not have emphasized their benefits to skincare before but rest assured there are plenty. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in keeping your skin moisturized and as such their deficiency leads to dry skin. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish fat reduce inflammation which causes acne and redness. They can even reduce skin sensitivity to UV rays.
Add to this the fact that fatty fish are also a great source of vitamin E which, as mentioned before, is yet another nutrient greatly beneficial to skin health. But wait, there is more: the high-quality proteins found in fatty fish are essential for maintaining the strength and integrity of our skin. Another nutrient found in fatty fish, zinc (also found in almonds) is vital for the regulation of inflammation, skin health and production of new skin cells.
When they say “eat your veggies”, you should listen. Beta carotene is a nutrient found in many vegetables, which upon ingestion, is converted into vitamin A by our body. This in itself is healthy enough for you but as always there is more. Beta carotene is antioxidant and post-consumption, incorporates into our skin helping protect skin cells from sun exposure; a natural sunblock. This prevents sunburn, dry, wrinkled skin, and cell death. High amounts of beta carotene in your system can even give off a warm, orange colour on your skin, thus achieving the aforementioned glow.
Does anyone need a reason to eat chocolate? We will provide you with one anyway; dark chocolate (chocolate with cocoa content 70 % or higher) is pretty amazing for your skin. The bioactive compounds present in dark chocolate – flavonols – improve skin density and hydration. Not only that, they increase blood flow to the skin (which improves nutritional supply to the skin) and even protect against sun damage. But do make sure to consume chocolate with at least 70 % cocoa and minimal amounts of added sugar.
And now the item you have all been waiting for – Green tea. It might be a cliché to suggest green tea for healthy skin but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Numerous studies from a few decades ago and some more recent ones all agree with the perception. Green tea contains antioxidants, it is highly likely that you already know that. But you might not be aware of the fact that among all the antioxidants known to mankind, the ones found in green tea are the most potent. As we have mentioned numerous times before, antioxidants negate the damage caused to the cells and tissues of the body by free radicals. The damage that free radicals cause to the skin includes dark spots, wrinkling, saggy skin and more. The antioxidants in green tea go a long way to combat all of it.
So drinking green tea for healthy skin is one cliché you shouldn’t ignore.
this might seem elementary to you but a lack of adequate amount of water in your body can make your skin appear dull and loose. In addition to retaining skins elasticity, copious amounts of water can help rid your body of toxins.
As cucumbers are 90% water, the entirety of the previous point applies. But in addition to that, cucumbers contain vitamins C, beta carotene and manganese, all of which are antioxidants.
There are plenty more foods we can list which in essence help the skin similarly to what we have already mentioned so we will not go into many details.
- Tomatoes – an excellent source of vitamin C and beta carotene.
- Carrots – very similar to tomatoes, high in vitamin C and beta carotene.
- Leafy Greens – vegetables like Spinach and Kale are high in minerals and beta carotene.
- Berries and Grapes – chock full of Resveratrol which is a potent antioxidant.
What Not To Eat/Drink
the other question we answer today. And this might seem like déjà vu to you, but essentially anything that you might’ve heard to be unhealthy to eat before, avoid that.
The Big Bad Vice, and this should come as no surprise that alcohol is bad for your skin.
Energy drinks and soft drinks contain copious amounts of sugar and caffeine. Both these things can cause chronic and acute inflammation of the skin.
This might come as a bit of a surprise but milk tea actually causes pimples and zits on your skin. While there are benefits to it, excessive consumption of milk tea can be detrimental to your skin.
Food with High Glycemic Index
Anything that increases your blood sugar level significantly upon consumption can be considered high GI food. That diets high in carbohydrates like white bread and white rice should be limited to some degree.
Extremely high on the Glycemic Index and that should be reason enough to avoid it. Aside from simply causing wrinkles, there are numerous other more severe health conditions that consumption of processed sugar can cause.
It is important to provide the right fuel to keep your body functioning to the best of its abilities. Dietary changes can affect your skin both negatively or positively. We hope that this piece will help you in your quest for flawless skin.