‘You are what you eat’.
You’ve heard this adage over and over, but you will only know its real meaning once you realise how the food you eat impacts overall wellness–from the inside out.
Typically, people who want to have a glowing skin turn to beauty products that can help correct pesky skin conditions. Others switch to healthy lifestyle habits like getting adequate sun protection and enough sleep per day to improve the skin’s protection against harsh elements. Although all of these things help, you should not be missing the basic step. And that is: choosing the right foods that meet your skin needs.
A healthy and radiant skin is a combination of several factors and it all starts from within. To keep your beauty routine simple and effective, we have sourced the web to identify the top 25 foods for glowing skin, plus other important facts to help you fight skin woes.
Why You Must Feed Your Skin
You may think that your daily dose of nutrition is enough to also feed your skin, but the truth is, there are certain nutrients that your skin needs to ward off skin problems and imperfections. As the largest organ in the body, your skin has a tough job to fulfil. Among these are as follows:
- Your skin is the barrier that filters the environmental toxins that you are usually exposed to from day-to-day, including pollution, smog and second-hand smoke.
- It is responsible for preserving body moisture to prevent dehydration.
- It acts as the protective shield that keeps your blood and organs free from contaminants.
- It is the first line of defence against physical injuries and harmful sun rays.
- It has a huge impact in making a person look young, vibrant and healthy.
With the valuable roles that your skin performs, it certainly makes sense to ensure that it is getting the nutrients needed for optimum functionality.
Want to know the basics on how you can meet the nutritional requirements of your skin? Here are the general rules that you should follow to adequately provide the nourishment that your skin needs.
5 GENERAL RULES ON FEEDING YOUR SKIN
AIM FOR 5-A-DAY!
There are powerful antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables that can give your skin the protection it needs against cellular damage that causes age spots and wrinkles. Ideally, you have to eat your 5-a-day or at least 5 portions of fruits and veggies on a daily basis in order to boost skin health.
GET YOUR DOSE OF ESSENTIAL SKIN VITAMINS
Vitamin C boosts the immune system, allowing blemishes to heal and bring out the radiant glow of your skin. It is also a very powerful antioxidant that can help fight off the signs of skin ageing.
Another important skin vitamin is Vitamin E which nourishes the skin and offers protection against oxidative cell damage. Next is Selenium which works together with Vitamins C and E as an antioxidant and immune system booster. Zinc, on the other hand, has a role in maintaining the normal function of the sebaceous glands and helps maintain a soft and supple skin, while helping in skin repair.
Did You Know? Based on research, a selenium-rich diet can increase resistance against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots.
Skin elasticity can be improved by maintaining adequate body hydration. Dry, tired and dull skin usually results from the lack of skin moisture. 6-8 glasses of water a day is the recommended daily intake. Intake of caffeine-free drinks also helps in keeping the skin adequately hydrated.
OPT FOR HEALTHY FATS
Not all fats are bad for the skin. In fact, there are some that are essential in maintaining a healthy complexion. The trick is to choose healthy fats that can provide you with awesome benefits.
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats contain the essential fatty acids that work as a natural skin moisturiser. It is also a source of Vitamin E that gives the skin added protection against damages caused by free radicals.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, on the other hand, are the EFAs that are common in fish and plant sources and play an important role in treating inflammations that help reduce acne breakouts, as well as other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Did You Know? Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs cannot be produced by the body. It is therefore important to follow a diet that contains these important fats.
CRASH DIET IS A NO-NO
A crash diet is not good for you and also takes its toll on your skin. The cycle of weight loss and weight gain can cause the skin to sag and is also a factor in the appearance of wrinkles and stretch marks. Aside from that, this type of diet deprives the body of essential vitamins and creates a deficiency that will reflect on your skin.
Top 25 Foods for Glowing Skin
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin A, making it a typical choice for eye health and in clearing skin breakouts. Aside from its role in reducing the risk of skin cancer, it also works as an antioxidant that helps control the onset of clogged pores.
A rich source of Omega-3 and contains dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), a nutrient that enhances the integrity of cell membranes to promote a healthy skin and guard against premature ageing. It also prevents the formation of wrinkles by inhibiting the production of arachidonic acid.
Biotin, the beauty vitamin, is found in the egg yolk and responsible for the healthy growth of hair and fingernails, as well as in keeping the skin protected from acne, rashes and dryness. But not only that, it is also a rich source of vitamins that are required for maintaining proper cell function.
Avocado is a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids which mainly aid in keeping the skin hydrated and preventing the onset of premature ageing which usually results from exposure to harmful UV rays. In addition to that, it is a rich source of fats that enable the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins which further enhance your skin’s protection against sun damage.
Good-to-Know: Did you know that aside from sunscreen products, there are eco-friendly umbrellas and parasols that offer 99% UV protection?
#5. YELLOW PEPPERS
Do you need more Vitamin C? Forget citrus and oranges. There is a rich amount of the nutrient in yellow peppers, facilitating the growth of skin and muscle tissue, and collagen to enable the formation of the protein that adds strength and structure to your bones and skin.
Must-Know: In a British Study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was discovered that a single bite of yellow pepper consumed on a daily basis over a course of 3 years can reduce the formation of wrinkles by 11%.
Loaded with Vitamins A, C, E, and K, this superfood mainly works to preserve the skin’s youthful glow and fight ageing signs. It also enables faster healing of wounds and minimises the appearance of scars, stretch marks and spider veins. And as it is rich in Vitamin A, it maintains the fresh and radiant of the skin by promoting proper skin cell growth.
Known as a superfood that is rich in antioxidants, blueberries can combat cell damage and protect the skin from the effects of free radicals that can age the skin. Apart from that, it has a rich content of anthocyanins that strengthen collagen fibres.
#8. GREEN TEA
Definitely, this food is not just a fad because of the health benefits that come with it. Green tea is enriched with the polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which according to scientific research gives the skin the protection it needs against the sun’s harmful UV rays and oxygen radicals. It also comes with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties.
Good-to-Know: Did you know that the EGCG in tea approximately has 25-100 times as much antioxidant ability as vitamins C and E? Also, the greener and fresher the tea, the higher its antioxidant content. (Source: Lab Muffin Beauty Science)
There certainly was a reason why Cleopatra bathed in milk. Most people are aware that this healthy drink is an abundant source of nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and a lot more. However, it is also important to look into its alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) content which stimulate collagen and elastin and helps shed the upper dead skin layer, therefore preserving a soft, smooth, glowing and healthy skin.
With a plethora of active enzymes such as chymopapain which is known to relieve inflammation, and papain that works as an effective acne treatment and helps remove skin blemishes.
Must-Know: A cup of fresh and ripe papaya is a rich source of collagen-strengthening Vitamin C which has an equivalent of 144% Daily Value.
Strawberry is another superfood that should not be missing in your beauty diet. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is a great source of Vitamin C, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and dietary fibre which make the fruit effective in the reduction of skin rashes, acne, itching, and other skin irritation.
Known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, garlic is also enriched with vitamins C and B6, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Aside from fighting skin infections, it is also effective in reducing swelling, skin irritations, and helps in ridding the body of toxins.
Kiwi has a high Vitamin E content and is also an excellent source of dietary fibre which helps the body eliminate body toxins. On the other hand, its vitamin E content aids in skin rejuvenation and moisturisation. There are other substantial nutrients found in kiwi that help improves immunity, fight infection, and reduce inflammation. Among these are carotenoids, fibre, potassium, and vitamins C, E and K.
Whether you have it grilled, sauteed or blanched, you will enjoy the rich benefits of this vegetable. Like kiwi, it also has a rich content of vitamins C, K and E. But aside from those, it also contains rich amounts of glucosinolates, polyphenols, iron, selenium, and zinc. Broccoli also promotes skin health because of its antioxidant, antimicrobial, gastroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a nutrient which helps boost the strength of the collagen and gets rid of free radicals that age the skin. As a carotenoid, it acts as an antioxidant that helps preserve the skin’s youthful structure.
Must-Know: In a study conducted by the British Journal of Dermatology, it was discovered that daily intake of 5 tablespoons of tomato paste can boost the skin’s protection against sunburn by 33%.
One of the popular uses of yoghurt is to aid in digestion–a benefit that can be associated with good skin health. With normal bowel movement, there will be less toxic buildup in the skin and this will result in lesser chances for skin breakouts to happen. Aside from eating yoghurt, did you know that it can also be applied topically to achieve a radiant and glowing skin?
Want to stay protected from skin infections and other diseases? Add oranges to your diet. Citrus fruits naturally contain rich amounts of vitamin C and minerals. It has dietary fibre, carotenoids and antioxidants that further enhance the skin’s protection against harmful rays, pigmentation, and inflammation.
There is more reason to include tuna into your diet especially if what you’re aiming for is to have a healthier and younger-looking complexion. Eating tuna improves the skin’s protection against harmful rays with its vitamin D content. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant, while the omega-3 fatty acids found in it aids in reducing skin inflammation.
Coconut is so versatile. Whether you consume its water or extract its meat for oil, you will find awesome beauty benefits from coconut oil. Coconut water is not just refreshing. It can also help achieve a softer and younger-looking complexion especially with its potassium and electrolytes content that replenish and hydrate the skin.
On the other hand, its oil offers natural sun protection, fights bacteria, contributes to softer skin, and can provide healing for the gut. It contains caprylic acid that destroys bad bacteria and candida, a fungus that can cause inflammation, digestive problems and skin breakouts.
#20. OLIVE OIL
Olive oil is known as a healthy oil used for a wide variety of dishes. However, you will love it even more because of its beauty benefits. This oil aids in weight loss and contributes in making the skin glow, especially because of its vitamin E content. This nutrient gives olive oil antioxidant properties and aids in getting rid of body toxins.
Must-Know: In a study conducted by Japanese researchers, it was discovered that topical application of olive oil gives skin added protection against UV radiation, thereby reducing the risk of skin cancer. On the other hand, Chinese scientists have confirmed the role of olive oil in boosting the skin’s protection against radiodermatitis, particularly among people who undergo chemotherapy.
#21. DARK CHOCOLATE
Think chocolates are sinful? You will change your mind once you learn the benefits of dark chocolate. Certainly, you will find more reasons to indulge once you understand its role in maintaining a fresh and glowing skin. Cocoa is basically rich in antioxidant-rich flavanols and creates a barrier that keeps the skin protected from UV damage.
Unsure of the benefits of a nutrient-dense whole foods diet? Well, it’s time to learn the goodness in these foods, particularly oats. While many people eat oats for weight loss, its effects in making the skin glow should not be overlooked. Oats play a role in reducing spikes in blood sugar, thereby reducing the chances for skin problems to occur. It also plays a role in firming and strengthening your body tissues. Another important thing that you must know is that oats have a rich silicon content. Therefore, consumption of oats aids in skin elasticity and reduces the signs of ageing.
Oysters may not be the most popular choice when it comes to skin health and beauty benefits, but there is definitely a good reason why they landed on the list of the top foods for glowing skin. Oysters offer a rich source of zinc, a trace mineral that plays an important role in the proper functioning of the cells. Zinc is also responsible for creating the proteins needed for tissue repair and regeneration. On top of that, it works as an antioxidant that inhibits the formation of free radicals and protects the collagen-producing cells.
Looking for a natural solution to fight ageing skin? Walnuts, as an abundant source of B vitamins, is what you’ll need. It comes with a moisturising property that hydrates the skin to make it soft and smooth. But more than that, it also has an arsenal of nutrients that fight off skin cancer or slow down its development.
Must-Know: While it is advised to consume 5 grammes of polyunsaturated fatty acid to lower skin cancer risk, a study conducted by the American Society for Nutrition revealed that a serving of walnut contains more than twice the ideal amount.
#25. RED WINE
Most likely, you are already aware of the role of red wine in maintaining a healthy heart. But did you know that it also works great in preserving the ideal condition of the skin? Red wine is an abundant source of resveratrol, the antioxidant that works mainly to reduce oxidative damage in the skin while enhancing protections against the harmful UV rays of the sun. It also comes with phenolic compounds that give red wine its antiallergic and antiviral properties, thereby preventing the onset or progression of viral skin infections and rashes.
Harness the effects of natural beauty products by knowing the foods that can help achieve a healthy glowing skin. Read more interesting articles and beauty updates by visiting our online beauty magazine.