Beauty, the saying goes, is only skin-deep. But the importance of the skin goes a lot deeper. Most of us think of the skin as just our body’s visible outer layer, but our skin is the largest and most important organ known to our body. The skin has a tough job filtering toxins, UV rays, smog and among other things that we are exposed to. It also works to hold moisture in our body so we don’t become dehydrated. And, don’t forget that the skin protects our organs from germs to keep us healthy, it even protects our bones and muscles from damages, and does a good job of making us look young and healthy. The skin protects every single part of our body; it only makes sense to take good care of it.
“Beautiful and healthy skin starts with nourishment from within. We need to eat the right balance of foods to feed our skin the vital nutrients it needs.”
There is absolutely no reason we can’t have healthy and attractive skin. Comparing to the other organs of our body, we can apply medicines, moisturizers, and other healthy remedies directly to the skin to maintain its natural, protective moisture. Most importantly, beautiful and healthy skin starts with nourishment from within. We need to eat the right balance of foods to feed our skin the vital nutrients it needs.
Below are the top foods to help our skin stay soft, radiant and blemish-free. It is very easy to incorporate them into your eating plan:
It contains an excellent source of lycopene, which may just help protect our skin from sun damage. Lycopene [the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red] may lower an acne-promoting hormone. Lycopene and other carotenoids found in orange to reddish-coloured fruits and vegetables can help improve the skin’s antioxidant status. Antioxidants combat free radicals produced from excessive sun exposure. To activate the lycopene benefits of your tomatoes, it’s important to cook them a little. Simmer them in a soup or bake a few to blend into a luxurious tomato hummus.
Easily accessible and vital for skin health, carrots are filled with beta carotene – a pre-cursor for vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that attacks free radicals, and thereby prevents signs of aging like pigmentation, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. It also helps in repairing skin tissues and corrects any skin conditions. As well as snacking on fresh carrots, try juicing one with an apple and mint for a refreshing replacement to a mid-morning latte.
The nutrient rich kiwi contains high amounts of vitamin E — a natural skin moisturizer and rejuvenator. It also contains large amounts of vitamin C, which helps our body produce collagen, a connective tissue protein that helps to firm our skin. Production of collagen decreases with aging, causing skin to lose elasticity. Collagen-stimulating ingredients, like kiwi extract, may be added to skin care products to slow the appearance of aging. Kiwi is also an excellent source of dietary fiber that aids in ridding the body of toxins. You can juice kiwi, add it to a fruit salad, or dice it up and top your salads with it.
This tasty fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids essential for skin health. It helps reduce inflammation and the signs of ageing in the body and on the skin. These “good fats” also help protect against and repair damage from the sun, and are responsible for the health and hydration of cell membranes, which are our skin’s gatekeepers, keeping toxins out and helping skin retain its healthy, soft, and supple appearance. Salmon is type of fish to enjoy for a quick and easy dinner. Simply drench a piece of fresh salmon in lemon juice, wrap it in silver foil and pop it in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
They’re rich in Vitamin B to act as a natural anti-aging tool for our skin. Walnuts also offer up healthy Omega-3 fats that strengthen the membranes of our skin cells, locking in moisture and nutrients that keep it plump and glowing and keeping out toxins that can damage skin cells. The nourishing fats in walnuts attract moisture from the air, soothing dry skin. These healthy fats also reduce skin inflammation and play a role in protecting the skin against harmful UV rays. Additionally, Walnut oil works great as a moisturizer too. Just pour a little on a cotton ball or right in the palm of your hand and give yourself a rub down. You can add Walnuts to hot and cold cereal, use as a crust for fish, or mix into salads or taco meat. Walnuts are also delicious blended or stirred into both raw and cooked soups.
Avocados are filled with antioxidants like lutein and beta carotene, which help to soften the skin and keep it looking supple. These free radical quenching compounds provide significant protection for our skin from the environmental damage that leads to fine lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. As well as having strong antioxidant properties, Avocado is also rich in vitamin C needed for the creation of elastin and collagen, which bind our skin cells together and maintain their firmness and structure. Blend avocados with orange juice and garlic to make salad dressings, stir it up with a little cumin and cilantro to make an easy dip. You can also make avocado smoothies with non-fat milk and yogurt, or avocado omelette for breakfast.
You’ll be surprised at how these foods play a recurring role in your meal plans. Just pick them fresh and incorporate new spices every time you prepare a meal. But keep in mind too that there’s no such thing as a miracle healthy-skin diet and simply eating these foods will not automatically give you beautiful skin. Regularly cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing helps you maintain healthy skin. Sleeping and avoiding smoking can also play an equally important role in getting a nice looking complexion.