Everyone has a favourite face cream or treatment, but beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within. Older cells are constantly shed and replaced by younger ones and a steady supply of key nutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. Eat the correct balance of foods and you’ll feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to help it stay soft, supple and blemish-free.
That said, as much as we may try to resist it, our skin does naturally age. Wrinkles and age spots are the inevitable result of time, but skin ageing may be sped up by overexposure to the sun and tanning beds, strong soaps, chemicals and poor nutrition. With this in mind, a holistic approach is best. Treat your skin kindly and optimise your nutrition by eating antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, healthy fats from oily fish and nuts, and a varied and balanced diet. This should give optimal levels of the nutrients that are crucial for radiant skin, including beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc and selenium.
Read on for 11 top tips on eating your way to glowing skin…
- 1. Eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables every day
- 2. Eat enough vitamin C
- 3. Don’t crash diet
- 4. Stock up on selenium
- 5. Eat enough vitamin E
- 6. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day
- 7. Eat some healthy fat
- 8. Opt for omega-3
- 9. Eat more phyto-estrogens
- 10. Go for low-GI carbs
- 11. Eat plenty of zinc
- Eat to beat common skin problems
- How can diet affect acne?
- How can diet affect psoriasis?
- How can diet affect eczema?
- 19 Best Foods For Skin (Plus 7 of the Worst)
- THE 19 BEST FOODS FOR SKIN
- GREEN TEA
- BONE BROTH
- SAUERKRAUT, KIMCHI, & YOGURT
- WILD SALMON
- HERBAL TEAS
- HERBS & SPICES
- COLORFUL VEGGIES & FRUITS
- PROTEIN & AMINO ACIDS
- VITAMIN A RICH FOODS
- VITAMIN C RICH FOODS
- DARK CHOCOLATE
- SEEDS & NUTS
- THE 7 WORST FOODS FOR SKIN
- JUNK FOOD
- CANNED / PACKAGED FOODS
- Aging Skin is Inevitable
- Suggestions for Foods that Help Improve Elasticity in Aging Skin
- Additional Foods Supported by Research
- Naturally Improve Skin
- Lard: Your Great-Grandmother’s Secret To Better Skin, Naturally
- How to eat collagen for naturally younger skin
- The 8 Best Foods to Eat for Healthy-Looking Skin
- Best Foods for Healthy Skin
- What foods are good for skin overall?
- What foods and drinks are bad for your skin?
- What are the best anti-aging foods?
- What are collagen-rich foods and why are they important?
- Are there any foods that can help clear up acne?
- What vitamins are most important for skin health?
- Does nutrition also impact hair and nails?
- How does dairy affect skin?
- Are wrinkles worsened by food?
- What other skin conditions are impacted by diet?
- What is your overall advice on food in regards to skin health?
1. Eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables every day
Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals, smoking, pollution and sunlight can cause wrinkling and age spots. Eat a rainbow of colourful fruit and vegetables and aim for at least five portions a day. Betacarotene, found in carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin, and lutein, found in kale, papaya and spinach are potent antioxidants, important for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone.
Discover what counts as one of your 5-a-day.
2. Eat enough vitamin C
Vitamin C is also a super antioxidant. It is needed to support the immune system, promote radiant skin and help blemishes heal properly. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin.
Read more about vital vitamins and the health benefits of oranges.
3. Don’t crash diet
Repeatedly losing and regaining weight can take its toll on your skin, causing sagging, wrinkles and stretch marks. Crash diets are often short in essential vitamins and minerals too. Over long periods of time this type of dieting will reflect on your skin. It is always best to eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you’re considering trying a weight loss plan, make sure you have all the facts first – explore our expert guides to popular diets and read the six things you should consider before starting a diet.
Sign up for our free Healthy Diet Plans, all of which are nutritionally balanced and designed to kickstart a healthier way of eating.
4. Stock up on selenium
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. It works alongside other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C and is essential to support the immune system. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. One way to boost your intake is to eat Brazil nuts. Just four nuts will provide the recommended daily amount (RDA). Mix Brazil nuts with other seeds rich in vitamin E as a snack or salad sprinkle. Other good sources are fish, shellfish, eggs, wheatgerm, tomatoes and broccoli.
Read more about the health benefits of Brazil nuts.
5. Eat enough vitamin E
Vitamin E protects skin from oxidative (cell) damage and supports healthy skin growth. Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and corn oils.
Read more about the health benefits of almonds and what makes avocado so healthy.
6. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day
Skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day – all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the best. If you work in an office, keep a large bottle of water on your desk to remind you to drink. Herbal, caffeine-free teas are good too. Don’t forget that some fruit and vegetables, such as watermelon, courgette and cucumber, also contribute fluids – the added benefit is that the minerals they contain will increase the rate you hydrate your body and skin. Try to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption as both can age the skin.
Discover how to stay hydrated.
7. Eat some healthy fat
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – the types found in avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds – provide essential fatty acids which act as a natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple and improving elasticity. These fats also come packaged with a healthy dose of vitamin E (a vitamin many of us lack), which will help protect against free radical damage.
Discover the health benefits of salmon and which types of fat are the healthiest.
8. Opt for omega-3
Make sure you get enough omega-3 and omega-6 fats. These are essential fatty acids which mean they cannot be made in the body and must be obtained through the diet. You will find omega-3s in oily fish and plant sources such as linseed and their oil, chia seeds, walnuts and rapeseed oil. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Discover more about the health benefits of cod liver oil.
9. Eat more phyto-estrogens
Phyto-estrogens are natural chemicals found in plant foods (phyto from the Greek word for plant). They have a similar structure to the female sex hormone oestrogen and have been found to help keep our natural hormones in balance. There are different types, some are found in soya bean products (isoflavones) such as tofu, whereas others are found in the fibre of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and linseed (lignans). Include phyto-estrogen rich soya, wholegrains, fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet.
Find out more about the health benefits of soya.
10. Go for low-GI carbs
The glycaemic index (GI) is a system that ranks carbohydrate-based foods on how slowly or quickly they are broken down in the body into glucose. Try to eat plenty of beans, pulses, porridge and other low-GI, slow-releasing carbohydrates. These release sugar into the blood stream gradually, providing you with a steady supply of energy and leaving you feeling satisfied for longer and therefore less likely to snack. Avoid high-GI carbohydrates like biscuits and sugary drinks, as they lead to production of insulin, which may damage collagen and accelerate wrinkles.
Learn more about what the glycaemic index is and discover our favourite low-GI recipes.
11. Eat plenty of zinc
Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin (which produce oil) and helps to repair skin damage and keep skin soft and supple. Zinc-rich foods include fish, lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish.
Read more about why we need vital minerals.
Eat to beat common skin problems
Once you make changes to your diet, don’t expect an overnight miracle. It takes six weeks for new skin to emerge up to the surface, so the visible benefits from dietary changes will take just as long. For persistent skin conditions, talk to your GP or consider seeing a dermatologist.
How can diet affect acne?
Acne is caused by inflammation and infection of the sebaceous glands of the skin. Sebaceous glands are stimulated by hormones (particularly androgens). To avoid acne, cut back on saturated and hydrogenated fats in margarines and processed foods. Also cut down on junk food as well as foods high in sugar, such as cakes and biscuits. Eat more raw vegetables, wholegrains, fresh fruit and fish. Try to include selenium-rich foods, such as Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, fresh tuna, sunflower seeds, walnuts and wholemeal bread.
How can diet affect psoriasis?
Psoriasis appears as red skin patches with silvery scales, most commonly on the elbows and knees. The patches are caused by rapid growth and proliferation of cells in the outer skin layers. Patches can be itchy and sore and in severe cases, the skin may crack and bleed. Some people find outbreaks occur when they feel rundown. Sunburn, alcohol, smoking, obesity and stress are also implicated and there may be trigger foods which you will have to identify using an exclusion diet, though always check with your GP before cutting out food groups. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) from fish oil or cold-pressed nut and seed oils are important to include in the diet. The diet should ideally be low in saturated fat and include anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, red pepper, ginger, cumin, fennel, rosemary and garlic.
How can diet affect eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that usually begins as patchy redness, often on the hands but can appear anywhere on the skin. Although there are many triggers, one of the most common is food sensitivity. The most common offending foods are milk, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts and food additives. Omega-3 fats, zinc and vitamin E may help reduce symptoms.
This article was last reviewed on 4 July 2019 by Kerry Torrens.
Kerry Torrens is a qualified Nutritionist (MBANT) with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.
Jo Lewin works as a Community Nutritionist and private consultant. She is a Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) registered with the UKVRN. Visit her website at www.nutrijo.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @nutri_jo.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.
19 Best Foods For Skin (Plus 7 of the Worst)
The beauty industry wants you to believe that glowing skin is all about expensive procedures or toxic creams, but here’s something they’re not telling you…
The foods you eat play a tremendous role in the health of your skin. Your skin is your magic mirror giving you great clues about your overall health.
Here are some of the best foods for skin, as well as some of the worst, to help you on your path to glowing, more youthful-looking skin, naturally.
THE 19 BEST FOODS FOR SKIN
Keeping your skin hydrated and elastic is a lot easier than you may realize. Just drinking eight glasses of water a day will do wonders for your skin.
But for the combined benefits of water and electrolytes (electrolyte-rich fluids are amazing!) you can simply replace 1 to 2 glasses of plain water with coconut water, which also adds a little sweetness to your hydration without the guilt.
Exposure to sun and environmental toxins can wreak havoc on our skin. That’s why powering up on antioxidants is a simple and tasty way to boost your protection against harmful elements.
Aiming for eight or more daily servings of great skin foods that are antioxidant rich — is a snap, and delicious too! Sip on green tea for a midday pick-me-up or use it as the liquid in your morning smoothie. Green tea contains EGCG, a polyphenol with potent antioxidant effects.
Tapping into the glow-enhancing effects of collagen can be like a fountain of youth for tired, aging skin. Eating more of the right kinds of protein can help heal the skin, while delivering the essential amino acids to help boost our outward glow.
Try cooking up some soothing bone broth (check out Dr. Kellyann’s new book for some incredible recipes), which heals your gut and also delivers collagen for your joints, hair and nails.
What’s green, full of good fats, and great for your skin and heart? Try making “an avocado a day” your mantra and add the yummy fatty fruit to your daily diet for results you can see and feel from the inside out.
Avocados are rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin E, loaded with healthy fats (monounsaturated), and are good for your body and skin. Add a hit of antioxidant protection with a lunchtime salad of leafy greens with avocado.
For an extra avocado double whammy, try a hydrating face mask with mashed up avocado, honey and lemon, and feel your skin soak in the smooth, silky oils that are good enough to eat.
SAUERKRAUT, KIMCHI, & YOGURT
Did you know that noshing on sauerkraut and kimchi can give your skin added reasons to glow from the inside out? Research has shown fermented foods are full of probiotics (beneficial bacteria) that can give digestion a healthy boost and kick your gut microbiome into high gear.
Adding natural probiotics to your diet can be way easier than you think: sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, and even apple cider vinegar harness the probiotic power of fermented foods. Instead of making drastic overhauls to your diet, try swapping kombucha for soda, or try yogurt with live cultures, and see the transformation to your skin over time!
If you’re avoiding dairy, coconut yogurt can also double as a tasty fermented food that is gentle on your tummy. And adding a microbiome supplement can also be a simple way to get some probiotic power into your daily diet.
Eating fish provides us with inflammation-busting Omega 3’s, but being the big fish isn’t always a good thing. We need to take care to avoid larger fish that may contain toxins.
Why? Since large, carnivorous fish like tuna, swordfish, shark and halibut are at the top of the food chain, they are more likely to have higher levels of toxins like mercury and PCBs.
Opt for the smaller fish in the sea, such as wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies that boast healthy fats that can lead to radiant skin. Omega-3 fatty acids in these fish can combat inflammation and fight cancer.
Not a fan of fish? You can get many of the same benefits in a supplement.
Not only is tea a great way to relax and destress, a steaming cup of goodness may be just the solution for luminous skin, too. Herbal teas like dandelion and milk thistle are excellent detoxifiers that can support healthy kidney and liver function.
These teas enhance strong immune systems while helping bring the glow back to your skin with powerful antioxidant properties. Want to soothe your skin from the inside out? Ginger tea is a wonderful tummy soother that can aid in digestion and decrease inflammation of the skin while increasing natural radiance.
Chamomile is another herbal tea that can work wonders on your skin on the outside while calming and detoxifying on the inside. An added bonus: after you steep your tea, soothe puffy eyes with cooled chamomile bags. The anti-inflammatory qualities in chamomile tea bags also take the sting out of insect bites, eczema and dermatitis.
HERBS & SPICES
Herbs and spices inject flavor into your favorite recipes but did you know that many spices have anti-inflammatory properties that can play an important role in your skin care regime?
Certain herbs and spices can keep glowing skin vibrant and elastic by fighting wrinkles, soothing redness and boosting collagen. Cinnamon adds a warm, spicy quality to baked goods and hot drinks, and also packs a punch to combat skin damage with more antioxidants than half a cup of blueberries. Balanced blood sugar is another great benefit of cinnamon.
Ancient spice turmeric has been used for centuries in Eastern cultures, and its power as an antioxidant is proven through scientific research. Add turmeric to steamed or stir fried veggies, beans, and on your favorite soups to improve your skin’s overall health from the inside out.
Other herbs and spices that improve skin’s natural glow include oregano, cloves, ginger and garlic. To keep spices at their top power, toss out any that are more than two years old and always store in cool, dark cupboards — heat from the stove and sunlight will destroy their potency.
COLORFUL VEGGIES & FRUITS
Achieving beautiful, hydrated, dewy skin can be as simple as eating the rainbow. A balanced, rich diet full of a wide array of colorful, fresh fruits and veggies ensures you get enough minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants to ward off free radical damage and fight other signs of aging.
I recommend to my patients that they aim to eat six or more servings of colorful vegetables and 2 or more servings of fruit. But eating the rainbow doesn’t have to be a chore.
Even frozen vegetables and fruits are found to be great for you — so go ahead and throw some extra veggies in your soups and frozen berries in your morning smoothies. And make a game of it with your family to see how many colors of the rainbow you can eat each day!
PROTEIN & AMINO ACIDS
Packing a protein punch is a great way to boost your body’s all-important building blocks needed for smooth, supple skin. Nine essential amino acids found in different types of protein are the hidden secret for collagen production which can enhance the youthful, vibrant glow of your skin.
Collagen accounts for 30 percent of the body’s total protein. But beefing up your protein intake doesn’t have to be complicated. Set up a meal plan and spread out the protein between animal, plant and legume sources to keep your appetite invigorated. Grass-fed beef, organic poultry, even wild fish and all kinds of nuts are some of the best foods for glowing skin because they deliver ample amounts of amino acids that boost collagen production.
Rocking the vegan lifestyle? Pea protein is my favorite for an amazing balance of amino acids. It’s also low allergenic – unlike soy, whey and egg protein. And it’s easy to add to soups and breakfast smoothies.
VITAMIN A RICH FOODS
Loading up on Vitamin A rich skin foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens helps prevent premature wrinkles and bumpy skin, and can protect you from the harmful exposure of UV rays.
Bold colored orange and green veggies are packed with Vitamin A power, but this skin nourishing A-lister is also found in egg yolks and liver. Not only does it enhance your outer radiance and skin suppleness, Vitamin A has also received attention in it’s active form — retinoids — which can heal troubling skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, eczema and cold sores.
VITAMIN C RICH FOODS
Vitamin C is about much more than drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning. It’s surprisingly simple to get this vital building block into your daily diet — and it’s essential for collagen synthesis that can help you turn back the clock and replace wrinkles with pure radiance.
Supple skin with a youthful glow gets a welcome boost with a diet rich in Vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties of ascorbic acid that may help block and reverse UV-induced photodamage. Beyond citrus fruits, Vitamin C-rich foods include broccoli, strawberries. A cup of red bell peppers contains three times the amount of Vitamin C as an orange!
For extra vitamin C and a yummy fizzy drink (without the sugar), try my Vitamin C Fizz.
Goldilocks and those bears had the right idea when they gobbled down steaming bowls of oatmeal. Oatmeal is a nutritious whole grain that packs some serious punch when it comes to being a great skin food that ensures a smooth, radiant complexion.
Starting your day with oatmeal means you’ll reap the benefits of its glycation balancing perks. Your energy levels will be nicely balanced and you’ll even find yourself powering through the mid-morning bonk that often accompanies an energy crash after the sugar high you can get from other breakfast foods.
Talk about a powerhouse veggie that can boost your skin’s healthy, luminous sheen! Just one cup of kale has twice the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, both of which are essential for blasting the oxidative, damaging effects of sun and building glow-boosting collagen.
Studies also show kale is packed with free-radical blockers, lutein and zeaxanthin, which actually neutralize and soak up wavelengths of UV light that sunscreens can’t prevent. Introducing kale into your diet is really easy: add handfuls to your morning smoothie, mix it into greens at lunchtime, or steam on top of fish or chicken.
Kale chips are a healthy replacement for fried potato chips – try baking them at 300 degrees with avocado or coconut oil and a sprinkling of sea salt for a tasty snack that nourishes your skin from the inside out.
Not only do oysters have a sizzling reputation for heating up the bedroom, these little shellfish pack quite the punch as one of the best natural sources of dietary zinc.
Research suggests the mineral may help in the growth and functioning of skin cells, so eating just six of these suckers (at less than 60 calories) means you’re introducing 500 percent of your daily need to boost your blush and help restore that dewy glow to your skin. Talk about turning up the heat without any makeup!
Not an oyster fan? You can still reap the rewards of zinc by taking a supplement.
Chocolate isn’t just for Valentine’s Day — dark chocolate can actually give your skin some good, good lovin’.
What’s the secret? Cacao beans from which chocolate is derived, are rich in antioxidants called flavanols, which may plump and hydrate skin, protect it from UV damage, and boost circulation for a healthy glow.
But not all chocolate is created equal. To reap the natural health benefits, steer clear of milk chocolate, which contains loads of sugar and dairy, and stick with 1-ounce portions (150 calories) of chocolate containing cacao in portions 70 percent or higher to maximize its health benefits. Who needs another excuse to pass the chocolate?
SEEDS & NUTS
Squirrels are onto something — nuts are one of the best skin foods around. Not only are the tiny packages chock full of protein, they contain essential minerals and vitamins that can be vital for keeping skin clear, smooth, and youthful.
Seeds and nuts also boast hydrating natural oils that can restore the hydration to skin and blast away wrinkles. Here are a few of my favorites: Macadamia nuts may boost collagen production and fight off free radical damage that can contribute to fine lines with phytochemicals. The Omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts may help reduce redness and inflammation. Almonds are packed full of selenium, manganese and Vitamin E, which can protect your skin against UV damage from the sun.
The bonus with these nuts is that their oils are also available at most health food stores and can be used as carriers for essential oils or to massage directly onto your skin for added hydration. And for a sneaky and yummy way to get a dose of chia seeds watch this video.
It turns out berries of all kinds are the hidden secret to arming your skin with potent antioxidant power. Anthocyanin, the pigment responsible for the vivid jewel tones of blue, red and purple found in blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries and raspberries, actually works to protect the skin from damage from free radicals in our surrounding environment.
Just half a cup of berries a day can help prevent premature aging and wrinkles.
Adding berries to your daily diet is easy as (blueberry) pie! Throw a handful in your breakfast smoothie, add to muffins and other baked goods, or toss on top of your salad with some lean protein or fish for a complete meal your skin will love.
One of the easiest ways to get glowing, dewy skin is by starting your day with a breakfast smoothie packed full of nutrients and hydration. It’s the ideal meal on the go to kickstart your day.
Imagine this: your body has been fasting overnight while you slept and is in need of nourishment fast to replenish and rejuvenate. That’s where the breakfast smoothie comes in. Keep it simple with berries and a non-sugary liquid like coconut water.
Try a green machine with veggies such as kale, celery, cucumber and detoxifying fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro and mint. I love adding pea protein powder or a supplement for an added amino acid kick that helps skin repair and restore itself for a youthful glow.
THE 7 WORST FOODS FOR SKIN
Remember the ‘80s tagline: “Milk, it does a body good”? Well, it turns out this is true… if you’re a baby cow.
One of the most dramatic ways to attain youthful, glowing skin free of inflammation and breakouts is by ditching dairy. Hormones in milk can speed up aging and cause a whole host of other skin problems. Dairy is highly inflammatory and can cause flare ups in acne, rosacea, and rashes.
To test your skin’s sensitivity to dairy, you’ll have to go off it for 12 weeks — that’s the lifespan of a typical skin cell so to really gauge any improvement to your complexion and skin vibrancy, you’ll have to be dairy-free to allow skin’s healing and cleansing to take place.
If you’re worried about reaching your daily calcium intake, substitute with coconut milk, almond milk and oat milk, which are fortified with calcium and other minerals. Sardines, leafy greens like kale, broccoli, and nuts like almonds are also packed full of calcium.
Not only is junk food high in saturated fats, salt and processed ingredients that leave your skin dull and acne prone, junk food hits you like a ton of bricks. It saps your energy and leaves you feeling sluggish.
As your body’s largest organ, your skin will take the brunt of the punishment as you indulge on junk. Breakouts, redness and oily complexion are just some ways your body will protest.
What do you do if you succumb to a stress-induced moment of junk food indulgence though? Try counteracting your cravings and helping your body speed up the purge by upping your water intake and noshing on nutritious, antioxidant rich foods like berries and protein. Flush out the toxins and your skin will return quicker to the soft, supple dewiness you remember.
Bananas are actually sugar bombs in disguise! One banana contains about three teaspoons of fructose (sugar) per 100 grams, or roughly the equivalent to half a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar (43 grams).
If you must go bananas, try boosting the nutritional value by adding a nut butter for a protein hit — and eat only half to limit unneeded sugar. And a not-so-ripe banana also has less sugar, so factor that into the equation if you go bananas for the fruit.
Need another reason to ditch the sodas and breakfast cereals? Look no further than the damaging effects of sugar. Not only can the artificial sweetness send you into a sugar coma that can sap your energy (making you feel tired and grumpy after the initial rush), sugar also can damage the smooth, supple, radiant look of your skin.
Here’s how: sugar triggers ‘glycation issues’ that can damage the collagen in your skin and lead to wrinkles and sagginess. To make matters worse, sugar can also cause flare ups in existing skin conditions like rosacea and acne.
It’s sweet and juicy, and when slathered with butter it reminds many of us of summertime cookouts. But corn has a dark side that we can’t ignore. Although it is commonly mistaken for a vegetable, corn is actually a grain with high glycemic index.
Corn has also come under fire for having a high probability of being linked to GMOs — today nearly 90 percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is considered genetically modified.
Allergies to GMO corn-related products, especially high fructose corn syrup, can rear their ugly heads in the form of skin rashes, achy joints and other skin irritations that are puzzling to trace and remedy.
CANNED / PACKAGED FOODS
Gone are the days when we pop plastic containers into the microwave or freezer. The reason is endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as bisphenol A (BPA), an industry chemical that has been used since the 1960s in everything from water bottles to canned foods and plastic wrap.
Commercially packaged foods may contain plasticizers (phthalates) and other plastics (BPA). As foods are heated, frozen or even stored, trace amounts of the chemicals can be released, eventually wreaking havoc on your body over time when you ingest them. These EDCs interfere with production, transport, breakdown, binding and elimination of hormones. Prolonged exposure to EDCs may affect the body’s hormonal system and homeostasis — or simply put, its natural, balanced state.
The solution is simple: store food in stainless steel, glass or ceramic containers instead of plastic. And keep packaged goods in your fridge and pantry to a bare minimum. Convenience is a small price to pay when it comes to your health!
While a glass of red wine here and there can introduce smooth skin loving antioxidants, hitting the bottle hard is going to affect your skin’s glow and elasticity for the worse. As a natural diuretic, alcohol dehydrates your entire body, and its after effects can be seen in breakouts, redness, inflammation and overall skin dryness.
Oh, and that hangover is your body’s snarky reminder that you haven’t kept tabs on hydration. One tip is for every glass of wine, cocktail or beer you drink, remember to down an 8-oz glass of water to counter the effects and ensure you’re staying properly hydrated.
Try not to consume more than four servings of alcohol in one sitting — your head will thank you as well as your healthy, glowing skin! And if you do drink one too many glasses of bubbly, in between glasses of plain water (the best rehydrator of them all) treat yourself to a nutrient-packed, antioxidant green juice with cucumber, cilantro, green apple, celery to jump start your body’s hydration.
When you eat foods that inflame your body, it will show up on your skin as skinflammation (acne, eczema, premature aging, and more!) Your skin can look dull, wrinkled and show other signs of damage and neglect.
But choosing nourishing foods and creating healthy eating habits doesn’t have to be difficult.
The simple change of eating just a few of these best foods for skin can transform your skin – and your life — and help it heal from the inside out, resulting in a radiant, supple look that will light up a room.
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Wrinkles! They are the bane of your existence. But, did you know foods play a big roll in your skin? There are even foods that improve the elasticity of aging skin. Explore the proven foods that help fight the loss of elasticity in skin that comes with aging.
Aging Skin is Inevitable
Collagen is a component of the skin which increases and enhances its elasticity. It is estimated that we lose an average of one percent of our skin’s collagen every year once we enter our 20s, and skin which is significantly exposed to the sun’s UV rays loses the collagen at an even faster rate.
Even those who avoid excessive sun rays, follow strict beauty regimens, and have regular skin treatments will eventually begin to show signs of aging skin. Yes, these treatments and preventative measures may potentially delay the aging process, but sometimes adding an extra boost to these efforts is well worth the effort.
Following a diet which includes foods that help improve skin elasticity in aging is a good practice, as it cares for the body and skin from the inside out. This is likely to have a greater, longer-lasting effect on not only our skin, but our overall health.
Suggestions for Foods that Help Improve Elasticity in Aging Skin
So many diets and beauty treatments offer to improve health and the quality of our skin, but “beauty foods”, as they are sometimes known, promote a variety of skin-enhancing qualities, from those that alter skin tone and increase radiance, to those that enhance the firmness of the skin.
If you want to specifically improve your skin’s elasticity, try a diet that is rich in the following:
- Soy proteins – these are rich in amino acids, vitamin E and many antioxidants. These specific components of soy assist the skin in retaining moisture, smooth the overall appearance and improve the elasticity.
- Artichoke hearts – packed with folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and biotin, these ingredients help support the collagen and firmness.
- Strawberries – these contain B vitamins, antioxidants and fiber that when combined, are essential for the structure of collagen and elastin which both contribute to firmness and elasticity of the skin.
- Blackberries – similar to strawberries, these improve collagen and elasticity because they are an excellent source of vitamins E and C with a great amount of antioxidant present.
- Water – whether it be still, sparkling, bottled or tap water, drinking an average of eight glasses a day will guarantee a good level of skin hydration supporting the overall elasticity.
Although the foods mentioned above account for only a small part of what can be eaten in a daily diet, the use of these as components of an overall healthy diet will provide benefits to the skin and body.
Additional Foods Supported by Research
We are all rather gullible when it comes to following advice from popular beauty companies, and we rely heavily on purchases of very expensive products to improve our appearance and help reduce the aging process.
There is far greater weight behind advice that is given based on research. In a study by Dr. Pierfrancesco Morganti, professor of applied cosmetic dermatology at the University of Naples, it was proven that the use of a combined oral and topical treatment called Lutein increased skin elasticity by 20 percent, and hydration by 60 percent. Lutein can be found in:
- Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and collard greens
- Egg yolks
The lutein must be ingested daily either via natural foods such as those listed above or by supplements of the lutein product.
Naturally Improve Skin
When exploring foods that help improve skin elasticity in aging skin, advice may vary. However, once you become familiar with vital components such as vitamins and minerals, it will be easier to relate this information to the foods you eat. It is true to say that staying young looking and avoiding the inevitable aging process isn’t easy, but it can be incorporated in a daily routine if your diet is at the heart of the effort.
Lard: Your Great-Grandmother’s Secret To Better Skin, Naturally
Image source: Epic Provisions
Before the birth of the industrial cosmetic industry, people found other ways to improve their skin. Perhaps they realized that after continually handling meat in the kitchen, the skin on their hands was softer and smoother. Or perhaps they were just feeling adventurous with the leftover biscuit grease.
Either way, people for centuries – especially women — have been using lard as a facial cream. Lard is pork fat that has been rendered down to a liquid. Not only does it act as an exceptional barrier for locking in moisture, but it is also high in the vitamins that help keep skin healthy.
While the idea of rubbing pork fat on your cheeks might seem off-putting, think about this: Nearly all commercial skincare products are already made with some sort of animal fat. And massaging lard into your skin isn’t the same as rubbing bacon on your face. In fact, lard is incredibly gentle on skin, since it is so close to human skin in its chemical makeup.
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So before you call that 1-800 number to purchase a $50 bottle of Anti-Aging, Acne-Erasing Wonder Cream, give lard a chance. This humble pork product has been proven to:
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Tone and firm for a more youthful look.
- Even out color and reduce redness associated with rosacea.
- Reduce dryness associated with conditions like eczema (or winter weather).
- Even out texture for a smoother, softer feel.
- Improve acne and reduce pores.
If you are truly looking for a healthy and sustainable fix for your skincare woes, lard has the power to do everything that bank-breaking bottle of Lancôme does, and for the same price you could buy about 20 gallons of it!
Here’s Why it Works
When it comes to cellular makeup, pig lard is incredibly close to human skin. It has a similar pH and is made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats. One fact that skincare experts know: Oil dissolves oil. Since lard is so similar to our own skin oils, it’s a match made in heaven. As a cleanser, lard is a gentle and natural way to rid your face of that nasty sebum buildup and the daily dirt in your pores.
Pigs are extremely efficient at processing sunlight and storing it as Vitamin D in their fat. Fortunately for us, we get to enjoy our four-footed friends’ hard work when we rub that fat on our faces. Vitamin D helps to minimize dark spots and lines, reduce acne, and promote collagen production. This D-rich lard comes from pastured hogs that have been exposed to sunlight, so be sure to keep this in mind if you purchase your lard. Lard is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and Vitamin A.
There’s only one ingredient in lard: lard. Think about that next time your read your lotion label. If you can’t pronounce the words on the label, then you probably shouldn’t be putting it on or in your body.
Though convenient, most store-bought lard is hydrogenated and may contain preservatives. If you are going for a completely natural lard fix and you can’t render your own lard, then the best place to go is to your local butcher or farmer’s market. And for about $1 you can enjoy healthy, radiant skin for months. I haven’t seen a deal that good on any late-night infomercials.
How to Use it
Night is the time for our bodies to rest and restore. After your nightly washing routine, towel dry your face and dab a tiny bit of lard onto your cheeks and forehead. Massage it in well all over your face and neck. In the morning, wipe it away with a warm cloth.
Though some notice an instant improvement in their skin’s look and feel, for many this isn’t a simple overnight fix. My advice to you: Be patient! Going to bed smelling just a bit like a sausage may be discouraging (unless you really love sausage), but the end result will be well worth it. Those who have taken on the lard challenge have noticed a reduction in the signs of aging, improvement in skin elasticity, more even skin texture and color, fewer occurrences of acne, and softer skin.
If you’re tired of spending an arm and a leg on expensive chemical night creams or if you’ve simply tried everything without positive results, then I encourage you to give this age-old all-natural porcine remedy a try.
Have you ever used lard as a lotion or skin-softener? Share your tips in the section below:
If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.
How to eat collagen for naturally younger skin
Eduard Titov Fat is a major factor in the anti-aging game, so it may be time to ditch the low-fat diet.
If you’re a beauty junkie, you’ll know that collagen is the building block of good skin (and if you’re not a beauty junkie, well, now you know!).
It’s responsible for skin strength and elasticity – when collagen breaks down which happens naturally over time, that’s when lines start to form.
The beauty industry has packed collagen into face products for decades. But who knew we could eat it as well?
Naturopath Anthia Koullouros takes us through her top picks for younger looking skin.
* Foods to make your skin look healthy
* Why you should put acid on your face
You’d better believe it. If you’ve been eating a low-fat diet all your life, time to switch. Not only does it not make us fat, but it’s a major factor in the anti-aging game.
“Fat in any form is great for your skin, whether it’s a good quality animal fat or plant fat,” says Koullouros.
“Duck fat, pork fat such as lard – sometimes I’ll cook a pork belly and put no other seasoning, just salt – to collect the fat and use that for cooking other things in. Same with duck fat. Beef fat or lamb fat, usually through bone broth is another type of fat that’s great. And then plant fats like olive oil and coconut oil. Fats have omega-3 fatty acids, which is anti-inflammatory and contain essential fatty acids plus your fat soluble vitamins – A, D and E and K2 which are excellent for skin.
But be picky when consuming animal fats, because not all fats are created equally.
“The animal should have been grass-fed and organic. Grass-fed trumps organic though,” says Koullouros. “If it’s organic as well, then great. If it’s grass-fed, it has so much more omega-3 than omega-6 which is actually inflammatory. Grain fed animals have more omega-6 than omega-3.”
Sounds a bit gross, right? Isn’t gelatin just for making things jelly-like? But Koullouros confirms that gelatin from a grass-fed animal “yields collagen. So initially when we talked about nose to tail eating, preserving the bones to make bone broth was all about keeping food costs low and making the most of everything.”
“Bones store minerals and the cartilage and marrow store gelatin, which yields collagen. Instead of just putting it on your face, which is what expensive face creams do, you can eat it.”
Er… better get a-boiling those bones!
The myth that they are an aphrodisiac must have some truth to is, but the other treasure we get from oysters (besides pearls) is zinc.
“Zinc helps in the production of collagen,” says Koullouros. And as you now know, collagen is super important in the anti-aging game. “So any other zinc rich foods like crab, lobster, beef or lamb will help.”
4. Orange or red fruits and vegetables
“Because the pigments give you a natural glow!” says Koullouros.
This is kind of cheating, but who cares, because anything from beetroots or juice to carrots and pumpkins will help with the glow.
“The bonus is you’re getting lots of antioxidants, which mop up free radicals and delay the formation of fine wrinkles and lines,” says Koullouros.
Lastly, drink. DRINK.
“To aid hydration and to detoxify,” says Koullouros. “Whatever form it comes in – it could be bone broth or herbal tea or water, you should aim to hydrate the body from the inside out.”
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The 8 Best Foods to Eat for Healthy-Looking Skin
Now that it’s officially springtime, all we want to do is live and breathe that fresh-faced, I-just-crawled-out-of-hibernation-radiating-joie-de-vie vibe. We’re dusting off our white sneakers, finessing our fitness routines, and organizing our closets and homes to our heart’s content. But spring cleaning can apply to your beauty and food routines, too. You know that saying, “glow from within”? It’s a real thing.
“It is important to have a balanced diet that contains antioxidants, proteins, and healthy fats, says Sejal K. Shah, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York City. “Avoiding too many high-glycemic foods is also beneficial for the skin.”
Here’s a list of family-friendly foods to incorporate into your meals for healthy, radiant skin. Because we heard you are what you eat.
As if we needed one more reason to worship avocados. They’re filled with vitamins A, D, and E, and are a super source of healthy monounsaturated fats and phytonutrients. Makes sense when you think about all those fun DIY face masks that contain avocado as a main ingredient.
A special compound in green tea leaves called catechins can improve the health of our skin in several ways. First, they act as antioxidants, protecting from sun damage and inflammation. Catechins have also been shown to improve skin’s natural elasticity and moisture. Our favorite type of green tea is matcha—you can even bake with it.
RELATED: 6 Healthy Types of Tea
We give orange juice and other citrus fruits all the credit for containing vitamin C, but this cruciferous veggie is a great way way to get it, too. Vitamin C helps promote collagen production in our skin, which works to soften fine lines and wrinkles. Broccoli also contains zinc, vitamin A, and lutein (a carotenoid that helps protect skin from oxidative damage).
There are so many reasons the Mediterranean diet is great for you. It’s been linked to lowered levels of cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes, and it promotes bone density and muscle mass in women. And those benefits are in big part due to olive oil. It’s high in monounsaturated fats, which help keep skin nourished and hydrated.
Best. Day. Ever. Everyone’s favorite sweet treat can also be great for your skin: Cocoa contains lots of antioxidants called flavenols that have been shown to improve skin’s texture and hydration and even increase blood circulation. Just be sure to choose chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa to maximize these beauty-boosting benefits.
Salmon’s a solid source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are key players in a healthy skincare regime. According to a study conducted by Oregon State, these two types of fatty acids help keep our skin hydrated, fight inflammation, and help keep our skin protected from pollution. If you need some tasty salmon recipes, we’ve got you covered.
Peppers pack a serious vitamin C punch. Again, this is great for boosting your body’s collagen levels, which helps keep your skin firm and strong. Bell peppers (especially red and yellow) are also filled with beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, another important antioxidant.
We love tomatoes for skincare. Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps protect our skin from free-radicals that we’re exposed to from the sun. You’ll get an extra boost when your tomatoes have been heated, which is a very sound reason to go for that pizza or pasta marinara.
Best Foods for Healthy Skin
What foods are good for skin overall?
Your skin is comprised of many layers and in order to properly care for them, they need nutrients that supports them.
When you want to buy foods and drinks that are good for your skin look for:
- Fatty fish – such as salmon (wild-caught better than farm-raised to avoid hormones and antibiotics), mackerel, herring, sardines. These fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids that act as building blocks for healthy skin cells and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
- Eggs – are protein rich and contain biotin, a B vitamin that is essential for healthy hair, skin and nails
- Grass-fed meat that does not contain hormones or antibiotics
- Vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, green beans, peppers, sweet potato, tomato, carrots, squash, pumpkin – contain antioxidants, minerals and vitamins as well as fiber.
- Fruits – lemon, papaya, avocado, orange, watermelon, honeydew, mango, pomegranate, apple, kiwi, apricot, banana, organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, acai berries, cranberries, strawberries, bilberries) – contain antioxidants, are rich in vitamins and minerals, are anti-inflammatory and high in fiber.
- Mushrooms – rich in vitamin D
- Whole grains, beans and legumes – high in B-group vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. Good source of folate. Low in saturated fat.
- Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds – contain natural fatty acids and vitamin E that helps to increase skin hydration and keeps away wrinkles and fine lines.
- Green tea contains antioxidant EGCG that fights DNA damage from UV rays to prevent skin cancer. Also has anti-inflammatory effect improving skin tone and reducing acne.
- Water has ability to flush toxins from our system, keeps our skin clean, well hydrated and more youthful.
What foods and drinks are bad for your skin?
It’s just as, if not more, important to understand which foods and drinks can also hurt you in your quest for perfect skin.
These are foods and beverages you should consume in moderation if you want to maintain healthy skin:
- Refined carbohydrates – white flour foods such as white bread, pasta and white rice have a high glycemic index. This causes an insulin surge after consumption and leads to production of androgen hormones that cause sebaceous glands to produce more oil and cause acne.
- Sugar/corn syrup – soda, juices, sport drinks, protein-granola bars cause inflammation and destruction of collagen and elastin in the skin that leads to wrinkles and premature aging and also same mechanism as with refined carbs, where an increase in serum insulin leads to more oil production by sebaceous glands and the overproduction of oil leads to clogged pores and acne.
- Dairy products – high inflammatory food that will contribute to skin conditions such as acne, eczema and wrinkles.
- Overconsumption of alcohol – pro-inflammatory, causes dehydration, increases likelihood of broken capillaries due to skin vasodilation, increases skin dullness and wrinkle formation.
What are the best anti-aging foods?
Food has a very complex impact on the body. Much like you can use certain products to reduce the signs of aging, eating certain foods can also help you avoid those dreaded fine lines and wrinkles.
If your goal is to maintain that youthful glow, eat these foods:
- Wild caught salmon (rich in omega 3s)
- Almonds and walnuts (antioxidants, Vitamin E)
- Organic blueberries (antioxidants)
- Honeydew (potassium)
- Avocado (Omega 3s)
- Mushrooms (Vitamins B and D, copper, selenium)
- Green leafy vegetables (Vitamins A, B, C and K, iron, calcium)
- Dark chocolate >70% cacao (antioxidants, flavanols, great for skin firming)
- Green tea (antioxidants, fights free-radicals that lead to lines and wrinkles)
- Kiwi (Vitamin C)
The idea behind anti-aging foods is to keep your skin hydrated, maintain healthy levels of fatty acids, and focus on foods high in antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
What are collagen-rich foods and why are they important?
One major factor that affects how our skin looks as we age is a reduction in collagen production. The older we get, the less our body creates this and in turn, our skin loses that full, plumpness that’s so sought after.
Ringaile explains, “Collagen is a protein that helps to improve skin elasticity, leaving your skin plump and youthful.”
Therefore, to ensure your skin continues to produce enough, you have to focus on consuming foods where it’s found.
These are great foods for increasing collagen in your body and skin:
- Fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna along with grass-fed meat contains Omega-3s that protect the fatty membrane around skin cells.
- Dark green vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in vitamin, C. This protects against free radicals and prevents collagen degradation.
- Broccoli contains Vitamins A, C and K. Vitamin K speeds up healing of bruises, helps improve dark under eye circles. Contains antioxidants that also support collagen production.
- Kiwi contains vitamin C (medium kiwi has 120% daily needs). Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis that helps skin to be less dry.
- Eggs are protein rich foods. Proteins are essential for collagen production. Do not go overboard; our body can really process 30 grams of protein in one meal.
- Walnuts also help with collagen production. They are rich in alpha-linoleic acid. Deficiency in this can result eczema.
- Tomatoes contain lycopene that protect skin from sun damage and prevent collagen breakdown.
- Avocados provide vitamin E to help prevent collagen breakdown.
- Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which acts as a cofactor for collagen synthesis.
Are there any foods that can help clear up acne?
Nobody likes to have acne. In fact, it’s one of the biggest complaints in skin from those ranging in age from teens to late adulthood.
One of the best ways to combat acne is visiting your dermatologist who can put you on a proper treatment plan. But it’s also helpful to maintain healthy eating habits.
These are some of the best foods to eat if you struggle with acne:
- Sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation and even acne. Great source of calcium, because contains small bones that are edible.
- Kidney beans contain fiber, protein and zinc. Zinc has high healing properties that help fight acne.
- Kale is rich in vitamin A, powerful antioxidant that promotes skin turn over. Vitamin A is a big ingredient found in Retin-A, a medication used to treat acne.
- Broccoli contains vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Has strong anti-inflammatory power. One of the broccoli antioxidants sulforaphane is a particularly excellent acne- destroyer.
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds contain vitamin E and zinc. They enhance immune function allowing the body to fight off inflammation that leads to acne.
- Sauerkraut/kombucha are probiotics that helps to grow good bacteria and help to reduce inflammation.
- Green tea contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that helps with inflammation, healing blemishes and scars.
Keep in mind that these foods will not clear your acne overnight. It takes consistency and a reliable skin care treatment plan designed by a dermatologist in order to correct your skin.
What vitamins are most important for skin health?
If you want to take this into your own hands, you’ll want to understand what vitamins help your skin stay strong, healthy, and youthful.
Knowing these can help you consume foods that are high in these vitamins and therefore, transform your skin from the inside out.
- Vitamin A: Promotes healing, stimulates fibroblasts, and aids healthy skin cell production
- Vitamin B3: Improves skin’s elasticity, helps with discoloration, and restores texture/tone of skin
- Vitamin B5: Great for hydration of skin, promotes growth of youthful cells, anti-aging
- Vitamin B7 (biotin): Great for the hair and nails, improves keratin infrastructure
- Vitamin C: Strong antioxidant, great for collagen production and healing
- Vitamin D: Helps fight infections, promotes skin cell growth and repair
- Vitamin E: Reduces UV damage in skin, anti-inflammatory
- Vitamin K: Great for stretch marks and spider veins, aids in blood-clotting process, minimizes bruising and promotes wound healing
- Folic acid: Improves firmness of skin
- Zinc: Great for cell wall stability, acts as an antioxidant and promotes healing
Overall, focusing on eating nutrient-rich foods can help your skin maintain a healthy barrier, reduce signs of aging, and allow you to have that coveted “glow.”
Does nutrition also impact hair and nails?
Yes! Your hair and nails are absolutely impacted by your skin and therefore, knowing which foods to keep them healthy will help your body all around.
- Nuts. There are certain nuts that are exceptionally good for collagen production and are packed with vitamins. Almonds, especially raw, are full of protein, Vitamin E, fiber, antioxidants, and fatty acids. Almonds promote stronger hair and nails, as Vitamin E is essential for growth and firmness. Walnuts contain a large amount of Vitamin B, which increases nail/hair strength, and shine overtime.
- Berries. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for hair and nails, and berries happen to be packed with this vitamin. Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, and Currants are all great for collagen production and mineral/nutrient absorption that leads to stronger hair and nails.
- Avocados contain many essential vitamins and nutrients, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Potassium, and Vitamin K. These vitamins protect hair from oxidative stress and as a result, increases hair growth and strength.
- Salmon contains Omega 3 fatty acids and a good amount of Vitamin D. These nutrients increase hydration within the scalp, hair strands, and follicles. Salmon is very good for fighting against hair loss.
- Eggs are one of the foods that contain the most amount of nutrition. Vitamin A, Biotin, Selenium, Folate, and Phosphorous can all be found in a single egg. Biotin is a Vitamin B complex that is one of the most important nutrients to promote hair/nail strength and growth. It is found within the yolk of an egg. Our hair is made of keratin and biotin helps sustain the structure of our hair strands.
- Dark Chocolate contains Zinc, Iron, Magnesium and Copper. These minerals increase blood flow to the scalp, which results in stimulated follicles and increased hair growth.
- Tomatoes contain Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. A large amount of Vitamin C is found in tomatoes and that encourages strength within the hair follicles and decreases hair breakage.
- Greens, such as, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, and Kale, contain an essential amount of zinc and iron. In many cases, hair loss could be due to iron and/or zinc deficiency.
- Brussels Sprouts contain sulfur, which promotes hair growth. Eating plenty of leafy greens can aid in the fight against hair loss.
- Oats are great against dandruff. Oats can exfoliate an itchy scalp, resulting in more moisture for hair follicles. Copper, Zinc, and Vitamin B can be found in this food.
- Sweet Potatoes contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Potassium, Zinc, and Folate. All of these nutrients are essential for hair/nail growth.
Here’s a pro tip from Ringaile, “Any of these vegetables or fruits in this list can be consumed in juice form, which will also give a beneficial result to your hair and nails.”
How does dairy affect skin?
There are a few studies that Ringaile refers to when forming her advice on dairy. The first is from a large systematic review and meta-analysis study of over 78,000 children, adolescents, and young adults that found that the intake of any dairy, full fat or low/no-fat, regardless of amount or frequency, were associated with a higher incidence of acne compared to no intake (Juhl et. al, 2018).
Also, another study confirmed that a high glycemic index diet coupled with a high intake of milk and ice cream were positively associated with acne vulgaris (Ismail, Manaf and Azizan, 2012). LaRosa et.al (2016) found that teenagers with acne consumed more milk then teenagers without acne.
“Based on the studies, I usually suggest to my acne patients to consume less dairy and high glycemic index products and focus more on a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A and zinc.”
Are wrinkles worsened by food?
Wrinkles, sagging of skin, and loss of elasticity are all related to changes in the collagen and elastic fibers of the skin, which are themselves impacted by diet. Consumption of sugar and high glycemic index products can accelerate these signs of aging (Katta and Desai, 2014).
One RCT study found that consumption of tomato paste, which is rich in lycopene, can protect skin against UVR-induced effects, including erythema and DNA damage (Rizwan et. al, 2011). Frequently, dietary interventions have been overlooked as an important part of dermatological therapy.
What other skin conditions are impacted by diet?
Recent research has also found a significant association between diet and some dermatological diseases, such as psoriasis, rosacea and acne. Dietary change helps to prevent skin disease, such as aging of the skin or even skin cancer. Dietary change can be an important factor in the prevention of associated systemic disease
What is your overall advice on food in regards to skin health?
I always suggest to my patients to choose their food and drinks wisely. Based on the multiple studies and based on my personal experience I believe that our skin fully reflects what we eat and drink. After all, “We are what we eat.”
Katta, R. (2018). When it comes to skin health, does diet make a difference? American Academy of Dermatology, July 26.