Healthy foods to incorporate as part of your diet to protect your skin and maintain its health
Were you ever aware of the knowledge that what you eat can actually play an active role in your health and well-being? Yep, that’s right! Eating healthy meals can not only aid in managing your weight effectively, but can also strengthen your immune system by lowering your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. Say what?!
On the contrary, an unhealthy diet can harm your metabolism, cause weight gain and make you prone to diseases which directly affect your organs, such as heart disease and liver cancer. Unknowingly for many, however, what you eat can also affect the health of another important organ in your body – your skin. For that purpose, here are some of the most ideal foods for maintaining good skin. Forward, march!
Fat Can Actually Be Good for You
Can it really? Yes it can! Eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines can supplement your body with an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient which is vital in the maintenance of good skin. An adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids ensures that your skin stays thick, supple and moisturised. Not only that, it can also help to reduce inflammation which causes redness and acne, apart from making your skin less sensitive to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Fatty fish also provides your body with a good source of vitamin E, which is mainly responsible for protecting your skin from sun damage caused by free radicals and inflammation. It is also a source of high-quality protein, which is required for maintaining the strength and integrity of your skin. Apart from that, fatty fish also contains zinc, which is vital for regulating inflammation, developing new skin cells, and promoting good skin health. On the other hand, zinc deficiency in your body can result in inflammation, lesions and a prolonged healing of cuts and wounds. Fatty fishes, healthy dishes!
Who’s Ready for an Avo-Party?
Similarly, avocados too, are a rich source of healthy fats, which is especially important for ensuring your skin stays flexible and moisturised. Like fatty fish, avocados also contain compounds that can shield your skin from sun damage. Not only that, avocados are also plentiful in vitamins C and E. As a matter of fact, both these vitamins have actually been found to be more effective when combined with each other. You best believe that!
Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen, the primary structural protein in the promotion of strong, glowing skin. In addition to that, vitamin C also doubles up as an antioxidant which protects your skin from oxidative damage that can cause skin ageing. A lack of vitamin C in an individual’s body is fairly uncommon, but noticeable symptoms include dry, rough and scaly skin which bruises easily. Avocado toast with a side of tasty, anyone?
Alpha Potato, Beta-Carotene
Sweet potatoes, besides oranges, carrots and spinach, are chock-full with beta-carotene. Being a carotenoid, beta-carotene primarily works in converting into vitamin A in your body, and acts as a natural sunblock for your skin. Great Scott!
Consuming sweet potatoes can also equip your body with antioxidants that provide your skin cells with an ironclad protection against sun exposure. This in turn, may be able to prevent sunburns, cell deaths, and dry, wrinkled skin. Interestingly though, consuming high-amounts of beta-carotene may also add a warm, orange-coloured tan to your skin, which can contribute to a healthy, glowing appearance. Goodbye fake tan, hello sweet potato!
Eat Your Greens, Momma Said
It's probably a good thing to listen to momma when she tells you to eat your greens. But if you insist on wanting to know why, we’ve got you. One word – broccoli. Why? Because it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals which are essential for healthy skin. This includes vitamins A and C, and zinc. It is also a good source of lutein, which is effective in preventing several different types of skin cancer. Wow!
In addition, broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which is an agent that works in two ways to guard your skin from sun damage - by neutralising harmful free radicals and activating other protective systems in your body. In fact, laboratory tests have proven that sulforaphane is able to lower the number of skin cells terminated by UV light by about 29%. On top of that, sulforaphane protection can usually last for a duration of up to 48 hours at a time, apart from being able to sustain the levels of collagen in your skin. A broccoli a day, keeps the E.coli at bay.
Berry Up for Good Skin
Need a reason to include blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries as a jam spread or accompaniment to healthy desserts? They taste great. Here’s another one. They’re actually good for your skin. Packed with antioxidants, these berries can shield your skin from damage caused by UV rays. Blueberries, specifically, function as vascular constrictors, which means that they are able to decrease redness caused by sensitive skin.
Strawberries, on the other hand, contain vitamin C which is able to promote collagen fibre production for keeping your skin supple and smooth. In the same way, raspberries are able to prevent sun damage and skin, owed mainly to its vitamin C content and antioxidant properties. BRB, about to dive into a pool of berries!
Plain and simple, isn’t it? A few small diet tweaks, mixed with other healthy practices such as frequent exercise, restful sleep and adequate hydration, and you’ll definitely be on your way to healthier skin, and a more attractive you! Hello, hottie!