Avocados, nuts, seeds, oh my!
We’ve all heard that greasy foods are bad for our skin. Although you may try to cut back on sugar or skip a hamburger for the sake of your skin, the truth is, it goes a lot deeper than that. Food is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal against acne, aging, and inflammation. While we may not think about the impact of food on our skin very often (if at all), it’s proven that the foods we consume have a measurable effect on our microbiome, which correlates directly with the welfare of our skin.
Carrots for eyesight, dairy for bone health – what should you eat to keep your skin clear and healthy? Read on to find out what we recommend!
1. Fatty fish
Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, etc.) are an excellent choice if you want to support your skin through food. These fish and others contain necessary vitamins and minerals that make up deficiencies in the skin and support your body’s ability to maintain healthy skin. Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish, which helps to moisturize skin from the inside out, and even reduces inflammation naturally. That means less acne, less dryness, and less sensitivity overall!
In addition, they contain vitamin E and zinc. Vitamin E is well known for its elimination of free radicals (unstable molecules in the human body that can cause imbalances if left unchecked) and ability to fight skin damage of any kind, even sun damage. Overall, eating fatty fish enriches your skin with plenty of nutrients.
2. Trail mix
Okay, “trail mix” is a pretty broad term, but we stand by it! Trail mix often contains a mixture of nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and chocolate. Many nuts have properties that support skin health. For instance, walnuts contain essential sources of fatty acids (for those of you who can’t stand seafood), and one ounce of walnuts contains lots of selenium combined with almost thirty percent of the necessary daily amount of zinc.
Zinc is crucial when it comes to strengthening your skin’s barrier and healing wounds, capabilities that make it particularly important in acne care and the prevention of infections.
Healthline writes that “One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds packs 49% of the DV for vitamin E, 41% of the DV for selenium, 14% of the DV for zinc, and 5.5 grams of protein (15Trusted Source).”
Dark chocolate has anti-oxidant properties which help minimize the damage from free radicals. From Healthline, “After 6–12 weeks of consuming a cocoa powder high in antioxidants each day, participants in one study experienced thicker, more hydrated skin. Their skin was also less rough and scaly, less sensitive to sunburn, and had better blood flow — which brings more nutrients to your skin (33Trusted Source). Another study found that eating 20 grams of high-antioxidant dark chocolate per day could allow your skin to withstand over twice as much UV radiation before burning, compared with eating low-antioxidant chocolate (34Trusted Source).” All things considered, a well-balanced bag of trail mix is an excellent choice for your skin!
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Vegetables that are cruciferous, like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, are an important part of a healthy diet regardless of their impact on your skin — but thankfully, they help with that, too! They contain a number (really, too many to count) of vitamins and minerals that strengthen your skin barrier and reduce inflammation.
Broccoli is particularly helpful for cultivating glowy skin, since it contains rather rare chemical compounds that pack a punch. According to Healthline, “It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that works like beta carotene. Lutein helps protect your skin from oxidative damage, which can cause your skin to become dry and wrinkled. But broccoli florets also pack a special compound called sulforaphane, which boasts some impressive potential benefits. It may even have anti-cancer effects, including on some types of skin cancer (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source). Sulforaphane is likewise a powerful protective agent against sun damage. It works in two ways: neutralizing harmful free radicals and switching on other protective systems in your body (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source). In laboratory tests, sulforaphane reduced the number of skin cells UV light killed by as much as 29%, with protection lasting up to 48 hours. Evidence suggests sulforaphane may also help maintain collagen levels in your skin (23Trusted Source).”
4. Fermented foods
Foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha have a positive impact on your gut health, which is directly linked to the health of your skin. When there is inflammation in the gut (usually due to good bacteria being killed, or the overgrowth of candida) that inflammation shows up on the skin as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and more. One of the best ways to ingest probiotic material and build up your microbiome is by eating fermented foods with live and active cultures in them. According to Hakkohub.com, “Probiotics help to fight off harmful bacteria and yeast, keeping the skin clear and preventing breakouts. In addition, fermented foods contain high levels of vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin.” Even better, if you can purchase local products that were created near you, you can be assured that those cultures are actually live, since they don’t need to depend on temperature-sensitive transportation across states to get to you.
Green tea, in particular! Green tea contains catechins, chains of molecules that are actually known to reduce and even prevent sun damage to the skin. Green tea itself is also highly anti-oxidant, and the combination of those two qualities means it can help the skin to retain moisture, smooth out texture, reduce redness, and foster glow!
All too often, self-betterment and skincare media focus on denial — what foods you can’t eat, what exercises you can’t miss, and what treatments you shouldn’t skimp out on. We take care to fill our beautiful studio in Newport Beach with the kind of positive mindset that focuses on abundance and gratitude, not only restriction! Enjoy these foods, eat mindfully, and look forward to happier, healthier skin.