I’ve taken courses on skincare and nutrition and have researched natural medicine and healthy foods. It’s fascinating how our diet affects our body’s health. There are some nutrients you can both ingest and apply topically, some that can only be ingested (or produced by the body) and some that can only be applied topically. Today we’re going to look at how our diet affects our skin, what nutrients the skin needs, what benefits they provide and what foods you can eat.
To maintain healthy skin, you need water, vitamins A, B, C and E, zinc, essential fatty acids and proteins:
- Water helps hydrate skin, preventing it from drying out and the appearance of wrinkles.
- Vitamin A boosts collagen production, gives skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles.
- The B vitamins provide anti-inflammatory, wound healing and antioxidant benefits as well as increasing elasticity and reducing wrinkles.
- Vitamin C increases collagen production, is an anti-oxidant and reduces inflammation.
- Vitamin E is an anti-inflammatory and repairs damaged skin.
- Zinc helps with wound healing and has some anti-inflammatory and UV protecting benefits.
- Essential fatty acids help protect the skin from UV and contribute to anti-aging (Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health, Oregon State University).
- Lastly, it requires three types of protein: collagen, elastin and keratin which help with elasticity, wrinkles and barrier protection.
Collagen cannot be applied topically as the molecules are too big to absorb through the skin. Collagen doesn’t exist in any food other than homemade bone broth and is instead produced in the body (The Best Way You Can Get More Collagen, Cleveland Clinic). As we get older our body produces less collagen. Here’s what to eat to help boost collagen production:
- Chia seeds, flax seeds, peanuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds
- Green tea
- Red pepper
- Beef, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy
Zinc can be found in:
- kidney, liver, beef, lamb, scallops
- nuts and legumes
These foods contain antioxidants:
- red wine, green tea
- blueberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, plums,
- tomatoes, avocados, pumpkin
- mustard, turmeric,
- broccoli, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach
- prunes, raisins
- olive oil
Eat many of these different foods and make your skin happy. It will reward you with beautiful, healthy looking skin!
Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids
The Best Way You Can Get More Collagen https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-way-you-can-get-more-collagen/