Are you truly what you eat? When it comes to the health of your skin, you certainly are.
Just as food affects your heart, your cholesterol level and your blood pressure, food affects the health of your skin as well. Potions and lotions can do their best to help you look better from the outside in, but eating right can truly nourish the skin from the inside out.
For a head to toe beauty boost, be sure to eat a wide variety of foods from all the food groups. Some particularly super skin standout foods include:
You probably know that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart — but did you know they’re good for your skin too? Omega-3s are actually a group of several nutrients, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), none of which the body can produce on its own.They’re found mainly in coldwater fish (as well as walnuts, flaxseed and some green vegetables such as kale) and help keep the cell membrane strong (the skin is made up of cells, and the cell membrane is the outside layer of the cell), preventing harm from the outside from getting in.
“Omega-3s help the skin increase its ability to hold water, which leads to softer, wrinkle-free skin,” says Beth A. Czerwony, MS, RD, LD, of the Cleveland Clinic. Fish is also a great source of protein, an essential building block for healthy skin.
Fish high in omega-3s include salmon, mackerel, cod and tuna (particularly the albacore and bluefin varieties). If fish isn’t your thing, look for eggs high in omega-3s or go for flaxseed, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.
Get more: Try smoked salmon on whole wheat crackers for breakfast, bring pouches of tuna to work, sprinkle walnuts on salads, and used ground flaxseed in baking. Taking omega 3 fatty acid supplements such as EPA, DHA or flaxseed oil is also an option.
Berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, are high in antioxidants, chemicals that protect the cells by combating the free radicals that damage skin at a cellular level. “Free radicals are by-products that form when oxygen is used by the body, almost like how an apple gets brown when you cut it open and expose it to the air,” says Lauren Slayton, RD, director of Food Trainers in New York City. “Antioxidants interrupt that damaging process.”
Get more: Don’t shy away from frozen berries — they’re just as good as fresh, Slayton says. Throw berries into hot cereal or grainy dishes like couscous or tabbouleh.
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