What should you eat for healthy skin?
When it comes to wanting healthy skin, we often think about what skincare products we should use, we tend to forget about other lifestyle habits such as our diet, sleep, stress, etc. Here's some top beauty foods and why you would want to add them to your diet today.
Our skin is constantly being exposed to oxidative stress which is basically an imbalance between free radicals (bad) and antioxidants (good). When there are not enough antioxidants to keep everything in check, this can lead to inflammation in your body. It can even make you look older faster by speeding up the aging process.
What causes oxidative stress? Sadly, it's things we can't really run away from such as pollution, UV rays, and stress. However, it's not all bad news - lifestyle choices that we make such as our diet are really important. Diet rich in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats causes more oxidative stress.
So if you want to have skin that's plump, healthy, youthful, or just overall better skin, here are a few must-have foods to add to your diet today.
Foods rich in carotenoids
Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C and carotenoids such as beta carotene and lycopene, which are all highly effective antioxidants that can help reduce overall inflammation. Although you can't compare it to applying sunscreen, did you know that studies suggest foods rich in lycopene may protect your skin from damages caused by the sun? Foods packed with carotenoids usually have that bright pink, orange or red colour like carrots and papayas.
Everyone knows what vitamin C does, in general. You take it to prevent the flu, boost your immunity but did you know that it helps with collagen production, the absorption of iron and selenium, all of which help maintain a healthy skin barrier. Foods that are really high in vitamin C are bell peppers (especially red bell peppers with nearly 3 times more vitamin c than oranges) guavas, kiwis and strawberries. A study showed that a mix of lycopene, vitamin C and E, fish oil and soy isoflavones led to smoother skin with less visible wrinkles!
Foods rich in fatty acids
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and cod are known as anti-aging foods because of their high omega 3 content that helps reduce inflammation. Salmon in particular contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin which may help keep you looking younger by protecting your skin against environmental damages! A study showed the skin condition of those who were not taking astaxanthin supplements worsened over time. Their wrinkles were more obvious and had drier skin as compared to those who were taking the supplement.
Flaxseed oil is also rich in fatty acids. Another study showed that flaxseed oil supplement led to smoother, more hydrated skin as well as being less sensitive skin to external stressors.
Zinc has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. Studies found people with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc, and that zinc supplements led to an improvement in acne. Cashews, pumpkin, sesame seeds, oysters, red meat such as beef and lamb are also rich in zinc.
If you're looking to take zinc supplements, consider speaking to your healthcare practitioner as there are a few things to consider such as the side effects, the amount you should be taking and also the type of zinc.