Our skin is the largest organ of the human body. It’s the body’s protective layer, guarding our organs against the elements and forming a barrier against germs, so of course we want to keep it healthy. The skin is also one of the first things people see when they look at us, so it’s only natural that we want to keep it looking good as well. Good skincare is not just about what we put on our skin though. It’s important that we look after it from the inside as well, so here is a list of foods that helps to keep your skin both healthy and glowing.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of the fatty acid, Linoleic acid, which has been shown to help maintain the skin’s hydration and prevent skin break-down, leading to less wrinkling. They also contain the antioxidant Vitamin E, which is particularly active in our cell membranes, giving protection to our organs and tissues, as well as our skin. As we know, more antioxidant protection means less free radical damage and healthier skin.
This bright vegetable attributes its orange colour to a group of compounds called carotenoids. The most common of these, beta-carotene, has antioxidant properties, while also protecting the skin against UV damage. UV damage includes breakdown of the skin’s structure, which can contribute to wrinkling, as well as changes to skin colouring (for example sun spots) and damage to the skin’s DNA. Therefore, protecting against this damage is essential to maintaining healthy skin.
Avocados are not only delicious, they are also highly nutritious and contain a healthy amount of good fats. These fats have been shown to help improve the health of our skin, keeping it suppler and reducing wrinkling. They are also a good source of zinc which is important for wound healing and has also been shown to improve the skin in acne patients. Furthermore, the polyunsaturated fatty acids in Avocados also help to reduce and protect against UV damage to the skin.
Like Sweet Potatoes, red and yellow capsicums contain beta-carotene, with its antioxidant and UV protective benefits. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is well known for its positive effects on the immune system. This vitamin is an important component of collagen production and without adequate collagen, our skin wouldn’t be able to maintain its proper structure, making vitamin C essential to keeping our skin healthy.
Broccoli is another nutrient dense vegetable, providing multiple vitamins and minerals which are important in maintaining healthy skin. These include zinc and vitamin C, with their wound healing and collagen producing benefits. There are also a couple of other nutrients which help to keep our skin healthy, one of which is lutein, another carotenoid with antioxidant activity. Without the protective effects of these antioxidants, our skin would get dry and wrinkled as a result of cellular damage. Sulforaphane is the other compound in Broccoli, which has shown some benefit in protecting the skin against sun damage.
Green tea is well known for its antioxidant benefits, but it also needs a mention for its benefits to skin health. Green tea contains polyphenols and carotenoids, which help to protect the skin from sun damage and help it maintain its structure and elasticity. This means it helps to ward off premature wrinkling, while also reducing cellular damage, keeping skin looking and feeling healthy.
We have all heard that a good home-made chicken soup (or broth) helps us feel better when we have a cold. There are potentially some other health benefits to a good bone broth (or stock), which is made by boiling chicken or beef bones in water for several hours. This allows all the nutrients from the bones and marrow to be extracted into the water, leaving a nutritious drink or base for a soup, which has been traditionally used for its health and nutritional benefits in the past. Over recent years, bone broth has made a comeback as a health food, being promoted for its high nutrient density. It may even help keep our skin healthy, as it contains the amino acids glycine and proline, which our body needs to produce collagen and elastin, important building blocks of our skin.
There are many skin care products on the market which claim to keep our skin looking good, but the truth is, in order to have truly healthy skin, we need to provide our body with the nutrients it needs to produce collagen, repair damage and maintain the skin’s structure. The seven foods listed are a great source of nutrients that will contribute to you having healthy, glowing skin.