One of the most effective ways to improve the health of our skin is by eating foods that support this extremely large organ. Just like everything else in our bodies, our skin needs certain nutrients to function and fight the aging process.
Some skin conditions have even been directly linked to diet. For example, skin tags are closely associated with diabetes mellitus and glucose intolerance. A natural skin tag remover can take care of growths that already exist, but adjusting your diet can also help reduce future growths.
By upping your intake of the foods below, exercising three or more hours a week and getting at least seven hours of sleep a night you’ll see a significant improvement in the health of your skin.
Free radicals are atoms that have an odd electron count. Unlike regular atoms, they can do significant damage or even kill cells. One of the most affected parts of the body is the skin.
Antioxidants keep free radicals in check. These molecules are able to stop free radicals before they do too much damage. Antioxidants are found in many foods, and Vitamin C in particular is beneficial for protecting the skin from free radical damage. It’s best to eat antioxidant-rich foods in their raw form that way no antioxidants are lost in the cooking process.
Many whole foods provide a healthy dose of antioxidants, but the ones you want to chow down on for healthy skin include:
- Citrus fruits
- Sweet potatoes
- Green peppers
- Green tea
Working as many fruits and vegetables into your daily diet as possible is going to ensure you have enough antioxidants to protect and support your skin.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The bottom layer of the skin is actually made up of subcutaneous fat. It’s one instance when fat is a really good thing for the body, and a certain type of fat is also good for the skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are a healthy fat that supports cell membranes. The membrane has a number of functions, including water retention in cells. When the cells are able to hold water more readily your skin is better moisturized.
Common sources of omega 3 fatty acids include:
- Flax seed
- Canola oil
Another great health benefit of omega 3 fatty acids is that they help protect the heart against a variety of diseases.
Refined grains (i.e. white bread and pasta) can increase insulin, which isn’t good for the skin. Whole grains on the other hand are a great source of the antioxidant Vitamin E and fiber. Fiber aids in digestion so that nutrients are better absorbed by the body. When you’re getting more nutrients your skin will feel, look and function better.
Wheat germ is particularly good for the skin. It’s a part of every whole grain, and even though it’s very small it packs in a huge amount of vitamins and minerals. Wheat germ is easily one of the best sources of vitamin E. You can get 15% of your daily recommended amount in just two tablespoons.
Protein is the building blocks for muscles, but it’s also important for skin growth. Lean proteins are a healthy source of amino acids, which are needed to create collagen and elastin in the skin. Collagen supports skin and provides strength while elastin gives it elasticity.
You can get lean protein from:
- Pork loin
A Word About Water
Dehydration is seriously bad for the body, and the skin is where signs of dehydration are the most apparent. Even though water is vital for basically every bodily function, researchers have found that around 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
When you don’t have enough water in your system the skin will look dry and dull. Someone who’s well hydrated will have plumper, more supple skin. Aim to get at least eight to 10 cups of water every day to stay well hydrated from head to toe.
The more whole foods you eat the healthier your skin will be. Check out our Real Food Fridays section for recipes that use nothing but healthy, whole foods.
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