Diet and Skin – Yes, there’s a Connection

We all want healthy skin but we rarely consider all the factors in our skin’s health.  We buy beauty, anti-aging, anti-acne, anti-everything products but we often to forget that we should also be focusing our buying habits on a healthy diet if we want to promote healthy skin.  Simply put, everything we eat get broken down and used in our body, one of the places those pieces end up is in our skin cycle.  Our skin is constantly turning itself over, dead skin falling off, and new skin coming to the surface.  This cycle uses the nutrients our body breaks down from our food to take place. Focusing on a healthy diet not only helps the skin cycle to have everything it needs to perform at the top of its game, but it also helps to promote general good health which is always a plus.  So exactly which foods should you eat? Well research is limited on exactly which foods yield the best skin effects but we do know a few things about different nutrients found in our foods and how they affect the skin.  Vitamin A helps our body to regulate the skin cycle making sure that unwanted components that add to acne problems don’t get stuck in the cycle.  Water is essential!  Water hydrates us, and hydration is essential for skin health.  Water also flushes toxins out of the body, allowing toxins to build up in our bodies increases skin problems.  Research shows that foods high in anti-oxidants can actually have lend protection to our skin.  Vitamin E and Vitamin C are two anti-oxidants that have been found to have positive effects on our skin.  Anti-oxidants are known to combat free radicals which hasten the aging process and have been found to damage skin.  Selenium is one specific mineral which has been found not only to protect the skin from free radicals, but has also been linked to improving acne.  If you’re worried about acne problems, some studies have found that people suffering from acne have lower levels of zinc, which helps to stop acne causing bacteria to grow.  Omega-3 has also been found to help the skin.  Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory, meaning they help to reduce swelling, a problem that can lead to different skin problems.  We also know that some research seems to link highly processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats to skin aging. If we focus on what we know about how nutrients affect our skin we can try to implement healthy, nutrient rich food into our diet to help our skin’s health.  Check out these healthy options high in skin helping nutrients:
  • Meats: turkey, tuna, salmon, eggs
  • Vegetables: leafy greens, garlic, avocados, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli
  • Fruits: grapefruit, papaya, oranges
  • Nuts and grains: almonds, Brazilian nuts, sunflower seeds, brown rice, walnuts, wheat-germ
While these foods contain the nutrients discussed earlier, simply focusing on a healthy diet, incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables, is the easiest way to ensure that you are getting the nutrients your body needs.