5 Foods for Skin Health
Thank you to our Amy from Eat Pray Workout for this great article.
Skin. Commonly overlooked in the health and fitness world. “Eat well to fuel your body, exercise to keep fit”… rarely do you hear skin mentioned anywhere. Our skin is our largest external organ needs to be looked after. It’s health is largely affected by our lifestyle, diet, exercise routines, stress and even our hormones. And just like our fitness, mental health and spiritual life, sometimes our skin needs to take a bit more of our attention.
How can we care for our skin though diet?
We can’t always control how our skin reacts to life events but we can adapt some of our daily habits, like the things we eat, to give our skin some of the love it needs. Now there’s no strict diet I am preaching here, I just want to share a few ingredients that you can incorporate into your normal daily meals to nourish your body, inside and out.
There’s certain vitamins and minerals that our skin needs to thrive. I have only listed a few here, but you will find that nearly every vitamin benefits our skin in some way.
Omega 3 gets a lot of mention when talking about healthy skin, and rightly so. Omega 3 provides moisture to the skin, resulting in smoother, tighter, more supple skin. Consuming Omega 3 can help the body’s inflammatory response, which would help with the redness and inflammation that comes with acne and the skin’s ageing process.
Vitamin C, E & A
Vitamin C is an antioxidant found in the inner and outer layers of our skin and has a strong role in collagen (the protein that helps improve the skin’s elasticity, keeping it tight and preventing sagging) production. Because of this, eating foods high in Vitamin C can help improve signs of aging, reducing dryness and healing our damaged skin, as well as enhance the effectiveness of sunscreen. Vitamin C is even more powerful when combined with Vitamin E, another antioxidant produced in our body to help protect and heal against sun damage. Vitamin A is another wonderful skin elixir that promotes healthy cell growth.
Skin cells are particularly dependent on Zinc’s powerful properties for healing and rejuvenation of the skin by helping protect against infection and control inflammation that can come from pimples and wounds. Zinc can help regulate your skin’s oil production, which could prevent clogged pores.
Which foods will help your skin glow?
High in Omega 3, Zinc and Vitamin E. The specific omega 3 found in fish can actually help protect your skin from the Sun’s UV rays, our skin’s biggest threat (though not enough to give up sun protection – slip, slop, slap people!).
I try to incorporate these Dukkah Fish and this Baked Salmon with Orange and Avocado salad into my meal plan as much as possible. In fact I eat more fish than land based meat. Sometimes cooking fish can be a little daunting if you don’t do it often, but I have found these recipes to be quite simple and am sure you will too!
Kale is very high in Vitamin A and C. Kale can be incorporated into any meal of the day. The leaves wilt so I like to stir a few handfuls with some spinach into hot meals while cooking. I also really enjoy this Brown Rice, Lentil and Kale Salad for a big vitamin hit. I’ve also heard Kale can have some great benefits when applied to the skin topically, though have not tried this myself.
Surprisingly, herbs and spices can be just as beneficial for the skin as fruits and vegetables. Turmeric is one of the best spices around and is so versatile in the every day kitchen. This Broccolini, Zucchini and Turmeric Tofu Salad is a great simple recipe for a midweek lunch and dinner. Another easy way to add turmeric to your day is by adding it into your tea using this Natural Green Tea recipe. Every single ingredient in both of these recipes have nutrients that are beneficial to the skin.
You knew this one was coming didn’t you? The Omega 3, Vitamins C and E and healthy fats found in the beloved avocado are surpassed by none. Besides eating it just with a spoon (guilty!) you can do so much with it – mash into a guacamole, spread on toast, toss into any salad or even chuck one in a smoothie! If you need any more inspiration, this fruity Mango, Avocado and Bean Salad is a delicious option.
Walnuts are very rich in Omega 3, and contain Vitamin, C, E and Zinc. Eating just a few walnuts straight as a snack is a great way to gain the benefits of these Vitamins, but an even better way is to make this Raw Brownie recipe that I made with health guru Rachael Finch.
I would also like to put a massive emphasis on drinking water! Keeping your skin hydrated will make a massive difference to how it glows and it’s elasticity.
At the end of the day, if you are eating a well-rounded diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes while drinking enough water, your skin is going to benefit.
About the Author
Amy Darcy is a Mum, lawyer and the editor of Eat Pray Workout, an Australian healthy lifestyle blog for women who want to be the healthiest, happiest version of themselves. You’ll find healthy recipes; articles on wellbeing; fitness and travel – all aimed at helping women gain a generally healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle. Subscribe here for weekly inspiring emails and to receive all of Amy’s workout printables for FREE! You can also connect with Amy on instagram or Facebook.