Is what you put on your plate as important as what you put on your skin? YES! Physicians, health experts and dermatologists alike agree that skin health is reflective of our diet. Therefore, diets rich in vitamins and antioxidants are more likely to reveal a clear, smooth and vibrant complexion. This blog will explore exactly which foods are best (and worst) for skin so you can reassess your diet and make changes if necessary. At Knoxville Dermatology Group, the health of your skin is our number one priority. We hope informative articles such as this enhances your skin health knowledge, so you can take a more pro-active approach to your skin care.
Skin that is dry, dull, sallow and even slow to repair itself is an indication of a weak diet. When your diet lacks variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates then it will show in your appearance, namely the skin. Health experts emphasize the importance of eating a balanced diet not only to support skin’s appearance, but to ward off illness and disease. So what foods are best for skin and why?
Low-Fat Dairy Products- Yogurt
The health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A, often found in dairy products. Furthermore, low-fat yogurt is highly recommended as it is also high in acidophilus, the “live” bacteria that is good for intestinal health. These live bacteria and enzymes promote normal digestion which is strongly tied to healthy-looking skin.
Fruit- Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Plum
These “fab four” fruits have the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food according to studies. These fruits contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect skin cells from damage to their DNA. For instance, free radicals formed from sun exposure can contribute to cell disintegration and premature aging. However, antioxidants and phytochemicals serve as a guard and block these effects, thus helping skin retain its youth.
Essential Fatty Acids- Salmon, Walnuts, Canola Oil, Flax Seed
Cell membranes are important because they hold water in; the stronger that barrier is the better cells can hold moisture, thus allowing skin to appear supple and plump. Essential fatty acids are necessary to maintain a healthy cell membrane. A balance of essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 aids skin health. Since many people lack omega 3s, incorporating more fish, walnut and flax seed oil is recommended.
Eating good-quality oils is another way to keep skin well lubricated. Oils labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin are the best choices. Keep in mind, any fat is high in calories so limit consumption to two tablespoons per day.
The mineral selenium present in whole-wheat bread, cereals; turkey, tuna and Brazil nuts play a key role in health of skin cells. Studies shown in the American Academy of Dermatology indicate skin damaged by sun may suffer fewer consequences when selenium levels are high. In addition, skin cells with high levels of selenium are less likely to suffer from oxidative damage- often linked to the risk of cancer.
Avoid foods that contain white-flour, sugar and white rice. All these items can affect insulin levels, thus causing inflammation and break outs.
Proper hydration is vital to our skin cells. Not only does water hydrate cells, but it helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out. This is pertinent to overall health and helps skin look clean and clear.
Although it is recommended we drink around eight glasses of water each day, the type of water is equally important to amount. Do not shy away from hard water, as it is high in minerals. Soft water may taste better, but it loses the health benefits because it has been de-mineralized.
Schedule an appointment today with one of our board certified physicians to gain more knowledge about your skin so it can reach its fullest, healthiest potential!