Nutrition is important for health. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, lead to weight gain, and even damage organs, such as your heart and liver.
But what you eat also affects another organ – your skin.
As scientists learn more about nutrition and the body, it's becoming increasingly clear that what you eat can dramatically affect your health and the aging of your skin.
This article looks at 12 of the best foods to keep your skin healthy.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring, are great foods for healthy skin . They are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids , which are important for maintaining healthy skin .
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to keep skin thick, supple and hydrated. In fact, a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can cause dry skin .
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish reduce inflammation, which can cause redness and acne. They can even make your skin less sensitive to the sun's harmful UV rays .
Some studies show that fish oil supplements can help fight inflammatory and autoimmune diseases affecting your skin, such as psoriasis and lupus .
the fish bold is also a source of vitamin E, one of the most important antioxidants for your skin.
Getting enough vitamin E is essential for protecting your skin from free radical damage and inflammation .
This type of seafood is also a source of high-quality protein , necessary to maintain the strength and integrity of your skin .
Finally, fish provides zinc - an essential mineral for regulating the following:
- Overall skin health
- The production of new skin cells
A zinc deficiency can lead to skin inflammation, lesions, and delayed healing .
Avocados are high in healthy fats. These fats benefit many functions in your body, including the health of your skin .
Getting enough of these fats is essential to help keep skin supple and hydrated.
A study of more than 700 women found that a high intake of total fat - especially the types of healthy fats found in lawyers - was associated with more supple and elastic skin .
Preliminary evidence also shows that avocados contain compounds that may help protect your skin from sun damage. UV damage to your skin can cause wrinkles and other signs of aging .
Lawyers are also a good source of vitamin E , which is an important antioxidant that helps protect your skin from oxidative damage. Most people don't get enough vitamin E from their diet.
Interestingly, vitamin E appears to be more effective when combined with vitamin C.
Vitamin C is also essential for healthy skin . Your skin needs it to create collagen, which is the main structural protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy .
Vitamin C deficiency is rare these days, but common symptoms include dry, rough, flaky skin that tends to bruise easily.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from oxidative damage caused by the sun and the environment, which can lead to signs of aging .
A 100-gram serving, or about half an avocado, provides 14% of the Daily Value for vitamin E and 11% of the Daily Value for vitamin C.
Nuts have many characteristics that make them an excellent food for healthy skin .
They are a good source of essential fatty acids, fats that your body cannot make on its own.
A diet too rich in omega-6 fatty acids can promote inflammation, including inflammatory conditions in your skin like psoriasis.
On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in your body — including your skin .
While omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in the Western diet, sources of omega-3 fatty acids are scarce.
Because nuts contain a good ratio of these fatty acids , they can help combat the potential inflammatory response to excessive omega-6s .
Additionally, nuts contain other nutrients that your skin needs to function properly and stay healthy.
28 grams of nuts contains 8% of the daily value for zinc.
Zinc is essential for your skin to function properly as a barrier. It is also necessary for healing wounds and fighting bacteria and inflammation .
Walnuts also provide small amounts of antioxidants, vitamin E, and selenium, in addition to 4–5 grams of protein per 28 grams .
In general, the nut and the seeds are good sources of skin-boosting nutrients.
Sunflower seeds are a great example.
28 grams of sunflower seeds contain 49% of the Daily Value for vitamin E, 41% of the Daily Value for selenium, 14% of the DV for zinc, and 5.5 grams of protein .
beta-carotene is a nutrient found in plants.
It works like provitamin A, which means it can be converted into vitamin A in your body.
Beta-carotene is found in oranges and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes .
sweet potatoes are an excellent source—a 1/2-cup (100-gram) serving—of baked sweet potatoes contains enough beta-carotene to provide more than six times the DV of vitamin A.
Carotenoids like beta-carotene help keep your skin healthy by acting as a natural sunscreen.
When consumed, this antioxidant is incorporated into your skin and helps protect your skin cells from sun exposure. It can help prevent sunburn, cell death, and dry, wrinkled skin.
Interestingly, high amounts of beta-carotene can also add a warm, orange color to your skin, contributing to an overall healthier appearance .
Like sweet potatoes, peppers are an excellent source of beta—150 grams of chopped red pepper contains the equivalent of 156% of the DV for vitamin A!
They are also one of the best sources of vitamin C. This vitamin is needed to create the collagen protein, which keeps the skin firm and strong
150 grams of bell pepper provides an impressive 211% of the DV for vitamin C.
A large observational study involving women linked high vitamin C intake to a reduced risk of wrinkled, dry skin with age .
Broccoli is packed with many vitamins and minerals important for skin health , including zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that functions like beta-carotene. Lutein helps protect your skin from oxidative damage, which can make your skin dry and wrinkled.
But broccoli florets also contain a special compound called sulforaphane , which has impressive potential benefits. It may even have anticancer effects, including certain types of skin cancer .
Sulforaphane is also a powerful protective agent against sun damage. It works in two ways: neutralizing harmful free radicals and activating other protective systems in your body .
In lab tests, sulforaphane reduced the number of UV-killed skin cells by up to 29%, with protection lasting up to 48 hours.
Evidence suggests that sulforaphane may also help maintain collagen levels in your skin .
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain all major carotenoids, including lycopene .
He has been demonstrated that the beta-carotene, the lutein and lycopene protect your skin against sun damage. They can also help prevent wrinkles .
Because tomatoes are rich in carotenoids, they are an excellent food for maintaining healthy skin.
Consider pairing carotenoid-rich foods like tomatoes with a source of fat, like cheese or olive oil . Fats increase your absorption of carotenoids .
soy contains isoflavones, a class of plant compounds that can limit or block estrogen in your body.
Isoflavones can benefit several parts of your body, including your skin.
A small study in middle-aged women found that consuming soy isoflavones daily for 8–12 weeks reduced fine wrinkles and improved skin elasticity .
In postmenopausal women, soy may also improve skin dryness and increase collagen, which helps keep your skin smooth and strong .
These isoflavones not only help protect your body's cells from damage, but also your skin from UV rays — which may reduce the risk of certain skin cancers .
If you need one more reason to eat chocolate, here it is: the effects of cocoa on your skin are quite phenomenal.
After 6 to 12 weeks of consuming an antioxidant-rich cocoa powder daily, study participants experienced thicker, more hydrated skin.
Their skin was also less rough and scaly, less prone to sunburn, and had better blood circulation — bringing more nutrients to your skin .
Another study found that eating 20 grams of high-antioxidant dark chocolate a day could allow your skin to withstand more than twice as much UV light before it burns, compared to eating low-antioxidant chocolate. .
Several other studies have observed similar results, including improvements in the appearance of wrinkles.
Make sure you choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa to maximize benefits and keep added sugar to a minimum.
Green tea can help protect your skin from damage and aging.
The powerful compounds found in green tea are called catechins and help improve your skin health in several ways.
Like many other foods containing antioxidants, green tea can help protect your skin from sun damage .
A 12-week study in 60 women found that drinking green tea daily could reduce redness from sun exposure by up to 25%.
Green tea also improved their skin's hydration, roughness, thickness, and elasticity .
Although green tea is a great choice for healthy skin , you may want to avoid drinking your tea with milk , as there is evidence that milk may reduce the effect of green tea antioxidants .
Red grapes are famous for containing resveratrol, a compound that comes from the skin of red grapes.
Resveratrol is credited with a wide range of health benefits, including reducing the effects of aging .
Test-tube studies suggest it may also help slow the production of harmful free radicals, which damage skin cells and cause signs of aging .
This beneficial compound is also found in red wine. Unfortunately, there is not much evidence that the amount of resveratrol than you get in a glass of red wine is enough to affect your skin.
And since red wine is an alcoholic beverage, there is negative effects to drink it in excess.
It is not recommended to start drinking red wine just because of its potential health benefits. Instead, you should increase your intake of red grapes and berries.
What you eat can dramatically affect the health of your skin.
Make sure you're getting enough essential nutrients to protect your skin. The foods on this list are great options for keeping your skin healthy, strong, and attractive.