The saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Many think there is a lot of truth to that. Your skin is truly a reflection of your diet. When you eat healthy foods, your skin will look more clear than when you are on an unhealthy diet. As a result, it’s important to select foods to promote clear skin.
The following foods and categories may be able to help you get one step closer to healthy skin:
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential Fatty Acids, or EFAs, are comprised of omega-3 fatty acids. These EFAs should account for about 15% of your daily caloric intake. Examples can be found in the following foods:
- Wild caught fish (such as sardines, tuna, and salmon)
- Raw nuts (such as walnuts)
- Seeds (such as chia seeds which naturally contain omega-3 fatty acids)
Certain vitamins and minerals have antioxidant properties that help protect our bodies. Vitamins A, C, E, and some B complex vitamins, as well as minerals, such as selenium, manganese, and zinc are several key nutrients that support healthy skin.
Foods packed with beneficial antioxidants:
- Black grapes
- Brazil nuts
- Sweet potatoes
It’s true! Drinking adequate amounts of water daily can help moisturize your skin and flush out toxins. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day is often recommended for overall health. As tempting as it may be, don’t replace water with coffee or soda because they may lead to further water loss or dehydration. Please drink no more than two cups of coffee or tea per day and avoid drinking hard alcohol.
Not getting enough iron in the diet may contribute to an iron deficiency that could lead to anemia, which often causes the appearance of pale skin, but also dark circles under the eyes.
Good sources of high quality iron include:
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Swiss Chard
- Wild-caught seafood (such as sardines, tuna, and mackerel)
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in supporting healthy vision, skin and hair. There are two forms of vitamin A found in food – retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids are commonly found in animal foods and carotenoids in plant foods. Vitamin A can also be made by the body from beta-carotene.
To get the recommended vitamin A intake, incorporate these foods into your diet:
- Fresh-caught fatty fish (such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, and tuna)
- Dark orange vegetables (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash)
- Dark green vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, and kale)
Zinc is vital to keeping our immune system healthy. Zinc also helps create collagen which promotes the natural healing processes in your body. Symptoms of a zinc deficiency may include stretch marks, a dull complexion, white spots on fingernails, dandruff, and blemishes.
Zinc can be naturally found in:
- Brewer's yeast
- Sesame and pumpkin seeds
As you can see, it’s important to eat a healthy diet to maintain radiant, clear skin!