August 20th, 2017
avocado skin health

The 7 Best Foods For Skin Health

Written by our friend Mara Bustos, Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist

A healthy body starts from the inside out, so what we feed our cells will show on our exterior. A nutrition plan that includes foods rich in vitamins and minerals, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates helps multiple metabolic functions and allows our bodies perform optimally.

The skin is the largest organ in our body so you can imagine the impact nutrition will have on it. Here I describe the 7 best foods for skin health. Which of these do you eat regularly?

Related: The 5 Best Foods For Gut Health

The 7 Best Foods For Skin Health

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes skin health
Image: Pond5

Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, which is a natural compound responsible for their vibrant red color. Lycopene offers skin benefits because of its antioxidant properties.

When skin is exposed to sunlight, it causes free radicals to form. Free radicals damage skin cells and cells that produce collagen and elastin. They also activate enzymes that break down collagen. This is one mechanism by which sun exposure causes premature aging and skin cancer.

By acting as an antioxidant and a powerful free radical quencher, Lycopene may reduce this type of damage.

Lycopene also promotes collagen production, a protein that gives skin its support and firmness. Collagen levels decline with age, which is partially responsible for the wrinkling and saggy skin that comes with age. Lycopene may help to replace some of this lost collagen.

2. Dark Chocolate

Low processed cacao has high levels of antioxidants that reflect in better skin tone. The flavonoids in dark chocolate absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, and improve skin’s hydration and complexion.

Note: Choose at least 72% cocoa and limit your consumption to 1 oz. or one serving of the powdered version (great for smoothies or avocado mousse).

3. Avocados

avocado skin health
Image: Pond5

Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats are anti-inflammatory and may help manage certain inflammation of the skin, like acne.

They also contain phytonutrients which have amazing anti-oxidant power.

4. Green Tea

In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2011, people who drank a beverage containing green tea polyphenols daily for 12 weeks had skin that was more elastic and smooth, and had one-quarter less sun damage when exposed to UV light compared to a control group.

The tea’s catechins (antioxidants) boost blood flow and oxygen to the skin, which delivers key nutrients to keep your complexion healthy.

Related: Green Tea Extract: The Natural Fat Burner

5. Dark Leafy Greens

Kale and spinach neutralize the free radicals created by UV light—including the wavelengths that actually get through sunscreen and reach your skin. They are also rich in skin-firming vitamin C and A which are powerful anti-oxidants.

6. Pumpkin

Perfect this time of the year, pumpkins are a great source of beta carotene which the body converts into vitamin A. This powerful vitamin is essential for the growth of skin cells, which will translate in improved skin radiance.

7. Bell Peppers

bell peppers skin health
Image: Pond5

Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C which stimulates collagen synthesis, which keeps skin tight and smoothens fine lines. Its powerful antioxidant properties limit the damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure caused by free radicals.

Conclusion

Naturally beautiful skin often starts with your diet. Choose wholesome, low processed foods full of nutritious compounds that will help your skin glow and look younger.

Related: The 5 Best Foods For Gut Health

Mara Bustos

Mara Bustos is a Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist accredited by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Mara supports sustainable, plant based foods and bio-compounds that have been scientifically proven to enhance people's lives and believes that prevention is the key to living a fulfilled and healthy life. She provides online one-on-one and group nutrition counseling and personalized weight loss and wellness packages for women that the client can access from the comfort of their homes, while giving in-real-time support via phone, Facetime, WhatsApp, Skype, and more. Mara habla español y presta todos sus servicios en este idioma.

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