A great way to achieve and enjoy beautiful, vibrant skin is to nourish it from the inside out. Changing dietary patterns and incorporating the right foods into meals and snacks can help boost collagen, reduce inflammation, fight acne and even protect the skin from the sun.
Here are a few suggestions for foods that can improve the quality and appearance of the skin.
Foods to Improve Skin Elasticity
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in foods like walnuts and certain types of fish, are great for improving the skin’s firm and elastic quality. Selenium, a mineral found in whole-wheat pasta and bread, is also good for promoting elasticity and skin health, according to nutritionist Joy Bauer.
Foods to Achieve Clear, Blemish-Free Skin
People with acne should eat foods rich in the essential mineral zinc, as studies have shown a correlation between acne sufferers and low levels of zinc. Fitness magazine suggests beans (especially kidney beans) as a great source of zinc. The National Institutes of Health recommends consuming lean meats like poultry, eggs, nuts and fortified breakfast cereals to get more zinc.
In some cases, high stress levels can trigger an acne breakout. Glamour magazine suggests drinking peppermint tea to reduce stress and avoid aggravating acne. The magazine also points out that garlic contains allicin — a chemical good for killing harmful bacteria that can cause acne and other skin infections.
Foods to Reduce Inflammation
There are several foods that experts recommend to reduce skin inflammation and redness. Studies suggest that green tea is good for fighting inflammation, thanks to an antioxidant known as EGCG. Avocadoes contain lots of antioxidants and inflammation-reducing carotenoids, like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Red grapes contain the antioxidant resveratrol, which has anti-inflammatory properties, and may activate the liver enzymes responsible for ridding the body of unwanted chemicals, according to the American Cancer Society.
Foods to Protect Against the Sun
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that carotenoids — found in foods like yellow and orange bell peppers — may have sun protection properties. Also good for protecting the skin against the sun are almonds and broccoli (rich in Vitamin E), and carrots, which contain beta carotene. Note: cooked carrots are better than raw!
Foods to Detoxify
Watercress can help the body flush out harmful toxins, thanks to its antioxidants and minerals (including manganese, carotene and potassium). Peas, beans and legumes are also full of vitamins and minerals that aid in detoxification for more luminous skin.
Foods to Boost Collagen Production
Collagen is vital to fighting signs of aging and maintaining strong, healthy-looking skin. Collagen production naturally slows down with time, and the skin gets thinner and develops wrinkles. Foods rich in Vitamin C — tropical fruits like pineapple, papaya and kiwi — are good for kick-starting the body’s natural collagen production process. Avocado oil may also stimulate the production of collagen for better skin tone and texture.
Water isn’t technically considered a food, but it is great for the skin. It flushes out toxins, and keeps cells plump and full — making the skin look firmer and clearer. In addition to water itself, Joy Bauer points out that veggies and fruits are also great sources of water.
Contact Dr. Dumanian
If the skin on your face and neck looks wrinkled, saggy or otherwise prematurely aged, you may be a good candidate for facelift or necklift. Please contact Chicago plastic surgeon Gregory Dumanian to schedule a consultation to discuss these treatment options. Call our office at 312-695-1999 or send us an email today.