Foods to Help Keep Your Skin Healthy
How what you eat and drink can affect your skin
On a physical level, the best way to slow the appearance of skin aging is to
keep skin well-hydrated with a nice layer of lipid (fat) beneath the skin to
protect the internal moisture. Some experts say you can do this in part by
eating a healthy diet that includes some "smart" fats (omega-3s and
monounsaturated fat), drinking plenty of water, and having a good skin-care
regimen to condition the skin and minimize moisture loss. It's all about
keeping the skin healthy from the inside AND the outside.
"Your skin is a reflection of your underlying health, so good nutrition,
getting enough sleep, reducing stress, staying hydrated, etc., all play a role
in creating better-looking skin," says Rubin.
G.G. Papadeas, DO, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, adds "no
excessive drinking" (of alcohol) to this healthy lifestyle list.
So what foods should you choose to boost your chances of having healthy
skin? Read on for a list of skin-friendly nutrients and the foods that are
richest in them.
Many dermatologists believe that the major antioxidants (vitamin A, C, and
E) can help decrease the risk of sun and other environmental damage by
disarming wrinkle-causing "free radicals" -- unstable molecules that damage
Vitamin A. A recent study of healthy men and women in the Netherlands
found a significant link between the level of vitamin A in the blood and skin
condition. Getting your carotenoids (phytochemicals that your body converts to
vitamin A) from foods is your safest bet, because you're far more likely to get
too much vitamin A from supplements than from foods rich in
Top food sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkin, sweet
potatoes, butternut squash, mangoes, spinach, cantaloupe, greens, kale, Swiss
chard, and tomato-vegetable juice.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent topical (that is, on-the-skin)
antioxidant, but only in its active form -- the same form you get from food. Of
course, including vitamin-C rich fruits and vegetables in your daily diet is a
good thing to be doing for your health, anyway.