As we age, there are many factors that can take a toll on our skin. The normal process of aging is inevitable. Environmental conditions, smoking, lack of sleep, and … poor nutrition all contribute to skin not looking its best. Wrinkles, loss in elasticity, and lackluster looking skin do not mean we lie down and give up. Beautiful skin happens from the inside, not from what we put on our skin. Putting the right nutrients in the body can help keep your skin looking glowing and beautiful.
Water isn’t technically a food, but it is something that needs to be consumed to have great skin. Maybe the most important. The skin contains 30% water. This water is responsible for plumpness, elasticity, and resiliency. Many studies have found that dehydration can decrease the turgor, or elasticity, of the skin. So, if you want your skin to plump, drink water throughout the day and after a long sweaty workout.
Ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun breaks down collagen in your skin, and causes inflammation, wrinkles, and erythema, reddening of the skin from the sun. All of these byproducts of UV exposure can make us look older. Some studies have shown that beta-carotene, a strong dietary carotenoid, may provide some natural defense against the UV damage from the sun. Dietary carotenoids, such as those found in carrots, are not meant to be a substitute for sunscreen, but they may help prevent your skin from damage, improve skin health and appearance and give us all a natural youthful glow.
One ounce of almonds contains 37% of the daily value of vitamin E. Vitamin E, a strong antioxidant, may offer some protection from UV light, helping protect against free radical damage to the skin. That protection is called photoprotection. Vitamin E concentrations in the skin decline with age, so eating almonds, or other foods containing vitamin E, can help. Many studies have found that eating a food with both vitamin E and vitamin C, protect the skin from damage even more.
Oranges, and all citrus fruits, are common sources of vitamin C. There are high levels of vitamin C in the skin. Exposure to cigarette smoke, environmental pollutants, and the UV light from the sun all decrease the amount of vitamin C in the skin. Vitamin C helps with collagen synthesis. Collagen is the structural protein found in skin. In simplest terms, vitamin C helps protect and repair damaged skin. Some studies have actually shown that an increase in vitamin C from foods helps skin appear healthier and there was decreased skin wrinkling.
Dark Chocolate, meaning chocolate with a higher cocoa content with no added dairy, gains a lot of attention for its health benefits. Dark chocolate is rich in substances called flavonoids. Flavonvoids help protect against the damage from UV light on the skin. The darker the chocolate, the better the benefit. Cocoa may improve circulation in the skin and it has been shown to improve overall skin structure, to include wrinkling and roughness.
Obtaining nutrients from foods is the best way to get the vitamins, minerals, and hydration needed to maintain beautiful and healthy skin. So, love your wrinkles (you earned them), and eat good food today!
Water, Hydration, and Health. Nutrition Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/. Accessed April 5, 2018
Diet and Dermatology. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106357/. Accessed March 10. 2018
Vitamin E and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-E. Accessed April 5, 2018
Vitamin C and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C. Accessed April 5, 2018
Flavonoids and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/flavonoids. Accessed April 5, 2018