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Best Foods for Healthy, Young & Beautiful Skin

Water

The body of an average adult consists of 65% water and it is recommended that adults consume approximately eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day or 2 liters to stay properly hydrated. Since the human body contains so much water it makes sense that if you do not drink enough water you will have adverse effects including those that affect the skin. Cells in the human body need water to function properly and human skin is made up of cells, so without enough water skin will begin to dry and become tight and will flake (The Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Skin). Dry skin is also more susceptible to wrinkles so it is vital to skin health that individuals consume the proper amount of water each day.


Fish

Consuming fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids like herring, mackerel, and salmon can help keep skin healthy and looking good. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation which often appears on the skin as redness or acne, they help fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions that affect the skin like lupus and psoriasis, and they help to keep skin moisturized and prevent drying and cracking (Taylor Jones, 2016). In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, these fish also contain Vitamin E which can help to protect against skin damage due to inflammation and free-radicals, they contain zinc which is essential to regulating inflammation and zinc deficiencies can cause skin lesions and prolong the healing of wounds, as well as being an excellent source of protein which helps to maintain the integrity and strength of the skin (Taylor Jones, 2016). In order to receive the most health benefits, individuals should consume at least 2 servings of 3.5 ounces portions per week.

salmon-fish-best-food-for-skin

Avocados

Avocados not only taste great, but they have several properties that help skin look its best. Avocados contain healthy fats the help the skin stay moisturized and flexible and compounds in avocados also help protect skin from sun and UV damage that can lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging (Taylor Jones, 2016). Avocados also contain vitamin C which she skin requires to make the protein collagen with helps skin stay healthy, vitamin E which is an antioxidant that is essential to protecting skin from oxidative damage, and since vitamin E is more effective when it is combined with vitamin C avocados are an excellent way to get the natural healthy properties from both vitamins (Taylor Jones, 2016). Avocados can be consumed many ways so if you do not want to eat them by themselves you can consume them in guacamole, spread on toast, add them to soups and salads, add them to sushi rolls, or add them to smoothies (Arlene Semeco, 2016).

avocado-best-super-foods-for-skin-health

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflowers are not only beautiful looking plants that make any landscape beautiful, the seeds they produce have many important health benefits including helping with healthy looking skin. Sunflower seeds are packed with important vitamins and minerals:

Nutrition Info (Per 100g)
Calories -584
Total Carbohydrate -20g 7% RDI
Dietary Fiber -8.6g 34% RDI
Sugars -2.6g
Total Fat -51.5g 79% RDI
Omega-3 fatty acids -74mg
Protein -21g 42% RDI
Vitamin E -33mg 166% RDI
Thiamin – 1.5mg 99% RDI
Riboflavin – 0.4mg 21% RDI
Niacin – 8.3mg 42% RDI
Vitamin B6 – 1.3mg 67% RDI
Folate – 227mcg 57% RDI
Pantothenic Acid -1.1mg 11% RDI
Calcium – 78mg 8% RDI
Iron – 5.2mg 29% RDI
Magnesium – 325mg 81% RDI
Phosphorus – 660mg 66% RDI
Potassium – 645mg 18% RDI
Zinc – 5mg 33% RDI
Copper – 1.8mg 90% RDI
Manganese – 1.9mg 97% RDI
Selenium – 53mcg 76% RDI (ADAMS, 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds, 2018)

sunflower-seeds-best-foods-for-skin-health

Sunflower seeds contain 166% of the recommended dietary intake of Vitamin E which is essential to maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin E reduces the harmful effects of UV damage by helping to reduce the oxidative damage done to the skin cells and while Vitamin E is in ingredient in many cosmetic products, consuming it through food provides the most beneficial properties and the best way to help keep skin looking its healthiest (ADAMS, 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds, 2018).

Walnuts

Walnuts not only taste great and can easily be added to foods to add a crunchy texture; they also contain properties that can help skin to look its best. Walnuts contain Omega-3 fats which have the ability to help strengthen skin cell membranes giving skin cells the ability to lock in nutrients and moisture while also keeping out harmful toxins that can damage skin cells (News, 2011). The Omega-3 fats that walnuts contain have the ability to sooth dry skin and reduce inflammation by trapping moisture from the air while also protecting skin from the harmful effects of UV rays (News, 2011). Walnuts are very versatile and can be easily added to a healthy diet by simply adding them to cereals or salads and can be stored in the freezer for longer lasting freshness, and if you want to add them to baked recipes there is no need to worry about heat changing their nutritional value (News, 2011).

walnuts-healthy-food-for-skin

Broccoli

Broccoli is an excellent source of carotenoids, minerals, and vitamins that are essential to keeping skin looking healthy (Taylor Jones, 2016). Broccoli contains a carotenoid called lutein that helps protect skin from oxidative damage which causes skin to wrinkle and become dry (Taylor Jones, 2016). Broccoli also contains sulforaphane which is a compound that has anti-cancer effects and this includes various types of skin cancer as well as having the ability to protect skin from sun damage by neutralizing free radicals (Taylor Jones, 2016). While conducting lab tests it was found that sulforaphane can reduce the number of skin cells that are damaged and destroyed by UV light by 29% for up to 48 hours and that it also can help maintain collagen levels in the skin helping to keep skin looking healthy and damage free (Taylor Jones, 2016).

broccoli-best-food-for-skin-health

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene which is a nutrient that the body can convert into vitamin A, and consuming just ½ cup of baked sweet potato contains 4 times more than the recommended dietary intake of vitamin A (Taylor Jones, 2016). Beta-carotene itself acts as a natural sunblock and helps to keep skin looking healthy by protecting skin cells when they are exposed to the sun which in turn will help to reduce the chances of skin becoming sunburned resulting in skin cell death and dry wrinkled skin (Taylor Jones, 2016).

sweet-potatoes-best-food-for-skin-health

Green Tea

Green Tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush and both India and China have consumed green tea for centuries because of it health benefits (LD, 2017). Green tea is considered one of the healthiest drinks and contains no calories and has the highest number of antioxidants of any type of tea and it contains natural properties that have anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties (LD, 2017). Green tea is also an excellent way to help maintain healthy skin. Because it contains antioxidants, green tea has the ability to protect skin from the damage of free radicals (unstable atoms that damage cells and cause illness and aging) (ADAMS, 2018). Antioxidants also inhibit the desecration of skin cells and promote elasticity while other natural properties in the tea enable the body to produce collagen which prevents wrinkles (ADAMS, 2018). Not only can green tea be consumed, but it is also an ingredient in cosmetic products so it can be applied directly to the skin so individuals can help their skin both inside and out.

green-tea-skin-health-food

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate lovers rejoice, here is another reason to indulge in that tasty treat. Many studies have shown that cocoa powder and dark chocolate are high in antioxidants which can help to keep skin looking healthier and younger. The antioxidants in cocoa powder and dark chocolate can help to keep skin thicker and more hydrated, receive better blood flow, as well as being softer and less flaky (Taylor Jones, 2016). These antioxidants can also protect skin from harmful UV rays and sunburn by consuming as little as 20 grams of dark chocolate per day can help protect skin and allow it to withstand twice the UV rays before causing the skin to burn (Taylor Jones, 2016). In order to receive the maximum amount of antioxidants and receive the most benefit it is recommended to consume dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa (Taylor Jones, 2016).

dark-chocolate-super-food-for-skin-health

Red Wine

Red wine contains resveratrol which has been credited with many health benefits including reducing signs of skin aging (Taylor Jones, 2016). Consuming red wine can and the resveratrol it contains can help the body reduce the amount of damage done to skin cells by free radicals and help to keep skin looking younger, it is important to understand that while red wine has properties that can help with skin health it also contains alcohol so it should be consumed in moderation (Taylor Jones, 2016). If you do not want to consume red wine you can receive the beneficial resveratrol properties in cosmetic products that contain red wine.

red-wine-skin-health

Blueberries

Although blueberries may be small in size they are abundant with nutritional value and properties that have many great health benefits. Blueberries are packed with nutrition and contain:
One cup of raw blueberries contains approximately: (19)
84 calories
21.4 grams carbohydrates
1.1 grams protein
0.5 gram fat
3.6 grams dietary fiber
28.6 micrograms vitamin K (36 percent DV)
0.5 milligram manganese (25 percent DV)
14.4 milligrams vitamin C (24 percent DV)
0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)
0.1 milligram thiamine (4 percent DV)
0.1 milligram riboflavin (4 percent DV)
0.8 milligram vitamin E (4 percent DV)
0.1 milligram copper (4 percent DV) (Rachael Link)

Blueberries are high in antioxidants which combat free radicals and help prevent cell damage, in fact blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants and wild blueberries contain the highest amounts of antioxidants (Rachael Link). Blueberries also have properties that can reduce inflammation that is often associated with autoimmune disorders that affect the skin like psoriasis. Blueberries are a low calorie, sweet, and delicious fruit that can be added to a healthy diet by easily adding fresh blueberries to yogurt, cereal, salads, smoothies, or just eating them as a simple and easy snack, however you choose to introduce them to your diet they will provide many health benefits one of them being healthier skin.

blueberries-super-food-for-skin-health

Navy Beans

Navy beans are a type of kidney bean that is rich in nutrients and contain properties that can help keep hair and skin looking young and healthy (Anamika, 2017). Navy beans contain potassium and iron which promote hair growth as well as keeping hair looking healthy, navy beans also contain copper which is an anti-oxidant and is important for keeping skin healthy (Anamika, 2017).

navy-beans-health-food-for-skin

Conclusion

In order to keep your skin looking healthy it is just as important to eat the right foods as it is to use the right skin care products and protect your skin from harmful UV rays and sun damage. Eating the right foods can help and protect your skin by providing specific nutrients that help provide skin cells what they need to keep hydrated and free from damage. Most of the foods listed above are part of a healthy diet and are easy to incorporate into foods you may eat everyday anyway. By simply adding nuts or berries to your morning cereal or oatmeal or to your salad at lunch you can help protect your skin and keep it looking its best while still enjoying great tasting foods. You can even enjoy an indulgence in your favorite dark chocolate or glass of red wine which also contain properties that can help skin look its healthiest. If you want to help your skin look its best simply incorporate the foods listed above into your diet and you should be able to keep your skin looking young and healthy.

Works Cited

ADAMS, J. (2018, July 16). 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds. Retrieved from Natural Food Series: https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-benefits-sunflower-seeds/
ADAMS, J. (2018, February 18). 11 Proven Health Benefits of Green Tea. Retrieved from Natural Food Series: https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-benefits-green-tea/
Anamika. (2017, October 27). 7 Amazing Benefits Of Navy Beans For Skin Hair And Health. Retrieved from StyleCraze: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-navy-beans-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref
Arlene Semeco, M. R. (2016, December 11). 23 Delicious Ways to Eat an Avocado. Retrieved from healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/23-ways-to-eat-avocados
Girdwain, J. (2017, October 16). 25 Best Foods For Your Skin. Retrieved from Prevention: https://www.prevention.com/beauty/a20463213/25-best-foods-for-your-skin/
LD, M. W. (2017, March 28). Green tea: Health benefits, side effects, and research. Retrieved from Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538.php
News, B. (2011, March 3). Beautiful Skin Superfood: Walnuts. Retrieved from Self: https://www.self.com/story/beautiful-skin-superfood-walnu
Rachael Link, M. R. (n.d.). Top 7 Health Benefits of Blueberries. Retrieved from Dr. Axe Food is Medicine: https://draxe.com/health-benefits-blueberries/
Taylor Jones, R. (2016, December 13). The 12 Best Foods for Healthy Skin. Retrieved from healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-foods-for-healthy-skin
The Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Skin. (n.d.). Retrieved from UW Health: https://www.uwhealth.org/madison-plastic-surgery/the-benefits-of-drinking-water-for-your-skin/26334


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