5 foods that keep your skin nourished
Our body is an amazing collection of microscopic parts full of intricate cells, tissues, organs, and sophisticated systems that all work synergistically to enable us to live. How these all function is really influenced by what we eat.
A balanced diet that provides the body with the macronutrients and micronutrients positively influences the skin. It’s so easy to think of skin as being purely cosmetic that we forget what it really is; a collection of cells, tissues, glands and follicles – an organ, and our largest one at that!
A nutritionally adequate diet can provide benefits to the health of our skin, improve the appearance of our skin, delay or minimise the aging process, and reduce the risk of sun damage. Bear with me as my inner dietitian dork pops out for a moment, but it makes me SO excited to know that something I enjoy so much – food – can influence my skin in both an objective and subjective way.
As someone with rather sensitive skin that can be prone to breakouts, I speak from experience when I say that learning to nourish your skin from the inside can be an incredibly empowering thing, and, also importantly, an effective thing.
When we eat, our digestive system breaks that food down into smaller components including macronutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), as well as water.
Each macronutrient and micronutrient perform distinct roles within the body. Certain nutrients particularly affect our skin’s structure and function including vitamins A, C, D and E, the B group vitamins, zinc, selenium, essential fatty acids, flavonoids and protein, and of course, water.
Eating a generally balanced diet will have you well on your way to achieving your best skin, but with our dietitian hats on we wanted to give you a list of 5 specific foods that will give more bang for your skin health buck. Here they are…
Avocado is jam packed with healthy monounsaturated fats that help to nourish the skin and keep it moisturised from the inside. It’s another food source of vitamin E, helping to protect the skin from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress not only contributes to inflammation, which can worsen pre-existing skin conditions, it can also contribute to premature aging by decreasing collagen synthesis. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, folate, potassium and magnesium. The recommended serving size of avocado is one quarter to one third of a medium avocado.
Aim to include oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel in your diet about three times per week. Oily fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that helps to maintain healthy cell structure and reduce inflammation. Oily fish also provides protein needed for creating healthy skin, with a 100g serving of cooked fish providing approximately 20g of protein. In addition, oily fish are a good source of antioxidant vitamin E and zinc, which is great for reducing inflammation and encouraging wound healing, as well as helping to reduce skin redness. If you don’t like seafood, I would suggest speaking with your dietitian about taking a quality fish oil supplement daily.
Simple but super effective, green tea boasts a nutritional profile including flavonoids and catechins, as well as small amounts of some minerals. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, green tea also has antimicrobial properties. These benefits mean green tea may help reduce acne, UV damage and photoaging. Of course, another major positive of drinking green tea is that it helps to boost your water intake, essential for hydrated skin, wrinkle reduction and improved elasticity. Because green tea does contain caffeine, we suggest drinking it between meals and away from food or supplements; caffeine can decrease the absorption of some nutrients. Hey, no one’s perfect.
Nuts in general are a fantastic skin food, but Brazil nuts in particular are an excellent source of selenium, a mineral that has been shown in studies to protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by UV rays, as well as helping people who suffer from psoriasis to decrease symptoms. Selenium is also thought to be beneficial in reducing acne. All you need is one Brazil nut per day to obtain your Recommended Daily Intake of selenium.
This fruit is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. In just one humble kiwi you’ll get approximately 65mg of vitamin C; the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75mg for adult females and 90mg for adult males. You can see why we love kiwis! Vitamin C is required for collagen production and can therefore assist with maintaining youthful plumpness and elasticity in the skin for longer. Vitamin C can also reduce inflammation associated with acne, promotes wound healing, and can decrease UV damage. Kiwi fruit will also provide you with vitamin E and folate.
For more targeted advice and guidance on the latest research regarding specific skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and aging, reach out to the Verde Nutrition Co team for a personalised skin-loving nutrition plan.
If you wanna chat to someone who can guide you, Lauren is your girl.
PS. If you want to learn more about Verde, click here.