You likely spend a lot of time (and dough!) choosing products to put on your skin to keep it young and glowing. But if you don’t pay attention to your diet as well, all of that is just money gone with the wind — quite literally.
If you make some small eating changes today, you’ll start seeing results in about six months, says Keri Glassman, R.D., and author of The New You and Improved Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever. Read on for the top foods that are beneficial to our skin as they prevent and treat sunburn, wrinkles and acne.
1. Sunburn Protection
By now, we know how harmful exaggerated sun exposure is to our skin. Scientists at the Department of Nutritional Physiology in Zeist, Netherlands, have shown that Vitamin D, carotenoids and polyunsaturated fatty acids help to protect our skin against the damages that are caused by ultraviolet light. A study by the National Cancer Institute has also shown that diets consisting of foods rich in vitamin D and carotenoids and low in alcohol may be associated with a reduction in risk for melanoma.
You can find Vitamin D in many different sources such as:
- fish oils
Carotenoids on the other hand are found in all orange things like:
- sweet potatoes
- tomato juice
You can increase yourpolyunsaturated fatty acid intake by consuming nuts and seeds like:
- sunflower and sesame seeds
- chia seeds
Fatty acids are also found in:
- olive oil
Remember however that regardless of how much you eat of these foods, you should always wear sunscreen when you are going to be exposed to the sunlight for a extended period of time in order to prevent serious skin problems like skin cancer or sunburns.
2. Wrinkle Protection
Wrinkles are directly associated with our lifestyles, genetics and exposure to sun. However, there are some vital nutrients you can consume to help prevent a decrease in your skin elasticity. Some of these include really natural supplements such as aloe vera gel, collagen, and antioxidants.
Some studies have shown the positive effect of aloe vera intake on wrinkles. In a study with 30 women who consumed aloe vera in gel form via capsule for three months, it was found that there were significant improvements seen in their skin wrinkles. The best form of aloe vera intake is in its capsule form (buy at Amazon.com). As always, before attempting to take any type of supplement, make sure to consult your local physician or your personal doctor. You may have heard of or became familiar with collagen from watching beauty cream commercials. Collagen has an amazing ability to improve skin elasticity.
There are elements that stimulate collagen production which are also found in foods such as:
- soy products
- foods rich in Omega-3
One of the main causes of wrinkles is oxidative damage that is caused by the environment and certain foods. Foods that contain antioxidants can help prevent the formation of wrinkles by ensuring the least amount of free radicals in your body. You can consume antioxidants by eating:
- other berries
There are a lot of data that support the role of good nutrition in the prevention and treatment of acne. For example, researchers at the Department of Medical Sciences at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, have found that zinc and Vitamin A supplement can significantly reduce acne.
Vitamin A is often used in a particular form as a topical treatment for acne (retinol). Because it helps in cell production and strengthens the immune functions, it generally helps fight acne. Great sources of vitamin A are
- cod liver oil
- fish oils
Also a study at the Department of Dermatology in Nantes, France, showed that there are great improvement in the reduction of acne and pimples of young kids and adults by giving them zinc supplements.
Some of the best sources of zinc include:
- seafood (especially oysters)
- pumpkin seeds
Remember that not all problems can be solved solely with your diet. Especially if you are having severe skin issues, you should still see your dermatologist before you attempt to use any medication at home.
However, these healthy foods will help you keep your skin healthy and glowing!