Are you suffering from chronic skin issues?
Or maybe you’re just tired of dealing with a dull and lackluster complexion.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that the crow-feet and wrinkles are becoming more pronounced?
Sure, you can run to the cosmetics shop to spend a hefty portion of your monthly income. But wouldn’t it be more sensible to review your diet first?
The simple answer to your skin dilemma may be in your plate. [SO cliché, I know.]
Backed by scientific research, this article lists various foods for healthy skin that will nourish your skin cells from within.
Shocked that the liver is number one on the list of healthy foods for the skin?
I hear you! After all, people generally believe that the liver is where the body stores toxins. But the truth is that the liver neutralizes toxins. It does not store those toxins.
So why should you eat liver if you want a healthy skin?
Simple: it is packed with vitamin A and various B-complex vitamins (such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, and pantothenic acid). The liver is also a good source of the mineral zinc.
I’ll cover the role of these nutrients later in this article. But for now, let’s have a look at the function of vitamin B6 in skin health.
Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 is involved in:
• Cell replication. Hence, an adequate supply of vitamin B6 will ensure that your body can replace damaged skin cells.
• The production of hemoglobin, the protein that allows red blood cells to transport oxygen. Therefore, getting enough dietary vitamin B6 is necessary for your skin cells to get enough oxygen.
2. Wild fish
Why ‘wild’ fish? Well, because their farmed ‘cousins’ are often fed lots of chemicals that can damage your skin.
Since wild fish live in their natural habitat, they are higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Especially wild cold-water fish such as salmon, Atlantic mackerel, sardines, and rainbow trout.
Why are wild fish considered as healthy foods for the skin?
For your skin to look young and remain healthy, it needs a strong protective barrier. This barrier will help shield your skin against excessive moisture loss. It will also ‘deny’ entry to harmful toxins and pathogens. This is what we call ‘selective permeability.’
That’s where omega-3 fatty acids come in: they keep the skin’s barrier healthy and selectively permeable.
Moreover, studies suggest that omega-3s can protect your skin from the sun’s radiation. This helps prevent premature skin ageing.
Omega-3s also maintain the skin’s elasticity by protecting collagen from wear-and-tear. Collagen is the protein that gives the skin its structure. It is the skin’s scaffolding and, if the collagen is healthy, your skin will remain firm and wrinkles and fine lines will be less visible.
Besides omega-3, fish are terrific sources of niacin, zinc and selenium.
Besides being rich in omega-3s, salmon is also a great source of astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that has a reddish-orange pigment. It is produced by certain species of marine algae consumed by shrimps and krill. This skin-friendly pigment is passed on to salmon when they eat these crustaceans.
One extra reason to add salmon to your grocery list
Did you know that astaxanthin is nicknamed the ‘beauty from within’ antioxidant?
That’s because research indicates that astaxanthin can:
• Reduce the skin’s vulnerability to damage caused by UV light.
• Decrease the production of skin enzymes that induce sagging and wrinkling.
Important note: Select wild salmon if possible since their farmed cousins are often fed colored pellets to change their color from dull grey to orange-red.
Do you think salmon is boring? Get out of your rut with this list of 31 outrageously yummy salmon recipes!
4. Atlantic mackerel
I promise: this is the last fish on this list of healthy foods for the skin.
But why does the Atlantic mackerel deserve a special place in this article? Well, a 3-oz (86g) serving of Atlantic mackerel provides 7.40µg of vitamin B12.
And most of us don’t get enough of this vitamin which plays an active role in:
• Cell reproduction. If your skin cells can’t replicate properly, your skin cells will age faster.
• Reducing skin inflammation and blemishes.
Not a fan of this fish? Get all the vitamin B12 you need from meat, fish, poultry, and eggs.
5. Grass-fed beef
As mentioned earlier, there’s a fatty barrier that protects our skin against water losses and inflammation.
Hence, to maintain this barrier, it is crucial for our body to be able to utilize fats effectively. And to do so it needs niacin, a B-complex vitamin.
Niacin also ‘allows’ about 200 enzymes function normally. These enzymes enable the body to use other vitamins that are essential for healthy skin.
Bonus: Grass-fed beef is also a great source of selenium, zinc, omega-3, and vitamin K2.
6. Free-range chicken
Like all animal products, chicken is an impressive source of the mineral zinc.
Fun fact: Did you know that your skin alone contains 6% of all the zinc in your body?
And here’s why:
• Our body needs zinc to create new, healthy skin cells and get rid of damaged ones. Therefore, zinc deficiency can lead to clogged pores (since the dead skin cells cannot slough off) and acne.
• Zinc keeps collagen strong and supple, thus helping to delay the appearance of wrinkles.
• Zinc optimizes the walls of our cells. In doing so, it helps keep toxins and harmful microbes at bay.
• Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, zinc can protect skin cells against UV radiation.
• Zinc is also involved in hormonal balance which, in turn, impacts our skin’s health.
7. Pastured eggs
Unjustly demonized for their cholesterol content, eggs are, in fact, one of the best foods for healthy skin.
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