Besides buying a cream or lotion to apply before bed, how much thought do you give to your skincare? Considering that it’s your largest organ, your skin needs all the help it can get to stay healthy and looking good. And that help doesn’t just come in a tube; it comes in a grocery bag as well.
Believe it or not, what you eat can affect your skin for the better. A diet featuring four essential foods—walnuts, fish, sweet potatoes, and avocados—can help you keep your skin healthy.
There are many things about walnuts that make them great for healthy skin. They’re packed with omega-6 and in omega-3 fatty acids; while consuming too many omega-6 fats can cause inflammation, omega-3 fats significantly reduce inflammation, including in your skin, so they balance one another. Omega-3 fatty acids are very rare in the Western diet, while omega-6 fatty acids are abundant. In addition, a single ounce of walnuts can contain up to 8 percent of the daily value for zinc, which is important for wound healing and combating inflammation and bacteria. Walnuts also have selenium and vitamin E, which are vital for the skin.
Fish—especially fatty fish like mackerel, herring, and salmon—are great foods for keeping your skin healthy. For one thing, they are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can keep skin supple, thick, moisturized, and less sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Studies show that fish oil supplements containing omega-3 acids may help fight autoimmune conditions affecting your skin as well, like lupus and psoriasis. Fish also contain vitamin E (which is essential for preventing damage from inflammation and free radicals), protein (which is useful for maintaining your skin’s integrity and strength), and zinc.
Eating too many sweet potatoes might turn you orange, but eating just the right amount will give your skin a wonderful boost. Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, an antioxidant your body can convert into vitamin A. They also contain carotenoids, which act as a natural sunblock and can help prevent cell death, wrinkled/dry skin, and sunburn.
Avocados aren’t trendy for no reason. According to one study, a high intake of the healthy fats in avocados was associated with more springy and supple skin. Evidence also showed that avocados help protect your skin from harmful UV damage. They also contain vitamin C, which your body uses to make collagen, the primary protein that helps your skin stay healthy and strong. Vitamin C deficiency is rare, especially in the western diet, but common symptoms can include rough, dry, scaly skin, and bruising. Vitamin C also protects your skin from oxidative damage caused by the environment, which can make your skin look aged.
When it comes to taking care of your skin, don’t just check out the pharmacy and call it a day. You have many dietary options that will help keep your skin not only looking fresh and healthy but staying healthy as well. As you work toward a well-rounded diet, start with walnuts, fish, sweet potatoes, and avocados. Your skin will thank you for years to come.