Good skin is one of those enviable qualities we all desire, but can be tricky achieving. Skin issues can be notoriously difficult to get at the root of and successfully treat. Our bodies are so complex, and often the solution isn’t just a matter of a surface-level fix. Many times, the state of our skin is a reflection of our body’s overall health. Getting that healthy glow on the outside has to start from the inside. One of the best ways we can help our skin is by eating foods that will nourish it. While impacting a wide range of healthy, these eight nutrients will specifically help you have health skin from the inside out.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These superheroes do so much for health, but specifically help skin create a healthy, natural oil barrier1. In doing this, your skin is able to keep toxins out while retaining water and other nutrients2. The result leaves your skin soft and young looking. They also help combat blemishes, and have anti-inflammatory properties, making them important in treating inflammatory skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.
What they help with: Reducing skin blemishes, increasing elasticity, treating skin inflammation.
Where to find them: Fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and rainbow trout are high in Omega-3’s. Grass-fed beef is another good source. You can also get them from walnuts, linseed oil, flaxseed oil, and walnut oil.
If you want smooth, hydrated skin, you’ll want to up your Vitamin C intake! This important vitamin helps your body fight against the free radicals that damage your cells and break down collagen, which causes those fine wrinkles we all want to avoid. Not only that, Vitamin C can actually help undo damage done to your skin’s collagen and elastin1!
Helps with: Wrinkles, moisturizing skin.
Where to get it: Fruits such as strawberries, oranges, blackcurrants, papaya, kiwi, guava, and other tropical fruits are excellent sources. You can also find loads of it in veggies such as kale, broccoli, and avocado.
This powerful vitamin not only keeps your skin supple by helping it retain moisture, but it also helps reduce the appearance of brown spots1, wrinkles, and other skin imperfections.
What it helps with: Diminishing skin imperfections.
Where to get it: Things that are orange tend to have high quantities of Vitamin A. Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and oranges all qualify. Kale and avocado also get an honorable mention.
If you’re looking for a natural way to address sun damage and inflammation in your skin1, Vitamin E is your solution. It does this by primarily protecting the top layers of your skin3. Another reason to make sure you’re getting enough? Vitamin E promotes healthy new skin growth4.
What it helps with: Preventing and recovering from sun damage.
Where to get it: Nuts and seeds are a good source, particularly almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds. Broccoli, avocado, and spinach are two good veggie options to go with.
Without this important vitamin, your skin is more prone to developing dark spots or white spots5. This is likely because of the fact that B12 is integral in regulating cell formation and life span6, meaning your skin’s ability to repair and restore itself7 is directly linked to your levels of B12.
What it helps with: Keeping skin even-toned.
Where to find it: Mackerel has high amounts of this vitamin, as does nutritional yeast.
You may not know what this even is, but selenium plays a big role in protecting your cells from those pesky free radicals. This means selenium is keep your skin from drying out and developing wrinkles. There is also some evidence selenium may even help prevent skin cancer. Working together with vitamins E and C4, selenium’s efforts are magnified.
Helps with: Preventing signs of aging and skin cancer1.
Where to find it: Seafood sources include salmon, shrimp, snapper, and crab. Other proteins containing selenium are eggs and lamb. Vegetarian sources include whole grains, tomatoes, broccoli, Brazil nuts, and button mushrooms.
This important mineral has powerful healing properties, helping your skin repair itself4. One study showed a direct link between low zinc and the amount of blemishes participants3 had. It’s a natural acne-fighting machine!
What it helps with: Keeping blemishes away.
Where to get it: Oysters, salmon, and lean red meat have good quantities of zinc in them. Pumpkin seeds and kidney beans will also help make sure you’re getting enough in your diet.
We couldn’t pick just one! There are many antioxidants that help your skin… Lycopene, lutein, flavenols, to name a few. Ultimately, these mighty antioxidants form part of the army fighting free radicals attacking your cells. The antioxidants in green tea have been found to slow DNA damage, and even work as an internal “sunscreen”1 keeping your skin from getting burnt!
What they help with: Slowing signs of aging and many, many other things.
Where to find them: The darker, more colorful your fruit or veggie, the better chances are that it’ll contain high amounts of antioxidants! Blueberries, kale, pomegranates, yellow peppers, tomatoes, and beets are great sources. Herbs (especially rosemary) are also high in antioxidants8. You might be surprised to learn that dark chocolate, red wine, and green tea are great options, too!
Guaranteed you see the overlap in this list. There are a few food superheroes you can start eating that will really help your skin – not to mention your overall health. Avocado, broccoli, and salmon are mentioned in many of these eight categories. Honorable mentions also go to almonds and kale. If you’re pursuing a healthy diet and lifestyle, it’s likely you’re actually already eating some of these foods on a regular basis. The trick now is identifying the ways you’d like to see your skin improve, and adjusting your diet to make it happen!