6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Keep Your Skin Healthy
Use sunblock, drink plenty of water, avoid the rays of the sun around noon, use eye cream, don’t smoke… There are hundreds of lifestyle tips about keeping your skin healthy. One way to have the perfect complexion that people tend to forget is through your diet.
What you eat also has an enormous effect on your well-being, and that includes the health of your skin.
Certain foods provide nutrients with protective properties. They help prevent sun damage, hyperpigmentation, acne, wrinkling, signs of aging, and more. The benefits are endless!
Check out this list of 6 foods that can help keep your skin healthy, glowing, and blemish-free.
Doesn’t chocolate cause breakouts? Yes, an excess of any food with too much sugar will produce a blemish or two, but dark chocolate actually improves your complexion!
One study showed that after adding dark chocolate to their diet for 3 months, women saw an improvement in skin thickness and hydration (1).
Another study proved that dark chocolate not only improves hydration but also has positive effects on wrinkles and skin elasticity (2).
This is due to the fact that dark chocolate has high levels of a powerful antioxidant called flavanol. This antioxidant has many healing properties such as inhibiting free radicals, improving cardiovascular health, and preventing sun damage (3).
The most common complexion issue is acne, and one of the best natural protectors against acne is zinc. Legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas have very high levels of zinc content (4).
One study suggests that zinc has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and that it may decrease sebum production (7). Sebum is the type of oil produced by sebaceous glands in the skin. The buildup of this oil is what leads to breakouts.
That is to say, less sebum equals less acne, and more zinc equals clear skin!
Another type of “green” that is good for the skin is green tea. This drink has been praised for centuries for its anticarcinogenic and antiinflammatory effects. Most of its beneficial properties have been traced back to its main component, epigallocatechin‐3‐gallate (8).
Epigallocatechin‐3‐gallate is a type of polyphenol flavonoid called catechin. It is beneficial in countless ways including lowering cholesterol, boosting cardiovascular health, as an antioxidant, among others.
When it comes to the skin, catechins have a moisturizing effect and are known to boost cell renewal (9). They are also known to improve the appearance of certain conditions like atopic dermatitis, acne vulgaris, rosacea, and even protects against skin cancer (10, 11)!
Aside from being a healthy substitute for sugary snacks, sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and polyunsaturated fatty acids known as linoleic acid.
Vitamin E is a very important antioxidant which improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin firmness, skin elasticity, hyperpigmentation, and radiance (12).
The selenium found in sunflower seeds also protects the skin against photoageing (13). The same goes for linoleic acid, which has been shown to improve the appearance of skin-aging when consumed in combination with vitamin C (14). One study even showed that linoleic acid can be used to treat and prevent psoriasis (15).
This member of the cabbage family was recently linked to the protection of skin against the effects of UV radiation (16). It has also been shown that broccoli can inhibit the development and growth of skin tumors (17).
These unbelievable qualities can be attributed to sulforaphane, the protective chemical in broccoli extracts which boosts the production of protective enzymes that defend against UV damage (16).
Also, broccoli has been shown to improve and accelerate the wound healing process by elevating the amount of collagen found in the skin (18).
Sweet potatoes are scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas, and they do wonders for the skin. They are a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium.
Beta-carotene is transformed into vitamin A within the body. Together, vitamins A, C, and E are powerful antioxidants which protect the skin against oxidative stress usually caused by UV radiation (19, 20, 21).
Vitamin A is actually used to treat acne vulgaris, psoriasis, and other skin conditions (21).
One study proved the antioxidative effects of sweet potatoes in an in vivo trial involving rats (22).
As you can see, buying a good cleanser and drinking lots of water are not the only things you can do to improve the appearance of your skin. From diminishing wrinkles to treating specific conditions like psoriasis, these foods will help you glow from within!