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Naturally, healthy skin starts from within. This goes hand in hand with a balanced diet, that includes plant-based foods and supplements. This is how you can make your skin shine every season of the year!
If you’re longing for healthy glowing skin, your first step should be to start from the inside. This means rethinking your diet and incorporating the right foods that boost and revitalize your skin. After all, your skin is dependent on the supply of a range of nutrients that cannot effectively be delivered with topical skincare products. Rather, a balanced diet is a cornerstone that your skin needs to stay healthy and radiant.
Here, we’ll break down the key components that you should incorporate into your diet to ensure that you’re eating well enough to nourish your skin and achieve a natural radiance.
1. Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods, also known as unprocessed foods, should form the vast majority of your diet. These foods are bought in their natural state. Therefore, they have not been processed and do not contain any added ingredients. Some examples of whole foods include fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, and fish.
Whereas processed foods often contain higher levels of unhealthy ingredients such as salt, sugar, and other additives, unprocessed foods are free of any harmful ingredients and are instead packed with nutrients.
Eating a diet primarily formed of whole foods helps all organs of the body function better, and therefore results in healthier skin. The nutrient density of whole foods makes it an essential food type for those who are ill or recovering from medical or cosmetic treatments.
2. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is vital for the optimal functioning of all organs of the body, including the skin. Adults are recommended to drink between 5 and 8 glasses of water a day in order to stay hydrated and healthy.
Drinking water has been shown to tighten saggy skin, flush out harmful toxins from the body, and maintain the skin’s elasticity. This is an especially important step for those who suffer from acne or are prone to breakouts since hydrated skin is less likely to result in clogged pores.
3. Include healthy fats in your diet
A balanced diet contains around 20-30% of fat. However, it’s important to distinguish between good and bad fats. Bad fats are often found in processed foods and should be avoided as much as possible. On the other hand, good fats or unsaturated fats can do wonders for your skin. They contain what are known as essential fatty acids, of which there are two types:
The first is Omega-6, which hydrates the skin, thus helping prevent dry skin. This type of fat can be found in nuts, avocados, grains, and vegetable oils such as olive and sunflower oil. You can incorporate omega-6 into your diet by including nuts in your breakfast cereal and using vegetable oils rather than butter when cooking.
The second type of fatty acid is Omega 3, which helps regulate the production of oil in the skin to help prevent breakouts and keep the skin looking young while also protecting it from sun damage. The main dietary source of omega 3 is oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, although there are plenty of vegetarian alternatives such as walnuts and soybeans.
4. Include protein in your diet
Ideally, proteins should form between 10% to 35% of the total calories consumed per day. Protein is an essential dietary component that is vital for the skin’s health since it helps build and repair skin tissue while also transporting oxygen and nutrients to the body. The amino acids found in protein also help the body produce collagen, which keeps the skin tight and prevents it from sagging.
In fact, a lack of protein is often identified as a root cause of chronic skin conditions such as eczema. This essential food group can be incorporated into your diet through plant-based ingredients such as nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast, lentils, chickpeas, beans or soy products such as tofu, and more.
5. Eat foods rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that help the body fight what are known as free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage the body’s cells, causing a host of health complications, including an acceleration of the ageing process. Antioxidants can provide multiple benefits for the skin by preventing any damage caused by free radicals to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. Furthermore, antioxidants contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help protect the skin against sun damage, prevent skin discolouration, and soothes damaged skin heal and repair.
Vitamins are a rich source of antioxidants that can be found in a wide range of foods. In particular, vitamins A, C, and E are the major sources of antioxidants that you should include in your diet. These three vitamins are often found in skincare products because of their potent effects: vitamin A has anti-ageing properties; vitamin C can brighten the skin; vitamin E helps heal the skin and protect it against sun damage. You’ll find these nutrients in leafy green vegetables and other colorful fruits and vegetables that are red, orange, purple, blue, and yellow.
6. Eat foods rich in Selenium
Selenium is a mineral that enriches the skin in many ways while also being high in antioxidants. The mineral works together with vitamin E to protect skin cells and has even been linked to reducing the risk of skin cancer. In addition, it can avert skin inflammation and help the skin fight off infection. Brazil nuts are a highly rich source of selenium, as just one nut can deliver more than the recommended amount of 55 mcg. However, other foods that are rich in selenium and should be incorporated into your diet include seafood, poultry, brown rice, and lentils.
7. Eat foods rich in Zinc
Zinc is a ‘trace mineral’ since you only need a small amount of it in your system. The recommended daily amount is 8 mg for women and 11mg for men. Nevertheless, it is a highly potent component that is vital to the health of the skin, especially its surface layer, which has a high concentration of the mineral. Similar to antioxidants, zinc fights off free radicals and protects the skin cells, which produce collagen.
In addition, zinc has healing properties that protect the skin against infection and inflammation when any damage or injury occurs. Plant-based foods that should be incorporated into your diet to deliver a healthy amount of zinc into your system include tofu, lentils, chickpeas, oatmeals, hemp and pumpkin seeds and cashews.
A healthy balanced diet will nourish the skin from the inside out and restore it with a healthy glow. There are many nutrients that the skin needs to function, all of which can be delivered into your body with the right foods. However, if you wish to enhance your skin and reverse the ageing process, cosmetic treatment such as lip lift surgery is a good option that can help you achieve a youthful look in a subtle way.