Today, we’re diving into yet another article on glowing skin. We’re in the thick of summer, and for most, that coincides with sunburns, dry skin, and acne. There’s no better time to focus on what you’re putting in your body. After all, diet plays a major role in skin health. Research shows that inflammatory foods are correlated to skin woes. Luckily, there are plenty of nourishing, delicious ingredients that improve skin health. Along with foods rich in vitamin C, collagen, and antioxidants, satiating fats are key. Not only are fats important for hormone health and blood sugar regulation, but you’ll want to prioritize healthy fats for clear skin, too.
CAN WHAT YOU EAT IMPACT YOUR SKIN?
Yes. However, we are all bio-individuals—your wrinkles, decrease in elasticity, dryness, and breakout triggers might be very different from your coworker, best friend, or sibling. Simply observing how your skin reacts is key. Generally speaking, foods with a higher sugar content can cause a rise in insulin levels. When insulin is high, it alters other hormones that can affect the skin.
How diet impacts your skin
Certain foods can promote inflammation throughout the body, thus triggering acne outbreaks. While the current research only detects an association between diet and acne—and not a causation—there’s still plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest the correlation between food and breakouts. Interestingly, a relatively new study found a correlation between the chances of having acne and the consumption of the following: high-fat foods (including conventional milk and meat), processed sugar, and sugary beverages.
Drinking filtered water is one of the healthiest habits you can establish for your skin (and your entire body). When you drink water throughout the day, you are providing your inner organs and your skin with moisture that has been lost through sweat and other natural processes.
When you eat healthy fats for clear skin, you can also reduce the premature skins of wrinkles. Healthy fats are critical for keeping skin hydrated and plump. These oils and fats can be found in fish, nuts, olive oil, seeds, and more. By consuming these oily foods on a regular basis, along with high-quality proteins, you can help your skin’s collagen production. And by increasing your skin’s collagen production, your skin will be smoother and suppler. In turn, helping prevent premature wrinkles and skin sagging.
A diet rich in healthy fats can help prevent contracting melanoma. Heart-healthy diets, complete with fatty fish, citrus, antioxidant-rich berries, leafy greens, and healthy fats have been found to protect your skin from melanoma.
Omega-3 Fatty acids for healthy skin
When it comes to healthy fats for clear skin, look no further than omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll find them in certain foods, as well as in dietary supplements—like fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fats. They’re associated with several health benefits, like reduced risk of inflammatory diseases and depression. These fats are also essential for skin health. Natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil, fatty fish, flaxseed oil, and walnuts.
7 healthy fats for clear skin
Clear, smooth, glowing skin. Who doesn’t want it? Prioritize these 7 healthy fats—along with plenty of hydration and a strategic skincare routine—for beautiful skin. Along with this list, here are a few healthy skin cookbooks to get you started.
Many nuts, especially almonds, are a great source of vitamin E. Vitamin E can help repair skin tissue, retain skin moisture, and protect skin from damaging UV rays. Walnuts, too, can help strengthen skin cell membranes, protect against sun damage, and give skin a beautiful glow by preserving its natural oil barrier.
As mentioned, omega-3 fatty acids are key. They fight inflammation. Aim for a varied diet of wild-caught salmon, walnuts, hemp hearts, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, and avocados. The high content of vitamin A in avocados can help shed dead skin cells, encouraging glowing skin. Their carotenoid content may also assist in blocking toxins and damage from the sun’s rays and also help to protect against skin cancers.
Two Brazil nuts (per day) contain your daily dose of selenium! Selenium aids in the production of glutathione, which repairs cell damage. It also slows down the skin’s aging process. Selenium also supports the elasticity of our tissues, protects against sunburn, and fights blemishes.
Coconut oil is a great way to get those beauty-boosting essential fats. Coconut oil is also easily absorbable, making it a great source of quick energy. Last but not least, coconut oil is anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal. Coconut oil can help kill the bacteria that cause acne. That said, chat with your dermatologist or esthetician before adding coconut oil to your skincare routine.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Olives—and extra-virgin olive oil, in particular—are practically a superfood. They’re also one of the best-kept beauty secrets! Olives are a rich source of vitamins A and E, both of which protect the oils on the surface of your skin from damage. Olives also help strengthen connective tissues, improving skin tone and protecting against UV radiation. In addition, when used topically, olive oil’s antibacterial and anti-fungal properties can treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Lastly, extra-virgin olive oil is naturally rich in squalane—this is a key ingredient in many store-bought skincare products.
Walnuts’ rich stores of omega-3 fatty acids not only keep your skin healthy and glowing, but also reduce inflammation. And, since inflammation leads to breakouts, walnuts make a nutty, tasty anti-acne treatment. Walnuts are also rich in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, reducing inflammation and the incidence of breakouts. Plus they provide moisture to the skin and prevent sun damage.
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, which keeps moisture in the skin. It also protects the oils in the skin’s moisture barrier. These seeds soothe dry skin and can minimize the appearance of wrinkles (when applied topically). Vitamin E also reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin. That said, seeds, in general, are wonderful for skin health. More on how diet affects your skin, here.
Images courtesy of Unsplash. This article contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Wellness with Edie. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.
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