The effect of nutrition on skin health has always been an interesting topic. Changes in our skin health, such as ageing, is an inevitable part of the natural human process, however, there are ways we can do it gracefully by taking care of our health and incorporating healthy preventative practices into our lives— like eating nutritious foods that help nourish our skin!
The largest detoxification organ in our body is the skin. In one way or another, things like intolerance’s, stress, inflammation, digestive upsets, dehydration, hormonal imbalances, lack of sleep, and malnutrition show up through our skin. Some forms it can show up in might look like eczema, acne, rosacea, dryness, broken capillaries, and hyper-pigmentation.
Both nutrition and lifestyle play major roles when it comes to healthy looking skin. Nourishing yourself with key nutrients plays one part in radiant, glowing, clear skin, while lifestyle habits like getting enough sleep, managing stress, exercising, and staying hydrated plays another role.
Like every other organ in our body, our skin requires healthy nutrition, calories, and energy to feel radiant. I think we can all agree that when we eat well we look and feel so much better than when you don’t. Some key nutrients that can support skin health include omega-3 fatty acids, minerals like zinc and selenium, antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E and astaxanthin, vitamin D, and protein.
The way we nourish the inside of our bodies on a cellular level is what matters most when it comes to feeling optimal and looking vibrant. Some people like to turn to different skin care treatments at their favourite skin clinic, which also plays a role in promoting healthy skin. That said, if you don’t address what is going on inside your body on a cellular level, you may be wasting your money on treatments. You can look at it this way, if you’re trying to fight inflammation by incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet at one meal, then eating highly processed inflammatory foods at another meal, you are not actually fighting inflammation because your body is not able to keep up with that dramatic inconsistency. It’s similar with skin, if you are treating the outside with care by using amazing products and getting treatments done, but you’re not eating well or drinking adequate amounts of water to support your skin health, your skin will become compromised and not look or feel as great as it could. The more you treat your body with good care and nutrition, the more optimal your body will feel, and in turn, the more your body has the ability to utilize the nutrients in food that will help you feel and look healthy.
While eating a well rounded diet full of nutritious whole foods that contain key skin loving nutrients is important, you might need a little boost from time to time with supplements when you aren’t eating a good enough variety of whole foods or if you struggle with nutrient deficiencies— whether it be stress, lack of sleep, compromised immunity, genetics, etc. Some key supplements that can help support skin health include vitamins A, C, D and E, astaxanthin, magnesium, zinc, selenium, omega-3’s, probiotics, protein, and collagen.
Let’s get to my top 4 favourite whole foods for supporting healthy skin!
1. BLUEBERRIES: Berries contain a range of chemical compounds with antioxidant properties, such as phenolic compounds. Studies have demonstrated that phenolic compounds possess antioxidant properties [source]. Blueberries are antioxidant-rich and help fight off free radicals from sun exposure that causes skin damage and early signs of aging. In my opinion, blueberries are the ultimate beauty berry! Blueberries also contain nutrients like beta-carotene [converted to vitamin A in the body], vitamin E, and zinc, which all fall under the category of key nutrients for healthy skin.
2. TURMERIC: This ancient spice contains very powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help fight off inflammation in the body. Inflammation affects our skin health negatively, therefore, reducing inflammation in the body by incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can help benefit skin health. Most of the benefits of turmeric point to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and growing evidence shows that the active component of turmeric [curcumin] may be used to treat a variety of skin diseases. I like adding turmeric into my diet by blending it into smoothies or sipping it as a delicious and comforting tea or golden mylk. It’s important to add a pinch of black pepper when consuming turmeric so your body can fully absorb it’s active components.
3. SPIRULINA: This blue-green algae plant contains a rich source of nutrients that support radiant, glowing skin. Aside from the high [up to 70%] protein content, spirulina also contains a rich source of vitamins and fatty acids. It can help decrease inflammation in the body and encourage cell turnover which helps promote youthful, glowy skin. I like to add spirulina into smoothies with a splash of citrus to tone down it’s potent flavour. Blending it into a smoothie with ingredients like pineapple or orange helps mask its unique smell and flavour.
4. WILD CAUGHT SALMON: Salmon is loaded with some of the best skin loving nutrients— like astaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids. Astaxanthin is a major carotenoid found in salmon that contains potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. The effect of astaxanthin on hyper-pigmentation suppression, melanin synthesis and photoaging inhibition, and wrinkle formation reduction have been reported in several clinical studies. In addition, a 2017 study demonstrated that long-term supplementation with astaxanthin may inhibit age-related skin deterioration and maintain skin conditions associated with environmentally induced damage through it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
What are some of your favourite skin nourishing foods? Comment below to share! Thank you for reading today’s post, I hope you have an amazing day!