There are countless benefits to a healthy diet and many can be seen through the radiant glow of healthy skin. No matter what age, a healthy diet can can support your skin, from antioxidant support to the amino acid building blocks of your body’s collagen. "There is research that suggests that a healthy diet with specific nutrients can help reduce the signs of aging," says Dr. Patricia Farris, a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at Tulane University School of Medicine and spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. Here’s four dietary changes that are good for you and your skin:
"Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant to fight free radicals, but is also needed to help enzymes make collagen," Farris says. Research shows that vitamin C fights damage caused by UV exposure, protecting against free radical damage. Vitamin C also regulates the synthesis of collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, and is necessary for its extracellular stability and support of the epidermis. Oranges have been synonymous with vitamin C, but there are many other fruits and veggies that have more vitamin C than an orange! An orange typically has about 70mg of vitamin C. Try a mango with about 120mg, or a couple kiwis for about 130mg. Brussel sprouts, broccoli and bell peppers will easily give you a daily dose. For more C sources, 9 Foods With More Vitamin C Than An Orange.
Lineoleic Acid (vitamin F) is an omega-6 fatty acid. Essential fatty acids are necessary for normal growth and function of healthy cells. In skin care, linoleic acid provides anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing support. It also helps fight acne, softens the skin, and keeps it supple and youthful (source). Alpha-linolenic acid is a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Good sources include nuts and seeds (and seed oils), like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, walnuts, and pecans. For more common sources, Foods High in Linoleic Acid.
Cut Down on Sugar
Research confirms that sugar’s effects on the skin are not pretty. Eating refined sugars, simple carbohydrates and high-glycemic foods, produce an insulin spike and enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. This can increase the effects of aging and worsen skin conditions like acne and rosacea (source). Complex carbohydrates, like vegetables and brown rice, or low-glycemic options like beans, nuts and whole grains are better options. For more on sugar’s effects on skin health, Why Sugar Is Just As Bad For Your Skin As It Is For Your Waistline.
Eat More Collagen
It sounds weird to hear it that way, but it’s true. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, but at around the age of 30, collagen production begins to decrease by 1-2% per year. When you eat protein, it is broken down to amino acids and used by your body to create specific hormones, enzymes and the collagen in your bones, tendons and skin. Bone broth and collagen supplements seem to be a rising trend along with nutriceuticals as concentrated sources of collagen protein and amino acids. Other sources include gelatin and egg whites. For more on collagen, functions and sources, 7 Great Sources of Collagen You Should Be Eating Every Day.
4 Diet Changes That Are Better Than Botox
9 Foods With More Vitamin C Than An Orange
Vitamin C and Skin Health
Vitamin F (Linoleic Acid)
Why Sugar Is Just As Bad For Your Skin As It Is For Your Waistline
7 Great Sources of Collagen You Should Be Eating Every Day