Do you ever experience skin issues such as dryness, redness, blemishes, etc.? For most people, their first “go-to” remedy is something topical. But did you know that skin reflects what’s going on inside the body?
Many creams and cosmetics that we put on top of your skin do more harm than good. So, today’s post focuses on the foods you can eat to nurture and nourish your skin to better health from the inside.
Your skin needs many nutrients to stay healthy such as water, essential fats, vitamins, and amino acids. I have updated this previous post with some new foods (plus a lifestyle tip) I highly recommend if your goal is healthier-looking skin. As a bonus, I have included a short list of some key foods to avoid as well.
Hydration is key for healthy-looking skin! Water and other hydrating fluids are great to help your skin stay moist and supple.
And for a bit of an extra anti-inflammatory hydrating boost, try adding a squeeze of anti-inflammatory lemon to your water. And here are some more ideas on keeping your water interesting!
Fish contains many nutrients important for skin health – omega-3s, and vitamins A and D to name a few.
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory to help cool the flames of inflammation. Vitamin A can help with blemishes and dryness, while vitamin D helps with skin tone.
Examples of fish with high levels of omega 3s are salmon and sardines. And here is one of my favourite ways to make salmon.
Vitamin C-Rich Foods
Vitamin C is necessary for your body to make collagen that supports the structure of your skin. So, foods rich in vitamin C are great for your skin. My top recommendations are: bell peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts (these have even more than citrus fruits!). Two of those foods can be found in this recipe.
NOTE: Overcooking vitamin C-rich foods can destroy some of the skin-supporting vitamins. So, try having these lightly steamed or raw for maximum vitamin C levels.
Homemade bone broth contains a lot of the amino acid glycine. Glycine is another essential component of the skin protein collagen.
Glycine helps speed the healing of the skin and the gut. And, it’s easy to make using this recipe here.
Sleep more & stress less
I know these aren’t exactly foods, but they’re an important part of naturally great skin. When we don’t sleep enough, or stress too much our body increases stress hormones. This can increase inflammation and lead to not-so-healthy looking skin. Prioritize sleep and stress management, and you can see results in your life, and in your skin.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods are inflammatory. And this can cause all sorts of issues in your body, including affecting your skin.
It’s hard to come up with one list of inflammatory foods for everyone. Each person is biochemically unique, so you have to listen to your body and see what applies to you. However, there are a few common foods that are inflammatory for everyone and are best to eliminate from your diet.
- Processed foods. These are pretty much not-so-good for everyone. And they can affect your health in many ways, including how your skin looks & feels. Try ditching pre-packaged and fast foods in favour of whole foods as much as possible. Not just for your skin, but also for your whole body (and mind).
- Gluten. While only a small number of people have serious reactions to gluten (i.e., celiac disease), many feel they are intolerant to it. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and a few other grains. Many people have had several health concerns, including skin issues, clear up after eliminating gluten from their diets.
- Dairy. It could be a hormonal response or even an insulin response. We don’t quite know why, but many people who cut out dairy report better skin.
Skin health is not just about what you put on your skin, but what your skin gets from the inside as well. There are lots of important nutrients and foods to support healthy skin. Which also means, that there are lots of foods that can affect your skin in negative ways as well.
Hydrating, eating nutrient-dense whole foods, and avoiding common inflammatory foods might make all the difference for you.
Do you have an awesome recipe or tips for people to eat more of these “skin-beatifying” foods? Let me know in the comments below.