We’ve already talked about how drinking more water can improve the health and appearance of your skin, but did you know that choosing vitamin and nutrient dense foods can also help your skin look its best? Here are 5 delicious foods that are particularly great for your skin.
Cook up some tomatoes to help prevent sun damage
Want to help prevent sunburn from the inside out? Tomatoes contain lycopene – a powerful antioxidant that may help protect skin against damaging UV rays. (1) Eating raw tomatoes is still beneficial but research has shown that cooking or processing lycopene makes it easier to be absorbed by the body. Lycopene is also absorbed more easily when it is eaten in combination with fatty foods like olive oil or eggs. Try adding tomatoes to your cooking (e.g., tomato-based pasta sauces, tomato soup, and even ketchup) for maximum skin benefits – and make sure to always wear sunscreen.
Strengthen skin cells by snacking on walnuts
These delicious little nuts are rich in healthy Omega-3 fats. Omega-3s help strengthen the walls of your skin cells, which makes them more effective at holding on to moisture and nutrients (and keeping out damaging toxins). (2) Healthy fats also draw moisture out of the air and pack it into your skin, may reduce inflammation, help clear up breakouts, and work in combination with antioxidants (like lycopene) to provide UV defense. Try adding walnuts to a salad, hot or cold cereal, or grind them up and use them as a crust for meat (or cheesecake!).
Try salmon for radiant, youthful looking skin
Similar to walnuts, salmon (and other fatty varieties of fish) contain generous amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. (3) Most people can eat a larger serving of salmon than they would walnuts, which means higher amounts of Omega-3 fats. When your diet includes a good amount of fat, it also feeds your skin which allows it to produce oil and look radiant. As a bonus, salmon also contains Vitamin D (which is thought to have sun protective properties) and a chemical compound called astaxanthin (a ‘carotenoid’ that gives salmon its pink colour and acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory).
Crunch on carrots to even out skin tone and improve elasticity
Speaking of carotenoids, carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A during digestion. (4) Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that is known to help reduce the appearance of age spots, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles – those pesky signs of aging. Carrots are also a good source of Vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and makes skin look more youthful with better elasticity. Vitamin C also helps fade discolouration and brighten skin.
Cool your skin down with cucumber
Last but not least, cucumber is also a good source of Vitamin C along with caffeic acid, flavonoids, and antioxidants that reduce inflammation, calm redness, and soothe skin. (5) They are also full of water, potassium, and sulfates that can help your skin recover from a sunburn. Eating cucumbers provides many health benefits, but they can also be applied to your skin (for example: cold slices over your eyes) for immediate results.
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