The thought that proper nutrition can play a major role in health is commonplace and seems self-evident anymore. Today, many people realize that although eating the right food helps your body as a whole, some foods can target the needs of specific organs. For example, heart-healthy foods meet the needs and nutritional requirements of the heart. Low-cholesterol foods can keep arteries clear, while Brussels sprouts and broccoli are good for the liver. This article will talk about foods good for skin health, so you can have clear and healthy skin!
But the largest organ can’t be found on your inside, and even though it’s the most visible of our organs, it’s the one most often overlooked. This organ is your skin, and the right foods can target and improve the skin in the same way other organs are targeted for nutrition and good health.
As you know from reading my blog, what’s good for you doesn’t have to taste like medicine! Most skin-healthy foods are wonderful on their own, including ones you may not believe!
First, let’s take a quick look at a couple of terms that are frequently used but not always fully understood. Understanding these are important for getting the full picture of why eating for skin health is doable and important.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
“Antioxidant” is one of those words we hear often. We’re told that they’re good for us and that we need them. But what are they?
The short answer is that they help to keep cells “clean” by removing free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that get into a cell and damage the DNA. Think of antioxidants as collecting the garbage we are exposed to. Antioxidants come in, like a chambermaid on a mission, to remove free radicals and restore the cell to optimal health.
Foods Good for Skin Health
There are many healthy, delicious whole foods you can enjoy while improving and maintaining the health of your skin. Here’s a list of my favorites:
In addition to being beneficial to the memory parts of the brain by slowing age-related damage to brain cells, these sweet treats show evidence of increasing longevity. But blueberries also have anthocyanins which are a powerful form of antioxidant that can prevent free radical cell damage.
Nuts have both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. This refers to carbon bonds in the molecule, which sounds pretty scientific. What you need to take away from this is that both compounds are associated with a drastic reduction in the risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For anti-aging skin effects, the best nuts are chestnuts, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pistachios, and pine nuts. It’s an impressive list!
Figs have two kinds of antioxidants: flavonoids and polyphenols. These go a long way to help stress-related medical conditions, including stress to the skin caused by environmental pollutants.
- Chaga Mushrooms — I like to drink my mushrooms in coffee and teas from HERE
While these contain antioxidants, they contain a lot more than just that. They have antitumoral and antiviral properties, meaning they also boost the immune system. As far as your skin is concerned, they have polyphenols which makes them a preventative antioxidant.
This fish swims in with another form of antioxidant—astaxanthin, which is a very powerful free radical killer. It’s actually like getting a booster shot in the DNA. It protects the cell DNA from damage caused by free radicals as well.
- Bone Broth — you can make your own, or buy it online. Use coupon code REALFOODRN and get 10% off HERE
Bone Broth is getting more and more popular, and that’s understandable. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that the body can absorb easily. It also helps bone health as well as skin. It promotes clear, youthful skin as well as diminishes puffiness, scars, and stretch marks.
- Maca — I buy mine HERE
Maca root is used in some countries for treating sexual dysfunction. It’s also good for preventing osteoporosis. Is it used for skincare? Maca root helps to normalize hormones such as testosterone and estrogen which can wreak havoc with your skin if imbalanced.
Avocados are a “superfood.” They are packed with phytochemicals and a list of impressive essential nutrients that combat the signs of aging. They’re also good at keeping arteries healthy.
- Turmeric — I buy mine HERE, and I also make a delicious Turmeric Milk to help with sleep
Turmeric has been used in the making of cosmetics for centuries. Turmeric has anti-aging and skin-lightening qualities as well as helping to mitigate the aging effects on joints and on the brain.
Garlic has lipoic acid and taurine and sulfur, three of the building blocks for collagen.
Since our bodies are comprised of water, so much so that we are mostly water. When we’re dehydrated, the skin takes the initial blow, becoming dry and even grey in appearance. Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day will help the elasticity of your skin.
Last, but not least, here’s the surprise food for healthy skin:
- Dark Chocolate — get the good stuff HERE
Yeah. Chocolate falls under the umbrella of foods good for skin health. While the running joke about sweets and skin problems has been a constant for as long as the confection existed, dark chocolate in moderation is very good for the skin. Make sure the chocolate you eat (in moderation) has 70-90% cacao to get the full advantages.
Food as Moisturizers?
You know I love to use whole foods in all sorts of ways. What if I told you that you could actually put food on your face and body to cleanse and moisturize it? Guess what? You can!
These simple all-natural recipes use real food to support a youthful appearance and bypass all the toxins found in most commercial moisturizers.
- Two tablespoons of honey with eight tablespoons of water makes an excellent paste. Rub it on, let it dry and wash it off. It’s a natural anti-bacterial and cleanser.
- Laying a washcloth dipped in cold buttermilk on your face for a few minutes will cleanse dead cells and provide great moisturizing benefits.
- A couple of tablespoons of olive oil added to the bath is a centuries-old tried and true moisturizer.
- Castor oil, though the bane of children in the early twentieth century, when rubbed on dry skin in a nightly ritual, will powerfully moisturize that dry problem area.
- Aloe. You see it everywhere in skin products because it works. Avoid the chemical additives and the pricey processing. Get an aloe plant, carefully cut and peel a leaf, and apply it directly to the skin. It will give your skin beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E, which are also antioxidants.
Eating foods good for skin health and will replenish your skin’s nutrients and moisture will keep that youthful glow to your skin for years to come.
If you want to learn more about safe skincare and how to really care for your skin so it stays healthy long term, I started a Safe Skincare Facebook group. I would love to have you there! Join thousands of others in the group HERE.