What are the best foods for your skin?

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert..

As it is rightly said, your skin is what you absorb! Good skin is the byproduct of healthy lifestyle and good nutrition. Chances are that if you are following an unhealthy eating pattern or frequently indulge in wrong kind of foods, this will impact your skin health. Skin will not get enough nourishment and the right nutrients that are required to look healthy and beautiful.

Most common unhealthy foods and faulty lifestyle habits that should be avoided to ensure good skin health include:

  • Refined flour
  • Packaged or processed foods
  • Table sugar and high sugary food items such as sauces
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Low water intake
  • Lack of fiber in the diet
  • Poor sleep pattern or less sleep
  • Lack of protein
  • Irregular exercise
  • Insufficient natural light
  • Negative pattern of thinking

All these can lead to inflammation in the body, disrupt the gut bacteria, obstruct the toxin release of the body, create hormonal disruption and impose negative stress on the body. This leads to aging of the skin, wrinkles and acne. Eating a skin nourishing diet and following the body’s natural rhythm can result in radiant and glowing skin.

Best foods for skin include:

Lean protein foods: Hair, skin and nails are made up of protein. Ensure 3-5 servings of protein in a day. These include eggs, chicken, fish, legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds, milk and milk products.

Adequate Hydration: Water is essential for excreting the toxins and waste from the body and ensuring regular bowel movements. Try consuming upto 2.5 -3 litres of water daily.

Zinc rich foods: Sesame seeds, pumpkin, poultry, beans, chickpeas, almonds, peas, and mushrooms. These help to combat acne and help maintain collagen levels. 

Antioxidant Foods:

Antioxidant rich foods include foods that are called anti-aging foods. The best way to slow the aging of skin on a cellular level is to keep body cells from oxidizing. And the best strategy is to have antioxidant rich foods and supplements.

Vitamin C: This vitamin can also help you achieve healthy skin. Vitamin C rich food includes green leafy veggies, broccoli, parsley, bell peppers, papaya, asparagus, and cauliflower.

Vitamin E:  Try including nuts, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, avocado, tomatoes, apples, and carrots in your diet as these are good options for better skin health.

Glutathione Rich Foods: Sulphur rich foods such as chicken contain cysteine to make glutathione, which is also an antioxidant. Include eggs, garlic, onions, oats and sprouted lentils in your diet.

Increase fiber: 8-11 servings of fiber a day enhances the digestive health and can help the body’s natural detox process. These can include vegetable smoothies, soups, veggies, salads, whole grains and pulses.

Bone broth: This is an infusion made with cooking bones of healthy animals with herbs and spices. Bone broth supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content. In fact, some even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue.

Reduce sodium: Try low sodium salt to reduce water retention and dehydration in the body that can negatively affect the skin. Do consult your doctor before making this change.

It is equally crucial that the daily requirement of 7-9 hours sleep is met by a continuous sound sleep at night without a break. For example - getting 4-6 hours sleep at night and 2-3 hours sleep in the afternoon does not total to meeting the daily requirement of 7-8 hours sleep. Good sleep must also match the body’s circadian rhythm i.e. the day-night cycle to achieve optimal levels of best quality hormones that help in skin health.

Always remember, the nutrients mentioned above take time to reach the skin. It is not an overnight miracle that takes place. It takes a good work over weeks or months for the results to show. The key to beautiful skin at all time and to prevent dry or flaky skin is giving it optimal nutrition and the patience to persevere the same.

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