“Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look,” says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York City.
“You could have sallow skin, dry skin, older-looking skin. It’s not going to happen overnight, but starve your skin long enough, and it’s going to show,” she says.
What’s more, some health experts believe that when your diet is missing certain foods for healthy skin, other, even more serious skin problems can result.
What Are Foods for Healthy Skin?
Most experts say eating a balanced diet is the best way to get your share of good food for healthy skin. Still, a number of specific skin treats are more likely than others to give a boost of glowing good health to your complexion
- Low-Fat Dairy Products. One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is low-fat dairy products. In fact, experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.
- Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and plums. The common link between these four foods is their high antioxidant content. In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food. The benefits of these foods for healthy skin are plentiful.
- Salmon, Walnuts, Canola Oil, and Flax Seed. These seemingly unrelated foods all deliver essential fatty acids, and thus are key foods for healthy skin.
- Healthy Oils. These contain more than essential fatty acids. Eating good-quality oils helps keep skin lubricated and keeps it looking and feeling healthier overall, Lipski tells WebMD.Which oils are the right oils for healthy skin? Lipski says those labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin are the ones to look for.”When an oil is commercially processed, the first thing they do is add solvents and raise them to really high temperatures, then put it though five or six processes. Important nutrients are lost,” says Lipski.
- Whole-wheat bread, muffins, and cereals; turkey, tuna and brazil nuts. The mineral selenium connects all these foods for healthy skin. Experts say selenium plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.
- Green Tea. This beverage deserves a category all its own in any article about foods for healthy skin. The skin-health properties in this beneficial drink just can’t be beat. “It has anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s protective to the cell membrane. It may even help prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer,” says Lipski.
- Water. While the exact amount you should drink each day varies, no one disputes the role good hydration plays in keeping skin looking healthy and even young. When that hydration comes from pure, clean water — not liquids such as soda or even soup — experts say skin cells rejoice.”It is my belief that our skin needs at least a half gallon of good clean water — that’s about eight glasses — every day,” says Lipski.While any good, clean water will keep your body and your skin hydrated, Lipski says hard water, the kind high in minerals, is especially good. Using water softeners to de-mineralize drinking water may reduce some of the potentially helpful effects.”A water softener may help your plumbing, but it’s hard water that is better for your health,” she says.