Protect your skin with a healthy diet

Habitomic Journalist
Habitomic Journalist

 Skin is the organ with the largest contact area between the human body and the external environment and is a barrier that separates the human body from the environment. It not only protects the body from external environmental damage and avoids water loss from the body, but also has a certain cosmetic effect. The aging of organs occurs throughout our life. As the largest organ of the human body, the skin shows obvious signs of aging due to age, ultraviolet radiations (UVR) exposure, and chemical pollution.

With the rapid breakthrough of medicine in prolonging human life and the rapid deterioration of environmental conditions, it has become urgent to find safe and effective methods to treat skin aging.

We regularly face primary challenges in deciding what to eat to maintain young and healthy skin, defining a healthy diet, and the role of diet in aging.

Diet, as the main way for the body to obtain energy and nutrients, people have gradually realized its importance to the skin.

An adequate and balanced diet, comprised of a variety of foods is extremely important. The skin mirrors process in the whole system, so many skin disorders, and rapid aging are manifestations of certain disturbances, like lack of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. To keep your skin healthy, eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of protein foods, fruits, vegetables (fresh if possible), and liquids. If we “feed” skin from the inside, we can’t make a mistake. Also, physical activity plays an important part.

 Diet management and skin aging

Food is the foundation of our lives, and diet is the main way for the body to obtain the required substances for growth and maintenance. Modern science has proven that an imbalance in nutrition and poor eating habits are important causes of skin aging.

Nutrition is closely associated with skin health and is required for all biological processes of skin from youth to aging or disease. Nutrition levels and eating habits can repair damaged skin and can also cause damage to the skin.

  • Water

Water is a vital constituent of the body and facilitates the maintenance of balance and tissue function in the body. Water in the body and cells mainly serves the role of nutrient, solvent, transportation carrier, maintains body volume, and regulates body temperature.

Lack of water in the body can cause tissue dehydration and functional disorders (such as aging and inflammation). Skin is no exception, and the appearance of the skin on lips and limbs is a direct reflection of the body’s moisture status.

  • Minerals

1. Selenium

Selenium protects skin from sun exposure damage and plays a key role in elastin development, which is important for the skin structure. It can be found in seafood, whole wheat, nuts, eggs, and garlic.

2. Copper

Copper and zinc enable elastin development. The lack of copper is rarely registered. Oral intake or in the form of cremes lower fat production. It is found in poultry, red meat, and oysters.

3. Zinc

Zinc is an important trace mineral that aids the repair of damaged tissue and heals wounds. Another important application of zinc includes protecting skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Food sources high in zinc include oysters, pecans, poultry, pumpkin seeds, ginger, legumes, seafood, mushrooms, and whole grains.

  • Essential fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are valuable nutrients for the skin. They play two major roles in the body: provide appropriate structure, flexibility, and functioning of cell membranes and are essential for the synthesis of intracellular lipids in the stratum corneum. They are very important in the fat production which makes for a natural skin barrier

  • Vitamins

Vitamin deficiency affects skin health. Vitamins C, E, A, K, and B complex are necessary for skin health. The lack of vitamins in the body can cause skin disorders. For example, lack of vitamin C causes the symptoms of scurvy such as fragile skin and impaired wound healing. Vitamins, as a skin antioxidant defense ingredient, are mostly taken from food.

  • Proteins

Proteins form an important part of body tissues and organs. Their primary physiological functions are to construct and repair tissues, mediate physiological functions, and supply energy. All tissue cells in the body are constantly renewed, and only adequate protein intake can maintain normal tissue renewal and repair. Skin is no exception, and the skin renewal cycle is generally considered to be 28 days.

Eating habits

Dietary habits refer to the preference for food or drink, are an important part of the dietary culture, and are influenced by regional, historical, cultural, product, and other factors. Although the incidence of vitamin, trace elements, and protein deficiencies in developed western countries are very low, an imbalanced or incomplete diet can also lead to diseases and aging, thereby affecting skin health.

A high-fat diet is closely related to various diseases such as obesity, diabetes, fatty liver, and skin aging. High-fat diets delay the healing of the skin by promoting skin oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, reducing protein synthesis, and may also cause morphological changes in skin and damage to matrix remodeling.

A high-sugar diet, ultraviolet irradiation, and eating barbecued fried foods, lead to the accumulation of AGEs and acceleration of skin aging.

15 foods that make skin shiny and healthy

Nutrition is important for health. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain, and even damage organs, such as your heart and liver. But what you eat also affects another organ — your skin.

As scientists learn more about diet and the body, it’s increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health and aging of your skin. These are 15 of the best foods for keeping your skin healthy.

1. Fatty fish

Fatty types of fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and keep your skin moisturized. They’re also a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin E, and zinc.

2. Avocados

Avocados are high in beneficial fats and contain vitamins E and C, which are important for healthy skin. They also pack compounds that may protect your skin from sun damage.

3. Walnuts

Walnuts are a good source of essential fats, zinc, vitamin E, selenium, and protein — all of which are nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy.

4. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant for the skin.

5. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock and may protect your skin from sun damage.

6. Red or yellow bell peppers

Like sweet potatoes, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.

Bell peppers contain plenty of beta carotene and vitamin C — both of which are important antioxidants for your skin. Vitamin C is also necessary to create collagen, the structural protein that keeps your skin strong.

7. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and all of the major carotenoids, especially lycopene. These carotenoids protect your skin from sun damage and may help prevent wrinkling.

8. Dark chocolate

Cocoa contains antioxidants that may protect your skin against sunburn. These antioxidants may also improve wrinkles, skin thickness, hydration, blood flow, and skin texture.

9. Green tea

Green tea may help protect your skin from damage and aging. The catechins found in green tea are powerful antioxidants that can protect your skin against sun damage and reduce redness, as well as improve its hydration, thickness, and elasticity.

10. Watermelon

“Though it may sound counterintuitive, the high concentration of water in watermelon can actually reduce the water retention that leads to puffiness around the eyes,” says Leslie Baumann, MD, certified board dermatologist and Founder of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute. “And because watermelon is low in sugar—well, compared to many other fruits—you don’t have to worry about glycation, the chemical reaction that compromises collagen and leads to lines and wrinkles.”

11. Carrots

“This vegetable is orange thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A … which also happens to be a form of the main active ingredient in Retin-A,” says Baumann. “This vitamin has been found to decrease the skin’s oil production, and there’s also some evidence that it can improve psoriasis.”

12. Olive Oil

“About 75 percent of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which may play a role in the youth boost,” says Marie Jhin, MD, certified board dermatologist and author of Asian Beauty Secrets. “The antioxidant polyphenols in olive oil could also quench damaging free radicals.”

13. Oranges

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that people who eat foods rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who don’t. Strawberries, red peppers, and grapefruit are all other great vitamin C sources, just to name a few!

14. Eggs

The amino acids found in protein-rich foods like meat or eggs are the building blocks of collagen production, says Arash Akhavan, MD, FAAD, founder and owner of The Dermatology & Laser Group in NYC. Just don’t go overboard; your body can really only process 30 grams of protein in one meal.

15. Milk

“In addition to the calcium our bones need, milk is a great source of vitamin D,” says Baumann. “This is good for your skin because getting your daily dose of ‘D’ from milk means you don’t have to get unprotected sun exposure, which helps prevent wrinkles and discoloration.” That said, dairy can wreak havoc on some people’s skin; so if that sounds like you, score your vitamin D from a supplement or other food sources. A three-ounce serving of wild salmon or mackerel can provide nearly your entire daily recommended vitamin D intake! Meanwhile, a cup of shiitake mushrooms gets you to about 20 percent (the best you’ll find in the produce aisle) and three eggs can score you another 20 percent. You have options, dairy-free friends.

Bad diet for skin

Also, these are some foods that are harmful to skin health.

  • Sugar (promotes inflammation risk and rapid skin aging)
  • Spicy hot food (promotes face redness with obvious capillary)
  • Caffeine (possible dehydration, but also anti-inflammatory effect)
  • Chocolate and fatty foods (sugar and saturated trans fats)
  • Alcohol (excessive drinking – free radicals, diuretic)
  • Processed foods (lack of micronutrients and excess of preservatives – emulators, colors, taste enhancers, aromas)
  • Fatty and fast foods and hydrogenized oils (lack of vitamins and minerals, high level of preservatives)
  • Salt (water retention, bloating)
  • Starch (white flour products)

So, it is clear why full attention should be paid to the skin, its health, functions, and appearance. An adequate diet is of crucial importance, with appropriate use of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients paying attention to possible beneficial effects of certain foods, adjusted to the skin type. This should be applied in everyday practice in working with patients.