The skin is the largest organ of our bodies, with an area of about 20 square feet, but can vary depending on height and weight. Aside from aesthetic purposes and giving us a unique appearance that gives us our identity, the skin serves several major functions in the body. It is a vital organ as it protects the body from all the harmful microorganisms in the environment, and it helps our internal organs through the regulation of heat inside the body, allowing us to adapt better to our surroundings. The skin assists our brain in deciphering the size, shape, and texture of everything we touch through skin receptors. It is only proper for us to take good care of our skin. Food can help nourish our skin by giving it the proper nutrients to make our skin cells become more resistant to damage, as well as maintain its healthy-looking glow. Here are 10 foods that can achieve this goal.
It is the basic necessity of every body, as the average adult is composed of 60% water. When we drink inadequate amounts of water, the body automatically directs this to the more vital processes inside the body, leaving the skin dry and dehydrated. Just like a kitchen sponge without water, the skin may look tough, shriveled and easier to break. Also, the pores become rigid, trapping dirt and oil, making the skin prone to acne. If the body takes in a lot of water, the skin gets rehydrated, and the moisture of the skin allows it to become more pliable, allowing pores to secrete the natural oils the face needs to protect it, then shrinking back to normal size, giving the pores a “tighter” look.
Vitamin E, found in soy, is one of the essential vitamins that take care of the skin, allowing formation of new skin cells and absorbing energy from UV light. This vitamin is an antioxidant, preventing free radical damage to the skin therefore keeping the skin looking young. Although this vitamin is found in the skin, additional intake of vitamin E helps increase its photoprotection properties, giving additional benefits to the individual. Soy also contains isoflavones that aid in improving skin elasticity and prevention of fine lines and wrinkles, improving the overall appearance of the skin.
Beta-carotene found in cooked pumpkin is the reason why it made the list as one of the foods that promote skin nourishment. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A inside the body, which in turn is converted into retinoic acid. The effects of this substance lead to the development of fewer wrinkles and a smooth skin tone. It also promotes collagen, and prevents its breakdown, leading to healthy, elastic skin cells that are resistant to damage, therefore preventing fine lines and creases.
Oysters contain a primary substance needed for skin health: zinc. Eating only 6 oysters gives you 500% of your daily-recommended amount of zinc in only 57 calories. Zinc is needed for cell growth and replication, and has been found to be an agent for clear skin. Zinc deficiency can lead to a lot of skin, nail and hair problems, like white spots on fingernails, hair loss, dry skin and acne. Supplement your diet with zinc or eat zinc-rich foods such as oysters to help boost your skin health.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate (in this case, 70% cocoa or higher), is beneficial for the skin through multiple ingredients that fight off aging skin and acne breakouts. It contains flavonols, which are antioxidants that aid the skin to help it ward off damage from the sun, which can lead to wrinkles. It also increases blood flow to the skin, improving hydrationg as well as skin thickness, thus keeping it looking fresh and moist. Another reason to consume dark chocolate is because it lowers stress hormones that cause the breakdown of collagen in the skin leading to wrinkle formation. It also assists in preventing sunspots by fighting off free radicals that oxidize and create unsightly marks.
As one of the leading vitamin C sources in the world, kiwi has a lot more to offer than a boost in immunity. This fruit is way underappreciated and it’s about time to add it to the diet of those who want their skin to be healthier. The vitamin C in kiwi helps in the repair of damaged tissues, as well as their growth. It also affects collagen formation, and will affect elasticity, wound healing and damage resistance of the skin. Kiwi also has antioxidants that help prevent wrinkles and fine lines, as well as adds protective shielding from UV skin damage.
This breakfast staple contains protein and zinc, two things needed for healthy skin repair and rejuvenation. Wounds can cause the skin to become scarred and unsightly, and although the protein in eggs does not guarantee the avoidance of scarring, it definitely helps give the body enough nutrients to promote a healthy wound-healing process. Zinc assists in keeping the skin healthy, and prevents problems associated with deficiency that may affect hair and nails as well.
Polyphenols in pomegranates are antioxidants that help keep skin blood flow abundant, causing the skin cells to appear rosy and well nourished. This results to healthier cells and less formation of ageing spots, fine lines and wrinkles, all the while keeping the skin moisturized. These polyphenols have also been found to reduce the risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers, and therefore serves a photo-protective effect on the skin.
- Red wine
Although red wine can seem counter-effective because after all, it is an alcohol and alcohol is supposed to dehydrate us, it still has its own role in keeping the skin healthy. A study has shown that sunspots are less likely to form in people who consume at least half a glass of red wine a day. Red wine contains the antioxidant resveratrol, which prevents tumor formation and battles oxidative stresses from the sun. A good way to consume red wine is by washing it down with plenty of water after consumption to prevent the skin (and your body) from becoming dehydrated.
- Sunflower seeds
These little seeds are packed with vitamin E, an essential compound for skin health. It helps keep the face pimple-free, according to a study in Experimental Dermatology, wherein people with lower amounts of vitamin E were more prone to pimples compared to those who had higher blood levels of vitamin E. It is said to help the immune system battle inflammation, which is the main cause for acne formation.