Eat Your Way to Better Skin
When we narrow down skin nutrition to a handful of tips, it’s hard to do the subject justice. Because you can fit anything on the Web, some show the 12 best foods for healthy skin. Others say 15. Here, we’d like to focus on five favorites, so we all can just use our fingers to remind us of some choices we can make that show up in the world as radiant, healthy skin.
One thing to remember as we begin: Your skin is the last organ of your body to receive its blood supply. Think about it. Every other major organ is upstream between the skin and the heart. And the capillaries that bring your blood down the last inch of the journey, the blood vessels closest to the surface of the skin, are so tiny you wouldn’t believe it.
Let’s let that thought add a bit of priority to putting the best nutrients into your system in the first place. Your skin – the largest organ of the body and the one that other people can see – will thank you for it.
Like Life Itself, Let’s Start in the Sea
Salmon is one of your skin’s best friends. Though salmon is born and bred in freshwater streams, it spends most of its life in the ocean, where it feasts on all the richness of the primordial waters. When it comes to our table, salmon is loaded with “healthy fats,” the Omega-3 fatty acids that your own body cannot make, yet which you need, to build and restore cell walls. This natural anti-aging substance brings with it a bonus, too. Omega-3 helps your body block a chemical that otherwise lets skin cancer grow and spread. It also lowers inflammation, the No. 1 cause of most of the things we think of as aging.
Back on dry land, in fact under the surface of it, sweet potatoes are growing. In addition to being a more colorful, more interesting answer to the question of “starch” on the dinner plate, sweet potatoes bring you beta-carotene. Why have we heard that name before? Because beta-carotene is a natural sunblock, helping protect your skin from the damage that can result from your everyday exposure to the ultraviolet spectrum of the sun’s rays.
And speaking of the color spectrum, let’s look at peppers – the yellow and red ones in particular. A friend of ours started adding these to his daily salad just to make it look more interesting every day, and soon the salad wasn’t the only thing that was looking more attractive. How’d that happen? Because bell peppers bring more beta-carotene. In fact, just a cup of bell pepper gives you 92% of your recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamin A. So what? vitamin A stimulates fibroblasts and, in addition to being fun to say, fibroblasts develop the kind of deep-layer tissue that keeps skin firm and healthy-looking on the surface.
Learning to Love Broccoli
Broccoli is your skin’s friend, too. If you don’t like it already, try what works with kids: call it “trees” and pretend you’re a giant. The reason your skin wants you to befriend broccoli is because it is absolutely full of the specific vitamins and minerals your skin needs, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc. It’s also a delicious source of lutein, a substance that protects your skin from oxidation, the process that otherwise leaves skin dry and wrinkled.
And, if you still don’t love broccoli, think of this too: broccoli contains sulforaphane, yet another sun protector. Sulphoraphane switches on protective systems in the body, and it neutralizes free radicals – the unpaired electrons that damage cells. In lab tests, sulforaphane reduced by 29% the number of skin cells killed by UV light, and this protection lasted up to 48 hours. Sounds like a pretty good friend to have.
And last but not least, dessert. Dark chocolate is good for your skin. There, we’ve said it. As if you needed our go-ahead. The reason you can feel good about loving dark chocolate is that the high cocoa content brings you fuller and more hydrated skin. A study showed, too, that cocoa improves blood flow to the skin, bringing to it more nutrients. And that’s where we began. Getting especially helpful nutrients to your skin – the largest organ and the last in line – is how to eat your way to healthier skin.
Have a delicious time taking this advice. And let us be your guide to an overall approach to having the skin you want to wear. Just contact us to get started.