Aesthetic Nutrition: Essentials for Healthy Skin

Written by Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell, L.E., L.D.N., C.N.S., owner of Muse Wellness Company

One key function of the skin is using nutrients from food to provide each cell in the body with what it
requires to do its job. While the skin care professional’s job is to provide topical solutions for maintaining healthy skin, it is imperative to understand the connection between how the body is fed and how the skin looks and functions. The following is a list of powerhouse foods every diet should include if great-looking skin is the goal.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables provide the best source of water, fiber, and antioxidants to help repair damaged cells. These foods should make up the bulk of the diet.

  • Avocados provide 22 grams of protein, vitamins A, C, and E, and a high fat content, which helps to keep the skin supple.
  • Gogi berries contain iron, copper, calcium, zinc, and amino acids. They are also a rich source of carotenoids. Its high vitamin C content is necessary for collagen production, tissue repair, and preventing wrinkles.
  • Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C and high in fiber for digestive health. Keeping digestive bacteria healthy can help prevent inflammatory conditions, such as eczema, and support the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

GRAINS AND STARCHES
Grains and starches provide complex carbohydrates, which include glycosaminoglycans that are necessary for collagen production, fiber, minerals, and vitamins to help maintain
healthy skin.

  • Kidney beans are high in potassium, which reduces the fluid retention that can lead to swelling and puffiness, especially around the eyes.
  • Buckwheat contains nutrilosides, which help to detoxify the body and rid it of harmful, aging toxins.
  • Oats contain beta-glucan (soluble fiber) which repairs the skin, encourages collagen production, helps heal wounds, and maintains healthy blood flow, which encourages a natural glow.

HEALTHY FATS
Healthy fats provide what the skin needs to maintain suppleness and prevent dryness and dehydration.
Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in reducing inflammatory conditions.

  • Coconut oil helps reduce cellulite, is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. It has been used to treat eczema and other skin rashes.
  • Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. It is extremely beneficial for eczema and other skin irritations.
  • Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants and offer a good source of fiber. Walnuts help increase the elasticity of the arteries, preventing couperose (distended capillaries).

MEATS AND PROTEINS
Meats and proteins are needed to make collagen, which the body requires daily to rejuvenate the skin, hair, nails, and the internal organs.

  • Oily fish contains essential fatty acids that protect cell membranes and promote healthy cell function. Healthy cell membranes are critical for the health of the skin. When cells are weak, damaged, and dehydrated, they no longer contribute to the skin’s function and cause visible signs of aging.
  • Beef contains high levels of zinc, promoting clear skin. Zinc aids in wound healing and promotes cell growth and immune function.
  • Eggs contain iron, zinc; vitamins A, B, and D; omega-3 fatty acids needed for growth and are a good source of lecithin (a fatty substance that helps cells hold onto water and is a major component of cell membranes).

SUGAR
In the diet, sugar can have deleterious effects on the skin. While sugar is a necessary energy source for cells, too much sugar in the blood can cause glycation (hardening of collagen fibers), leading to wrinkles. It can also have dehydrating effects on the skin, as well as feed harmful bacteria, which can lead to increased breakouts. Consuming high-fiber foods can help control blood sugar levels by regulating the release of insulin and the removal of excess sugar from the blood.sugar

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