Our skin is the largest organ that connects us with the outside world. It shields us from bacteria, viruses, pollution and chemical substances that we encounter every day.
There are many factors that impact skin health, like hormonal changes and imbalances, chronic inflammatory or autoimmune conditions and ageing. Lifestyle factors, such as high-stress levels, lack of exercise, poor sleep pattern, smoking, low hydration and diet can also impact skin health.
Things we put on our skin are absorbed. They enter our bloodstream and affect only our skin appearance. But what we eat daily affects our skin structure and appearance so that, improving our diet improves our skin health and smoothness.
Radiant and smooth skin immensely makes us physically attractive; therefore, builds our confidence, grace and happiness. Below are 5 foods we should add to our diet for healthy and radiant skin.
- Antioxidant-rich foods (Berries, fruits, vegetables, cacao)
Antioxidant compounds reduce the effects of environmental damage caused by sun exposure and pollution. They protect the skin against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage our cells.
These molecules speed up the appearance of signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark age spots. While these signs are a natural part of ageing, their appearance is triggered by the presence of free radicals.
Selenium (plant-based sources are Brazil nuts, wheat, brown rice, mushrooms) is an antioxidant mineral that helps protect the skin quality and elasticity from UV rays damage. Cacao is not just delicious but contains collagen-boosting properties that help to increase the flow of blood to the surface of the skin.
The flow of blood to the skin promotes healing from sun damage and cell renewal. It also contains nutrients such as vitamin C, E, copper, zinc and magnesium that are very good and healthy for the skin.
- Vitamin A and carotenoid-rich foods (carrot, squash, dark leafy greens, sweet potato, pumpkin, red pepper, apricot, mango, tomato, peach)
Vitamin A slows down the turnover of skin cells and increases the deposition of collagen, slowing the normal breakdown of collagen and elastin associated with ageing.
It increases the rate of wound healing and cellular structure repairs. In addition, it is an effective treatment for dark spots, pigmentation and acne.
Carotenoid-rich foods are converted to retinol (active vitamin A) in the body. They also have antioxidant effects on cells and skin.
- Vitamin C-rich foods (bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, oranges, papaya, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, kale)
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage and reduces the appearance of brown spots and pigmentation. It is also needed for the production of collagen.
Vitamin C works in conjunction with other nutrients like amino acids proline and lysine, to produce collagen. Collagen is a structural protein that forms cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bones and skin. In conjunction with elastin and keratin, collagen gives our skin structure and elasticity.
- Silica foods (banana, oats, raisins, wheat, leeks, green beans, brown rice)
Silica is necessary for collagen formation. It improves tissues and skin regeneration, delays the ageing process and supports the binding of water molecules to cells.
Silica concentration in our tissues reduces as we age so it is very important to include silica-rich foods in our diet.
- Copper-containing foods (sesame and sunflower seeds, cashews, mushrooms, soya beans, tempeh, chickpeas, lentils, walnuts, leafy greens)
Copper peptides replenish and nourish the skin, making it look plumper and more hydrated. It also activates antioxidants that protect against environmental damage.
Its peptides can be applied directly on the skin to increase collagen production.
There you have it. Some of these foods might be hard to get in our local stores or markets, I’ll advise you to make use of the internet to get these foods.