Top Five Foods to Eat to Protect Your Skin

By: Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS

Contributor:  Stephanie Wu

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body?  That’s right! It’s nearly 20 square feet and has many different jobs. Your skin protects you from bad microbes, endures the elements, and helps you live through temperature changes. Your skin is important, so caring for it should be a top priority. Using sunscreen as well as regularly hydrating and moisturizing are just a few ways to care for your skin. 

However, skincare begins with what you eat. 

Here are 5 foods that greatly contribute to maintaining and protecting your skin. 

1) Citrus fruit 

Oranges, limes, grapefruits, and lemons are citrus fruits that are high in Vitamin C. Eating a consistent, balanced diet, that includes Vitamin C, has shown to help prevent sunburn. 

Not only that, but citrus fruit contains limonene, which has demonstrated to help reduce skin cancer risk by 34 percent. 

It is best to consume these foods in their most natural form as possible; the less processed, the better.  For example, it’s preferable to eat oranges instead of drinking orange juice, as your body gets the full benefit of all that the whole fruit has to offer. 

2) Tomatoes

Juicy tomatoes are amazing for your skin because they prevent us from turning the same red shade. 

They’re rich in lycopene, a UV-protecting compound that gives tomatoes their color. 

Tomatoes also help boost the skin in collagen, reducing wrinkles and making the skin smooth and supple. Eat your tomatoes fresh, in ketchup, canned, or in soup.

3) Green tea. This one you can eat AND wear. 

Research shows that applying green tea directly to the skin 30 minutes before sun exposure, largely reduces the amount of sun damage caused by UV rays.

Green tea is high in antioxidants and high in catechins that contribute to protecting the skin from UV damage. 

Catechins are found in “matcha” (finely ground green tea leaves) which you can buy at your local grocery store. The deeper the green color, the higher the catechin concentration. 

4) Almonds

Almonds contain a high amount of Vitamin E, which like Vitamin C, helps protect and repair the skin from sunlight damage. 

They also contain a good amount of quercetin, which protects the skin from UV damage and potential wrinkles due to the breakdown of collagen. 

Almonds can be a nice crunchy snack, or you can add a dollop of almond butter over your celery and carrots. 

As with almost every nut, soaking the almonds overnight will increase your body’s ability to absorb its vital nutrients. 

And as a bonus, almonds also make a delightfully scented oil that can be used directly on the skin, giving your body loads of Vitamin E to leave you feeling smooth and supple. 

5) Wild-Caught salmon

This fish is packed with the carotenoid antioxidant known as astaxanthin. 

Astaxanthin helps repair damage from UV rays and helps to eliminate your chances of wrinkling. 

Wild-caught salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Omega-3 contributes to skin protection from melanoma skin cancer. 

So the next time you are shopping for salmon, keep an eye out for the “wild-caught” label. 

NEXT, what type of diet can help us with healthier looking skin? 

Consider the DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension), which follows the right guidelines to gain healthier skin. The foods included in this diet are low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, nuts, low sugar, low saturated fat, chicken and fish over red meat. 

Also, there are certain factors within the skin that cause aging. It is believed that herbs and spices can fight these factors and stop the skin from aging. 

These spices include:

  • oregano
  • cloves
  • ginger and 
  • garlic

Now, what kind of foods can harm your skin?

Studies show that grilling, roasting, and frying your foods can cause an increase in the factors that promote aging in skin. 

Data also demonstrates that dairy products can cause acne and can inflame human skin. 

A final thought:

There’s a great deal to consider in terms of food choice and diet when it comes to skin health. Some of it is really simple and easy to do.  Some of it, not so much.

At meal time, if you don’t feel like shopping, measuring, calculating nutritional values and cooking, try one of these delicious, freshly prepared, ready-to-eat meals from Healthy Meals Supreme to help keep your skin in good form.

*Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

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