Did you know that your skin is the biggest organ in our body? Not only is it the biggest organ, but it is vital for our survival both emotionally and physically. In order for skin to function at its max capacity, we need to understand its importance and what we can do to take care of it. The skin has many important functions that allows us to stay healthy. For starters, it is a protective barrier that helps preserve our internal fluids, organs, and defends us from harmful things every day. The skin is the passageway by which our body rids itself of toxins and prevents chemical and waste build up. The skin also protects us from injury because it is the first point of contact when there is pain and allows us to react to prevent more injury. Another super important function of the skin is its barometer for overall health. Doctors can usually diagnose a more severe issue because the skin is the fist place where symptoms occur. It is a sign that something is not right in the body. In addition to these functions, others include, manufacturing of Vitamin D, regulating of our body temperature, acting as a natural anti-bacterial by having the oil glands secrete oil that contain bacteria to fight off disease, providing pleasure through touch, and physically being a feature of who we are and look like physically. With all this in mind, most of us only focus on treating our external layer of skin (epidermis), but not enough focus is placed on the inner layer (dermis). However, if we realize that our outer layer is an expression of what is happening within our inner bodies, then it is fair to say that we should focus on taking better care of our inner skin and bodies. So, how do we do that?
One of the best and most effective ways to do that is through the food we eat. It is true that diet alone won’t solve skin and health problems, but research shows that certain conditions like acne, psoriasis, inflammation, and wound healing can be greatly improved through good nutrition and eliminating foods that can have a negative impact. Eliminating foods such as breads, processed snacks, and sugar can greatly affect the health of your skin. When it comes to adding things to your diet, antioxidants such as Vitamin C, D, and A, are extremely important for skin health and protections from sun damage. Make sure you’re getting enough essential nutrients to protect your skin and you may be pleasantly surprised by the effects on your skin. The following foods are great options to keep your skin healthy, strong, and attractive.
- Fatty types of fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and keep your skin moisturized. They’re also a good source of high quality protein, vitamin E, and zinc.
- Avocados are high in beneficial fats and contain vitamins E and C, which are important for healthy skin. They also pack compounds that may protect your skin from sun damage.
- Walnuts are a good source of essential fats, zinc, vitamin E, selenium and protein — all of which are nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy.
- Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant for the skin.
- Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock and may protect your skin from sun damage.
- Bell peppers contain plenty of beta carotene and vitamin C — both of which are important antioxidants for your skin. Vitamin C is also necessary to create collagen, the structural protein that keeps your skin strong.
- Broccoli is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids that are important for skin health. It also contains sulforaphane, which may help prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sunburn.
- Kale – hailed as “the queen of greens,” Kale boasts an army of skin-healthy soldiers including Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C, Copper, and Vitamin A.
- Chia Seeds – contains powerful antioxidants Vitamin E and Selenium which helps to protect skin from sun damage, sun spots, and cancer.
- Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and all of the major carotenoids, especially lycopene. These carotenoids protect your skin from sun damage and may help prevent wrinkling.
- Soy contains isoflavones, which have been shown to improve wrinkles, collagen, skin elasticity, and skin dryness, as well as protect your skin from UV damage.
- Cocoa contains antioxidants that may protect your skin against sunburn. These antioxidants may also improve wrinkles, skin thickness, hydration, blood flow, and skin texture.
- Green Tea – The catechins found in green tea are powerful antioxidants that can protect your skin against sun damage and reduce redness, as well as improve its hydration, thickness and elasticity.
- Red Grapes – Resveratrol, the famous antioxidant found in red grapes, may slow your skin’s aging process by impairing harmful free radicals that damage your skin.
- Berries – a tasty and healthy ingredient with Vitamin C, helping blemishes to heal properly, radiant skin and assists in collagen production.
- Lemon – this citrus fruit contains high levels of the skin protecting antioxidant Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene.
The bottom line is that keeping our skin healthy is a job that comes from not only external application of sunscreen and products, but what we take in every day. Eating a diet of whole foods and being mindful of what we put in our bodies, can have a huge impact on our health and skin. Also, minimizing toxin exposure both through the environment and the products we use, while maintaining a healthy diet, will not only keep you healthy, but also looking younger and more beautiful. So next time, you think about eating, stop by Grater Greens or order online their Winter Glow Salad. Not only will you feel good but you will glow too! www.gratergreens.com