When it comes to improving your skin, hair, and overall physical appearance, there are certain foods that can help. Evidence suggests that vitamins, minerals, and certain types of diet can help improve hair, skin, and nail health. These include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, and high-protein, low-glycemic diets. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is key to getting the nutrients your body needs for healthy skin.
Beta-carotene and lutein are two important nutrients for normal skin cell development and a healthy skin tone. Beta-carotene is found in orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. Lutein is found in kale, papaya, and spinach. Eating a Mediterranean diet is a great way to get the antioxidants your body needs to protect your skin cells from damage.
Water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables can also help keep your skin hydrated. Probiotic-rich foods like Greek yogurt can provide beneficial bacteria to maintain a healthy gut which is essential for healthy skin. Papaya is known as a “superfood for the skin” due to its high levels of beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A. If you have dry hair or skin, look at the amount of vitamin A-rich foods you eat.
Liver, oily fish like salmon or mackerel, and egg yolk are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids which help keep your skin looking supple and radiant. They can also reduce inflammation, redness, pimples, and strengthen the skin against UV rays. Berries are packed with antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin C which can help protect your skin from free radical damage that can cause premature aging. Turmeric is another great food for calming inflammation and supporting proper brain function.
Getting enough sleep is also important for maintaining healthy skin so make sure you get enough restful sleep each night. Incorporating probiotic food sources along with prebiotic sources that feed probiotics can help improve gut microbiota and skin health. High doses of beta-carotene can help protect your skin from sunburn when taken with other carotenoids like lycopene found in tomatoes and watermelon. Vitamin E-rich foods like almonds, avocados, hazelnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seed oil, and pumpkin seed oil can also help keep your skin looking healthy.
It's important to remember that while certain foods can help improve your physical appearance, it's also important to limit unhealthy foods like ultra-processed foods, fried foods, sugary candies and drinks, and alcohol. Repeatedly losing and regaining weight will affect your skin so it's important to maintain a healthy weight if you want to keep your skin looking its best. Talk to a dermatologist about the best topical treatments for your needs as well as dietary interventions that can help improve your skin.