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Healthy skin reflects what we eat and highlights the significance of looking after ourselves from the inside out. Our body functions in the most optimal way when we eat a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet. Research has shown that optimal nutrition rich in vegetables, fruits, antioxidants, and good fats is crucial for healthy skin. (Katta and Desai, 2014)

How food affects your skin-health

A diet rich in highly processed foods, junk food, and refined carbs can cause inflammation in the body and triggers skin problems such as acne. In addition, diet also plays an integral role in fighting against the UV rays coming from the sun, and these rays can damage our skin. Exposure to these rays over a long period of time generates free radicals that damage the skin components, including elastin and collagen, and as a result, causes wrinkles and fine lines. Hence, a diet rich in antioxidants helps the skin fight against free radicals and enhances skin texture (Dunaway et al., 2018).

Key food groups that can help improve skin-health

Fish

Fish is considered a good source of “omega-3 fatty acids”; these fatty acids promote skin health and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids keep the skin thick and moisturized. Moreover, fish contains a sufficient amount of protein that plays a vital role in the synthesis of collagen and elastin (Black and Rhodes, 2016).

Fruits and vegetables

Red and orange-coloured fruits and vegetables contain compounds known as carotenoids. These carotenoids are converted into vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for skin cell reproduction. Vegetables and fruits also contain vitamin C and E. These vitamins have a potential antioxidant effect and play their role in collagen synthesis and fights against free radicals, and reduces the signs of premature ageing (Pullar et al., 2017).

Nuts, eggs, and brown rice

These foods contain zinc and selenium, which are minerals that help in the prevention of oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Zinc reduces the skin irritation caused due to acne and contributes towards a healthy skin texture (Park, 2015).

Switching refined carbs and sugars with good carbs

Research has shown that refined carbs and sugars, including sweets, pasta, white bread, and sugary drinks, have an adverse impact on skin-health. Replace these refined carbs with good carbs, such as healthy vegetables. Eat whole grains and fruits that are rich in antioxidants and have a lower glycemic index. Overall, foods with a lower glycemic index reduce the carbs load into your diet to improve your skin (Juntti, 2017). 

Stay hydrated!

Hydration is considered one of the most crucial steps in the maintenance of healthy skin. Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated all day long. Hydration helps nutrients reach your skin cells. In addition, avoid consuming carbonated drinks; instead, drink water and green tea, which are excellent sources of antioxidants (Palma et al., 2015). Adequate hydration helps skin metabolism, regeneration, and flush out all toxins, thus maintaining healthy skin (Palma et al., 2015).

The more right choices you make for your skin, the more it will show in your skin. So choose wisely!

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I have had eczema my whole life - atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema. It is frustrating most of the time but I have been able to manage my flare ups thanks to recommendations from my friends with eczema. I'm here to help others like me get better too!

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