The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and plays a vital role as a barrier between the internal environment and the outside world 1. When the skin is healthy, it can effectively block foreign material from entering the body as well as release toxins through perspiration. For this reason, it’s important to take good care of the skin.

Today’s post is all about the food sources and nutrients that will help you achieve and maintain healthy, glowing skin: (click to read)

Nutrients That Support Healthy Skin

There are a number of nutrients that play different roles in helping protect the skin against damage and maintain the integrity of skin cells.

These nutrients include the antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and glutathione2. Other important nutrients required for healthy skin are essential fatty acids2, especially omega-3s.

Vitamin A

  • Helps maintain the sebaceous glands, which are important in keeping the skin moisturized and protected against germs.2
  • Supports the sweat glands for proper perspiration and removal of toxins.2
  • Beta-carotene and lycopene (part of the vitamin A family of compounds) are potent antioxidants and help protect against UV irradiation and prevent sunburns.1

Vitamin C

  • Plays an important role in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that makes up the connective tissues of the body and is required for skin elasticity and wound healing.2
  • Like other antioxidants, vitamin C helps protect the skin against free radical damage (such as UV rays from the sun), and helps keep it looking young and healthy.2, 3
  • Higher vitamin C consumption is associated with a lower incidence of wrinkles.4

Vitamin E

  • An antioxidant molecule that protects the skin against free radical damage. It helps prevent wrinkles and supports the protein fibers that make up the skin structure.2
  • Also has photoprotective effects and prevents damage from sun exposure.3

Selenium

  • Another antioxidant molecule, selenium helps with skin elasticity, as well as providing protection from free radicals.2
  • It also helps protect the skin from UV light damage and therefore plays an important role in preventing skin cancer2

Glutathione

  • An important antioxidant that works with selenium and vitamins C and E to protect the skin against the damaging effects of free radicals.2
  • Plays a critical role in detoxification and maintaining a strong immune system.4

Essential fatty acids

  • Play an important role in controlling inflammation and can influence inflammatory conditions in the skin.3
  • Consumption of linoleic acid (an omega-6) is associated with a lower likelihood of dry skin and skin atrophy (i.e., thinned and damaged).4
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a protective role against the effects of UV irradiation.5

So now that you know which nutrients are important for skin health, we need to talk about the best food sources to obtain these nourishing compounds. As always, I recommend obtaining vitamins and minerals from natural, wholesome foods whenever possible.

9 Foods for Glowing Skin



1. Peppers

2. Carrots

3. Citrus Fruits

4. Leafy Greens

5. Broccoli

6. Tomatoes

7. Beans

8. Nuts and Seeds

9. Wild Seafood

Healthy, glowing skin all starts with the foods you eat. The nutrients that you obtain from whole, natural foods help maintain the proper structure and function of the skin, as well as protect it against sunburn and UV damage. Let me know your favourite foods for glowing skin in the comments below!

References

[1] Piccardi N, Manissier P. (2009) Nutrition and nutritional supplementation: Impact on skin health and beauty. Dermatoendocrinol. 1(5):271-4.

[2] Basavaraj KH, Seemanthini C, Rashmi R. (2010) Diet in dermatology: present perspectives. Indian J Dermatol. 55(3):205-10.

[3] Boelsma E, Hendriks HF, Roza L. (2001) Nutritional skin care: health effects of micronutrients and fatty acids. Am J Clin Nutr. 73(5):853-64.

[4] Cosgrove MC, Franco OH, Granger SP, Murray PG, Mayes AE. (2007) Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. Am J Clin Nutr. 86(4):1225-31.

[5] Pilkington SM, Watson RE, Nicolaou A, Rhodes LE. (2011) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: photoprotective macronutrients. Exp Dermatol. 20(7):537-43.