From regulating our body temperatures to protecting us from bacteria and viruses, our skin works hard every day to keep us strong and healthy. But just like any other organ in the body, we need to take care of it so that it can continue to work hard to protect us—and look great doing it.
It’s no surprise that an effective cleansing solution is critical for healthy skin, but did you know that what you eat can have a major impact on your skin’s health as well? Not only are the following foods stellar for improving and maintaining skin health, but they also happen to be extremely delicious.
Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, mackerel, and herring, are great for maintaining skin health. In addition to fighting inflammation that leads to redness and acne, omega 3s help to keep your skin supple and moisturized.
Broccoli is packed full of vitamins and minerals that improve skin health, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and Zinc. It also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which neutralizes harmful free radicals and provides protection from sun damage.
Not only is dark chocolate delicious, but it can also improve your skin. One study found that after 6-12 weeks of consuming cocoa powder, participants experienced smoother, more hydrated skin with improved blood flow and less sensitivity to the sun. To maximize dark chocolate’s benefits, make sure it contains 70% cocoa.
If you’re looking to protect your skin from damage and aging (who isn’t?), then add a daily dose of green tea to your arsenal. Studies suggest that the antioxidants in green tea can improve the thickness and elasticity of your skin while helping to protect it from sun damage.
In addition to making every meal better, avocados are full of healthy fats to keep your skin happy and healthy. These fats are stellar for keeping your skin moisturized and giving it a soft and supple appearance. And like many other items on this list, avocados are also shown to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Stock up on tasty strawberries this summer because they’re loaded with skin-boosting vitamin C. Eating foods high in vitamin C can help your body produce collagen, which is the primary protein that keeps your skin looking bouncy and youthful.
Tomatoes are great for enhancing a summer sandwich all the while providing protection from the summer sun. One study found that daily tomato consumption decreased the development of skin cancer tumors in mice by 50%.
If you want to prevent wrinkles, dark spots, and discoloration, then add olive oil to your diet. The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil are shown to reduce the risk of severe photoaging i.e. the effects of aging from the sun while providing a perfect complement to your favorite bread, pasta, and salad.
Soy contains plant compounds called isoflavones, which can offer several benefits to your skin. One study found that eating soy every day for 8-12 weeks can reduce fine lines and improve skin elasticity. And another study of postmenopausal women suggests that soy intake can increase the skin’s collagen and hydration.