Superfoods to rē•spin Your Skin from the Inside Out
rē•awaken your palate.
While superfoods aren’t an official category of foods, today, superfoods are deemed as such because they are nutrient-dense and low in calories. While these foods may retain their own benefits, many superfoods have similar benefits. These include aiding in heart health, strengthening our immune system, reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, and preventing cancer. Superfoods are rich in a variety of nutrients beyond the typical food item. They provide antioxidants, minerals like calcium and iron, and vitamins. In addition, superfoods can also contain fiber, flavonoids, and healthy fats.
Superfoods don’t just aid in providing our body the necessary nutrients for optimum well-being either. Beyond their health benefits, superfoods possess additional benefits, including improving our skin. Over the years, we’ve learned the benefits of blueberries and lemons to help with fine lines and a dull complexion when consumed or applied topically. The same is true for ingredients like green tea, pomegranate, and papaya becoming popular in skincare products. But beyond these fruits, there are lesser-known superfoods that help nourish our skin from the inside out.
In our diets, tomatoes provide our bodies with nutrients, including lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Each of these plays a unique role in our health. They each also have multiple benefits beyond helping our internal bodily processes.
The antioxidant lycopene aids in protecting the skin. This is an essential process to ensure that our most significant organ protects our bodies from external factors. In addition, lycopene can increase protection for our skin from oxidation and promote visually healthy skin. Other benefits include helping with our skin’s moisturization, skin texture, improving elasticity, and its superficial structure.
While vitamin C is a popular skincare ingredient for topical application, the ingestion of vitamin C through the foods we eat is also essential for its internal benefits. For example, look at skin conditions, including hyperpigmentation, oxidant-induced damage, sagging skin, and loss of color. Each condition could see improvement by increasing fruit and vegetable intake, including tomatoes.
Try this bucatini with spicy summer tomatoes recipe to introduce more tomatoes into your diet.
Avocados contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, considered “good fats,” and one of the three macronutrients alongside carbs and protein. So while avocados can help keep our cholesterol at bay, they also contain nutrients, including folate, magnesium, and vitamins B3, C, E, and K.
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is necessary to help manage cholesterol levels and boost brain function. But studies have shown that it can help with our skin, too. This includes protecting our skin cells from sun damage when ingested or applied topically.
Vitamin E, while a fat-soluble vitamin, acts as an antioxidant to protect our cells from damage in the body and environmental stressors around us. This vitamin naturally occurs in our sebum, creating a barrier to retaining moisture. As more studies are done, more evidence shows that ingesting more of these vitamins can help protect our skin from external damage rather than only applying them topically.
To rē•spin more avocado into your diet, try this avocado sorbet recipe.
Like avocados, olive oil is another ingredient rich in monounsaturated fats. However, it also contains antioxidants and possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties in addition to antibacterial properties, too. We’ve explored the healing benefits of high-phenolic olive oils like Kyoord to help our gut microbiome and reduce the risk of neurodegeneration, chronic diseases, and type 2 diabetes. In addition to the monounsaturated fats, this oil is also rich in vitamin E, like avocados and vitamin K.
Spinach, along with other dark leafy greens, is well known for the benefits provided to our skin, hair, and bone health. It is rich in protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals. In your typical serving of spinach, you’ll find calcium, magnesium, and several plant compounds, including lutein and vitamins A and C.
In skincare, we know vitamin A as retinol, but it provides various benefits when ingested. The dose of vitamin A in spinach helps moderate oil production in our pores and hair follicles, moisturizing our skin and hair. While moderating, it can also help prevent an excess of oil, which can lead to acne breakouts. Because dark leafy greens are also high in vitamin C, they can also help with collagen production and retention, which keeps our skin plump.
Try this spinach and goat cheese frittata recipe to rē•spin more spinach into your diet.
Salmon is a nutrient-dense fish that contains vitamins B12 and B6, selenium, niacin, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a great source of protein that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent inflammation, and aid in brain health and mental health.
Experts believe that selenium can help protect the skin against UV oxidative stress, potentially combating skin aging due to exposure to UV. In addition, evidence suggests omega-3 fatty acids’ benefits extend beyond improving our physical health. Studies have shown that these polyunsaturated fatty acids can reduce our skin’s sensitivity to UV rays and reduce inflammation and acne caused by inflammation. Omega-3s have also been shown to improve our skin barrier function to seal moisture and keep out irritants that cause red, dry, or itchy skin.
To rē•spin more salmon into your diet, try this smoked salmon everything bagel frittata recipe.