The skin is one of the largest organs of the body and will quickly reflect poor diet and lifestyle choices. Adequate hydration, getting enough sleep, regular physical activity, and managing stress are all lifestyle factors that can impact the appearance of our skin. However, the theme should be apparent now; balanced nutrition for the whole body is the foundation for smooth, soft, supple skin.
Complete, whole food nutrients help preserve skin health by protecting against UV light, preventing dry skin, maintaining skin strength and elasticity, and supporting wound repair, in addition to providing the structural components of skin cells. In particular, foods rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, such as fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 rich fish, have been shown to be significantly associated with improved skin quality.
Research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2001 found that the right food choices could also make an impact on the appearance of wrinkles on the skin. This study assessed the diet and skin of more than 200 older European adults who were living in areas of high sun exposure, as part of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences’ (IUNS) “Food Habits in Later Life” project, and found that those who consumed more fish and vegetables in their lifetime had fewer wrinkles. The authors suggest that high intakes of these foods may be protective against sun damage because of their antioxidant protection. In addition, inflammation can damage collagen in the skin. And because omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in controlling inflammation, this can also help explain why consumers of fish may have fewer wrinkles than consumers of red meat and processed foods.
This is definitely something to chew on the next time you sit down to a meal.