As we age, keeping our skin looking smooth and youthful is one thing we tend to worry about. But good skincare means more than just the regular routine of washing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Most advice on how to get rid of dry skin and prevent wrinkles will tell you to get healthy amounts of sleep, exercise, and to eat the right kinds of food.
But exactly which foods are the best for ensuring healthy skin?
As studies have proven, Vitamins A, C, D, and E all play an important role in preventing acne. Likewise, carbs with a low Glycemic Index (GI) are much healthier than high-GI carbs (which can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to oily, and pimply skin) – and Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that can reduce psoriasis and improve skin moisture. But although many people are aware of these facts, it’s not always obvious which foods contain these nutrients.
So, if you’re wondering how to get rid of dry skin, here are 7 essential foods you should definitely be eating.
The tasty avocado has just the right kind of monounsaturated fat to helps moisturize your skin. It’s also packed with vitamins C and E. Avocado is already popular as a homemade mud mask, but you don’t have to smear it over your skin to keep it supple — you can also enjoy its nutty taste in salads, sushi, guacamole, or on its own.
Strawberries, blueberries, and blackcurrants contain Vitamin C and antioxidants that protect your skin by improving the immune system and helping to heal blemishes. They also help your #body produce collagen, which strengthens the capillaries under your skin. Berries are also sweet and delicious; what more of an excuse do you need to eat them?
Not only are they a healthy source of protein, but fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and anchovies all contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna, mackerel, and swordfish are also high in selenium, which helps preserve the elasticity and smoothness of your skin. Try grilling, baking, or roasting your fish – deep-frying may be tasty, but the frying oil is detrimental to your skin.
4. Sweet potato, pumpkin, and butternut squash
If you’re noticing a similarity between these three foods, you’re right, they are all orange. This orange color comes from the high levels of beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant that protects your skin from drying out in the sun and encourages a healthy skin tone. Other veggies and fruits high in beta-carotene include carrots, mangoes, and cantaloupe. Cooked veggies provide more beta-carotene, so try roasting your sweet potato or pumpkin and sprinkling with pumpkin or sesame seeds.
5. Whole grains, beans, and pulses
Speaking of seeds, their cousins – the whole grains, beans, and pulses – are also an important source of phyto-estrogens: a chemical that helps keep our hormones in balance. Lentils, kidney, beans, and chickpeas all provide a cheap and healthy source of protein. Whole grains like brown rice and oats are also low-GI, meaning they will release sugar slowly into your bloodstream and provide a steady source of energy. Together, phyto-estrogens and low-GI levels help to keep your skin smooth and healthy. Examples of high-GI carbs to avoid are highly processed foods like pastries, cakes, biscuits, and white bread.
6. Kale, broccoli, and spinach
These dark green ‘superfoods’ are full of iron and Vitamins A, B, and E, which overall work together to boost your immune system and preserve your skin tone. Try eating spinach or broccoli raw in a tossed salad. Alternatively, you can steam them for the healthiest cooked option, or roast them, drizzling them with olive oil and crushed garlic. Kale can’t be eaten raw, but steaming, sautéing, or roasting them into ‘chips’ are all tasty ways to consume this super-healthy veggie.
7. Nuts and seeds
There’s a reason entire trees can grow out of nuts and seeds: they’re packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which help heal damaged skin cells and preserve elasticity. A handful of almonds or brazil nuts each day makes for a healthy snack, and a much better option than a packet of potato chips. Walnuts, hazel nuts, and pistachios are also good choices, and sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds, and flax seeds are all easy to incorporate into your diet: sprinkle them on yogurt, porridge, or salads for a nutrient-packed garnish.
With these seven suggestions, working in combination with other elements of a healthy lifestyle, you’ll know how to get rid of dry skin. Don’t forget: you are what you eat. If you replace more processed foods and red meats with these fishes, fruits, vegetables, and low-GI carbs, your skin will only be one of the #health benefits — you’ll be able to feel the rest.