4 Foods for Healthy Skin

4 Foods for Healthy Skin

It’s time to take care of our largest organ – our skin! This amazing organ does so much for us: it is our first line of defence against microbes and pollution, it regulates our body temperature, protects us from the sun’s potentially cancer-causing ultra violet (UV) rays and it’s a great diagnostic tool for overall health. Did you know that how you eat and drink can affect your skin? Here are our top 4 foods for healthy, glowing, and vibrant skin.

PEPPERS

Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, all play a role in reducing the sun’s damage to our skin. When we forget to wear sunscreen, the sun’s radiation causes oxidative damage to our skin by creating unstable molecules called free radicals. This is where antioxidants come in by disarming these free radicals! Red and green peppers are a great source of vitamin C. Enjoy them roasted on the BBQ or cut up in a beautiful salad.

SALMON

Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, can help to reduce overall dryness of the skin. In one study, participants with dermatitis, were given 1.8g of EPA daily and had significant improvements in their skin itchiness. Besides being a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient, omega-3s can also protect our skin from sun damage. Salmon and other old water fish are great sources of omega-3. Nothing says summer quite like grilled sockeye salmon. Instead of BBQing a large filet, portion before grilling for perfectly flaky fish and a quicker cooking time.

MELONS

Melons are a great addition to any picnic lunch! They are over 90% water, making them one of the most hydrating fruits, and are also packed with the vitamins A and C – both powerful antioxidants for healthy skin. Are you crazy for cantaloupe? Dice some up and toss together a delicious salsa fresca to top off a fish taco or add to your homemade pizza.

TOMATOES

Fresh local tomatoes are in season and full of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is what gives tomatoes their beautiful red colour and has been the star in several studies investigating its protective ability against UV radiation, specifically the topical application of lycopene. Not in the mood to use it topically? That’s ok – tomatoes are full of the skin-loving antioxidant vitamin C. Enjoy them simply – slice and serve as a salad with a drizzle of olive, salt, pepper and freshly torn basil.

Jess Pirnak

Jess is a Registered Dietitian working in Vancouver, BC. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia and is an active member of Dietitians of Canada. Jess graduated from the University of British Columbia’s Food Nutrition and Health program, and completed her dietetic internship with Provincial Health Services Authority after finishing a Psychology degree from Simon Fraser University. Jess is passionate about education, prevention and creating a healthy community. In her spare time she updates her personal food blog where she discusses hot topics in nutrition. She loves working with kids and parents helping them create a positive relationship with food and enjoys discussing sustainable farming practices with anyone who will listen!