The foods we eat play a role in how our skin looks. Nutrients in food can help support skin, allowing it to glow with beauty. It’s true: we really are what we eat! Grab a fork and let’s dig into five foods that can brighten any complexion.
1. Brewer’s yeast
Brewer’s yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins that give skin the energy it needs to create new cells. A youthful complexion is due to newer skin cells that are created by the dermis, the second layer of skin. B vitamins ensure these cells divide and grow, creating a glowing complexion.
Brewer’s yeast is available at health food retailers and is most popular in powder form. The powder can be dissolved in juice or water. Adults can take 1 to 4 Tbsp (15 to 60 mL) per day. New users should start slowly and gradually increase to the maximum dose.
To keep that natural, youthful glow to skin, the dermis needs to keep growing new, healthy skin cells. Foods such as cheese contain vitamin A, a nutrient that supports the growth of beautiful new skin cells, providing a more radiant complexion. Some cheeses also contain probiotics, which help improve the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and can help reduce inflammation.
Psyllium can exfoliate skin from the inside out. Psyllium helps skin regenerate and slough off. Plus researchers in Germany have found that carbohydrates in psyllium can improve the way skin cells attach to each other. That means better cell-to-cell adhesion, leading to firmer skin.
Psyllium fibre is most commonly found in cereals but can also be found in bulk powder. Recent reviews suggest that adding 3 to 12 g of psyllium to your daily diet may help lower bad cholesterol by up to 10 percent over four weeks.
Inflammation in skin can cause redness and blotchiness. Atlantic mackerel is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, one of the most potent anti-inflammatory nutrients on earth. Mackerel also contains selenium—a mineral that can help neutralize the free radicals that damage skin, making complexions dull, red, or blotchy. Of course fish such as wild salmon or halibut will also provide a healthy boost of omega-3.
5. Sesame seeds
Sunlight and toxins can cause spots to form on skin, affecting the complexion. Sesame seeds contain vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that prevents free radicals from causing damage to the skin. These tiny seeds also contain copper, a co-factor needed to make the powerful antioxidant, superoxide dismutase. Sprinkle sesame seeds on salads and other mealtime favourites. Just one-quarter of a cup offers 74 percent of the recommended daily intake of copper.
We are what we eat, and more accurately, we look like what we eat. Choose foods that are packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, B, and E; omega-3; and selenium to enjoy a beautiful, radiant, and bright complexion.