Beauty starts on the inside — at least, that’s what new studies into nutricosmetics suggest. Nutricosmetic research looks at how nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants affect the appearance and health of your skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, this new research is revealing more about what foods to eat — and avoid — for better-looking skin.
Foods that are healthy for your heart are often healthy for your skin, too. These nutrients can improve blood flow to your skin as well as the health of your skin cells. For better-looking skin, you should include these foods in your diet:
- Healthy unsaturated fats such as avocados, fish, nuts and beans
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables, which contain antioxidants and vitamins that reduce damage to skin cells
- Lean protein, which supplies amino acids to create collagen and elastin in the skin
It’s also important that when you eat carbohydrates, you choose low glycemic index foods like vegetables, fruit and whole grains. These carbohydrates often contain high amounts of fiber and low amounts of sugar, helping you maintain better blood sugar and insulin levels.
Foods that are healthy for your skin provide your body with the building blocks it needs to create healthy skin cells. These building blocks can include amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lycopene and more.
Foods to Avoid for More Beautiful Skin
Just as foods can help your skin, they can hurt it, too. Most of the foods that are bad for your skin are bad for the rest of your body. They can cause you to gain weight and have negative effects on your heart health.
These foods include:
- Sugar, which may damage elastin and collagen in the skin
- Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and rice that turn into sugar during digestion
- Saturated fats found in animal products like dairy, meat and cheese
Some more recent research suggests these foods may increase the risk for acne as well as wrinkles by hurting your skin’s health.