SHA Magazine Health & Beauty

The best foods for healthy skin

SHA Magazine
April 27, 2024

The skin, our largest organ, is a true reflection of our lifestyle. It is considered that in an average adult its surface area is between 1.5 and 2 square metres.

Among its vital functions for health is to act as a protective barrier against micro-organisms, external agents and ultraviolet radiation. In addition, it regulates body temperature through sweating and vasodilation or vasoconstriction of blood vessels. It is also very important for tactile sensation and sensory perception of the environment. In short, aesthetics is not among its fundamental functions, but how much we love beautiful skin! Yet somehow, as almost everywhere in nature, harmony is synonymous with health.

Diet is crucial to the appearance of the skin. Foods rich in sugar dull the skin and make it look sallow and dull, while other ingredients give it light and a special glow.

In her book The health of your skin is in what you eat, dietician and nutritionist Paula Martín Clares recognises that there are foods that could be called “skin foods”, among them those rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin E, C or B2, minerals such as zinc, healthy fats or water. At the other extreme are foods rich in saturated fats and sugar, such as pastries, junk food and sugary drinks.

We consulted with the experts in nutrition and well-ageing medicine at SHA Wellness Clinic Spain to find out what should make up the perfect diet for good skin, and here is a comprehensive list of foods:

Avocados. They are rich in healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help keep skin hydrated and supple. They also contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against free radical damage.

Small oily fish. Mackerel, sardines, anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and keep skin hydrated. This delays the signs of premature ageing. It is important that they are small fish, as large fish are often contaminated by heavy metals.

Colourful and seasonal fruits and vegetables, green leafy vegetables. Foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins or red pepper are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important in preventing skin dryness and sun damage. It also gives the skin shine and elasticity.

Nuts and seeds. Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds are rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids that keep skin hydrated and protected from free radical damage.

Probiotics and fermented foods such as miso soup. Gut-friendly bacteria are a boon for the skin, helping to reduce inflammation and promote better absorption of nutrients.

Green tea. It contains antioxidants called catechins, which help protect skin from free radical damage, reduce inflammation and prevent premature ageing.

Plant-based proteins, such as legumes and tofu. They nourish the skin and have an anti-inflammatory effect that is crucial for the health and appearance of the skin.

First-press virgin olive oil. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, which keep the skin hydrated and protect it from oxidative processes.



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