Updated: Feb 10, 2021
Waking up with clean and clear skin is a dream for most of us, don’t you think so?
Just an imaginary thought of not needing to dab too much makeup on your face to camouflage that acne, pimples, dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles at an early age, and all of that feels so blissful, doesn’t it?
Well, well, well, friends let me tell you there is no magical & instant solution to your dream skin but yes, there are some prudent ways to achieve naturally great-looking skin. Hmmm…you must be wondering how?
Having said that, achieving naturally great looking skin is not a quick and easy process, which means that you may have to alter some of your eating plus lifestyle habits a bit that too not just on and off basis but on a “consistent” basis to reap the benefits of the same which will eventually reflect on your skin.
Ohh…wait! You must be pondering why I emphasized the word “consistent” habits?
For analogy let me ask you, will you skip brushing your teeth tomorrow or the day after tomorrow just because you brushed your teeth today?
No, right? But hypothetically just imagine, what will happen if you don’t brush your teeth daily? Pretty straight forward, right? So, Persistence is the key folks, keep that in mind!
So, let’s step by step throw some light in this particular blog on the “basic” but “essential healthy skin foods” and continue with our healthy skin journey by focusing on the lifestyle habits part of it in another upcoming blog. So, stay tuned!
Ahh…let’s begin with the basics behind the nutrition for a refreshed skin.
First thing first, a well-nourished, glowing, plumped and impeccably clear skin is an inside-out job that includes internal cleansing, detoxification, and healing of your inflamed gut.
Today in this blog will be going over the most vital nutrients and very well-known antioxidants that are just irreplaceable and are believed to have anti-inflammatory effects on your gut as well as your entire body.
Vitamins such as C, A, B, E, minerals such as zinc & iron, good quality protein, and Omega3 fatty acid together work in harmony to help you achieve naturally stunning skin from inside. Excited? Let's quickly dive into each nutrient briefly, one by one without using heavy nutrition jargon for you to retain more information at the same time pragmatically imbibe in your diet too.
Calling out first, the super famous vitamin and antioxidant “Vitamin C”. A water-soluble vitamin, required every day because our body just cannot store this nutrient. Its primary function is to fight free radical oxidation and protect your skin from the harmful effects of oxidative stress. This much talked about vitamin because of its excellent antioxidant property is considered to gift you bright, glowing, and vibrant skin. As per Indian RDA, just 65mg is an average daily requirement for your body to function normally. But if you’re an individual without any chronic or acute diseases then you must consult your dermatologist on the dosage part for that flawless looking skin you’ll cherish for life.
Wow…isn’t that wonderful? I know; indeed, it is! So, to infuse vitamin C into your diet, here are a few vitamin C rich food sources to fit in your budget. Starting with Orange, Lime, Berries, Indian Gooseberry (Amla), Green Guava, Pink Guava, Kiwi, Tomato, Green Mango and a lot more are some of the best few picks for you to consume in their fresh forms for better bioavailability. Feel free to bite into the power of vitamin C by consuming at least one to two fruits per day.
Let’s jump on to the next vitamin, Vitamin A, which is considered to be an Anti-aging nutrient with an ability to reverse early signs of aging. Exciting right? FYI, plant sources of vitamin A, which comes from Beta-carotene aka “natural sunblock antioxidant” are the best picks for you if you’re aiming for ageless skin. And you know what? The
the superb part is, this Beta-carotene is relatively free from cholesterol and naturally gets converted to the active form provitamin-A in your body for absorption.
As per RDA, just 460mg is an average requirement which is relatively sufficient to take care of your skin requirements too.
So, here’s how you can grab your antioxidant-Beta-carotene with the following handpicked food sources to tackle the signs of early aging.
To name a few, Pumpkin, Carrot, Orange squash, Spinach, Drumstick, Fenugreek leaves, Sweet potato, and many more just somewhere around ½ to 3/4th cup per meal preferably with olive oil or organic cow ghee for better bioavailability.
Now that you know the names of Beta-carotene rich food sources, do make sure you replenish your body with fresh doses of Beta-carotene on a regular basis even though it is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be stored by your body but definitely not for long.
Now make way for Vitamin E, another fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that promises to impart suppleness & elasticity to your skin. It also keeps layers of your skin well-integrated with each other.
On average, an individual requires only up to 10mg per day which can be met through the following food sources as Wheat germ, Curry Leaves, Almond, Sunflower seeds, Avocado, Pistachio, Olives, and so on. Just a small quantity of 2 to 3 teaspoons per day can do wonders to your skin for which you can thank me later☺😉
Now, It’s time for B-complex Vitamins. This set of water-soluble vitamins are an indispensable part of the Mitochondria-The PowerHouse of your cells in your body and along with other nutrients, they collaborate with them on a cellular level which provides you an even skin tone, glowing complexion, and nourished skin.
But, in this blog of all, we’ll be touching only on three skin essential B-complex vitamins such as vitamin B3, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12. On average, an individual requires B3-Niacin up to 14mg, B9-Folate up to 300mcg & B12 up to 2mcg per day.
Cumulatively grab these B-complex vitamins through food sources such as Date, Garden cress seed (Halim), Almond, Gingelly seed (Til), Mustard seed, Groundnut, Pomegranate, Fig, black currant, and more. A very lucrative way to consume these vitamins is to pack a handful mix of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits together that can not only fill your mid-meal hunger but after which you can also sit back for the after-effects to reflect on your skin soon.
Let’s call now much talked about nutrient “Omega 3” aka essential fatty acid. As the name suggests, this nutrient is essential because it cannot be produced by our body. It is required to keep your skin moisturized and to maintain a smooth looking skin texture. This nutrient is so potent that it reduces the inflammation so amazingly and aids in fading away those skin redness or lesions. Some of the premium food sources of Omega3 essential fatty acid include Salmon (Rawas), Mackerel (Bangda), Sardines (Padwa), Anchovy (Kati), Herring (Hilsa), Cod (Rohu) particularly from pristine
cold-water banks and some vegetarian sources such as walnut and flaxseed.
Now, welcome a superb trace mineral “Zinc” which is responsible for the generation of new skin cells and supports wound healing. It is also considered to reduce skin redness and diminish cystic acne. Additionally, it acts like an anti-inflammatory nutrient which means it helps in keeping inflammation in the body at bay.
An average requirement of zinc is up to 17mg per day only. Few supreme food sources of the same include Pearl Millet (Bajra), Gingelly seeds (Til), Garden cress seeds (Halim), whole Bengal gram (Chickpea), brown Soybean, and Sunflower seeds.
Calling out now, one of the renowned minerals “Iron” without which it’s just not possible to proliferate & generate RBCs (red blood cells) in our body. In all, they carry oxygen molecules that get transported to all the cells and tissues of our body hence helps in making your skin look radiant. Ideally, an average requirement for an individual is up to 20mg/day and a few which are relatively negligible in cholesterol but rich in iron, those few food sources include dark brown Date, Fig, Beetroot, Raisin, Garden cress seeds (Halim), gingelly seeds (Til), Black currant, and many more.
Gather your hands for the one and only macronutrient “Protein” which serves as a blanket that coats your skin and its several layers. Along with other vitamins and minerals, it helps to stimulate skin collagen cells, adds firmness, improves complexion, and repairs your skin. The few topmost high-quality protein food sources include Egg, Bengal gram (Chickpeas), Beans, Lean white Meat, Almond, Peanut, Dals, Quinoa, Tofu, and more.
Above all make a note to replenish your innumerable cells with “Water”. Yes, your cells are composed of almost 70% water which means dehydrated cells will have a direct implication on your skin and that can make your skin appear dull and parched.
So, hydrate yourself with a minimum of 2 to 2.5 liters of water per day, preferably lukewarm water.
Don’t forget to include green tea that contains pro-anti-inflammatory properties to fight free radical oxidation and revitalizes your skin cells.
Last but not the least food source, “Cocoa”. Cocoa, commonly in layman terms, is referred to be known as chocolate. But beware to consciously indulge in at least 70% or more % of dark chocolate which can be somewhere around 1 teaspoon-sized 2-3 small squares.
Touching on the cautious part of it! Don’t forget, an excessive helping of “Salt” and “Refined sugar” can make your skin, especially your face looks puffy. Yes, your, “Sweet refined sugar” is considered to be the culprit for many hormonal imbalances in our body and is one of the reasons for the outbreak of cystic acne.
Finally wrapping up with this takeaway list of foods for that “Head Turning Skin”…..pomegranate, beetroot, carrot, spinach, other dark green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, tomato, kiwi, watermelon, berries, coconut water, Greek yogurt, green & white tea, curry leaves, sunflower seeds, egg, hibiscus or green tea, extra virgin olive oil, pristine cold-water fishes, almond, walnut, avocado, soybeans, and cocoa.
Stay tuned to read more on the “Lifestyle habits” in order to achieve a naturally gorgeous looking skin holistically in my upcoming blog. Till then love your skin and don’t forget to stack these foods in your pantry for internally rejuvenated skin today!
Pro tip: Hey you know what? These great internal skincare foods also have the ability to help you maintain a healthy weight😃😃
Dept. of Health Research ICMR, Indian Council
Dept. of Health Research NIN, National Institute of Nutrition
IFCT, Indian Food Composition Table, 2017