An average adult’s skin spans 21 square feet, weighs nine pounds, and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels. As the largest human organ, having abnormal skin conditions are not only socially embarrassing, but are more often than not an indication of a problem occurring inside of the body.

A host of healthy, natural foods offer potent healing and preventative powers to remedy a wide range of skin troubles. If you want to reap some of these benefits, eat any of these 5 foods:

Blueberries

blueberries-in-

 

Blueberries are high in antioxidants which target free radicals that can wreak havoc on skin cells. The antioxidants and phytochemicals (plant sources of nutrition) in blueberries neutralize DNA-damaging free radicals, reducing cell damage. When skin cells are protected from damage and disintegration, the skin looks younger for longer. Blueberries are also an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E and riboflavin.

Not only are blueberries great for you skin, but they could also reduce your risk of heart disease. [1]

Tomatoes

tomatoes

Free radicals caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be reduced just by eating tomatoes.[2] Tomatoes contain a high level of lycopene, which is a substance that is used in some of the more pricy facial cleansers that are available for purchase over-the-counter. To receive the most benefit for your skin, try eating cooked tomatoes to get a more concentrated lycopene level.

Carrots

carrots

There are numerous ‘superfoods’ that can give your skin a healthy, youthful appearance and even some color due to various compounds such as carotenoids (found in carrots). Skip the cancer-causing tanning booths, and instead, start eating your veggies. According to a study by University of Nottingham, carotenoids are a better way to naturally tint your skin while acting as free-radical scavengers so your skin will be more elastic and less wrinkled in appearance. [3]

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is a required nutrient for healthy skin. They also contain high levels of antioxidants, which as mentioned previously, prevent free radical damage of skin cells. Vitamin A is required for developing and maintaining skin cells, and a deficiency of the vitamin can cause dry skin. Carrots are also a superior source of fiber, biotin, vitamins K, C and B6, potassium and thiamine.

Olive Oil

Olive-Oil-Olives-4

A study conducted by Dr. Niva Shapira from Tel Aviv University in Israel and Bob Kuklinski of Rockstock University in Germany found that olive oil, along with other components of a Mediterranean diet, may contribute to the prevention of malignant melanoma.  Malignant melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, may be slowed down by consumption of olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants.

The research showed that the body develops a resistance to the damaging rays of the sun due to carotenoids. Carotenoids are the color pigments found in fruits and vegetables such as watermelons, tomatoes, pumpkins and carrots. Olive oil has also been found to protect the skin against the damaging effects of UV rays. [4]

Olive oil is a common folk remedy for very dry skin; it is rich in essential fatty acids and effectively holds moisture to the skin without subsequently drying the skin out, which is a problem with many commercial moisturizers and creams. Olive oil is extremely high in Vitamin E which plays a big part in healthy skin. If olive oil is eaten raw it will promote healthy skin from the inside out. 

Sweet Potatoes

KartoffelnThe Crayola-colored orange in sweet potatoes comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in your body and switches on DNA that’s in charge of producing new skin cells and shedding old ones. A regular influx of new cells keeps the surface of your skin smooth, fresh-looking and resistant to irritants and damage.

Foods That Promote Unhealthy Skin 

In addition to consuming these foods that are extremely beneficial to your skin, you should avoid certain foods that trigger bad skin reactions. Such ingredients include sugar, white flour, vegetable oils and fried foods, which are especially bad for the skin, since they can trap oil and bacteria beneath the skin, causing acne and other skin ailments. Consuming the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones can reveal beautiful, youthful-looking skin.

 

Referance and Resources

[1] http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/eat-blueberries-and-strawberries-three-times-per-week

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11340098

[3] http://www.alumni.nottingham.ac.uk/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=2270

[4] http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-health-news/olive-oil-prevent-skin-cancer/10302

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