(Natural News) The largest organ in the human body is your skin, yet it is so often overlooked. Heart-healthy foods are all the rage, but really, nutrition affects your entire body – inside, and out. While our internal organs are very important, the skin that covers them needs love and attention, too. There are many nutritious foods that can help support healthy skin. In fact, with the right foods, you can help protect your skin against sun damage and other issues.
Your skin is made of three main layers: The epidermis, the dermis and subcutaneous fat. The epidermis is the part of your skin that’s on top; it’s what you see everyday. Under that lies the dermis, which is much thicker. The dermis is where nerves, hair follicle roots and other important things like sweat glands can be found. Last but not least, there is the subcutaneous fat layer.
Each layer of your skin is tasked with an enormous responsibility: Protecting everything underneath. Eating skin-healthy foods can help your skin be at its best. Here are some of the top foods you can eat to protect your skin and promote healing:
Tomatoes are a nutrient powerhouse, there’s no doubt about that. And when it comes to skin health, the benefits of tomatoes really shine. Lycopene, the antioxidant nutrient which gives tomatoes their brilliant red color, offers an array of health benefits. It is a carotenoid, and it’s been shown to actually help protect against sunburn and other types of sun damage. In one study, consuming high-lycopene tomato paste daily for 10 weeks was shown to reduce sunburn incidence.
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2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish have a great reputation thanks to the brain and heart-health boosting benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. But did you know that omega-3 was good for your skin, too? The fatty acids found in fish help fight inflammation and keep skin supple and youthful. As sources report, studies have shown that omega-3s can help boost your skin’s resilience to sun exposure, protect against skin cancer and reduce inflammation associated with sunburns.
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that can help fight free radical damage. These richly colored berries are loaded with resveratrol, a plant compound that’s highly revered for its ability to protect against cancer and other ailments. Blueberries are also loaded with vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient that boosts immunity and helps keep wrinkles at bay.
4. Sweet potatoes
The beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes and other orange veggies, like carrots or butternut squash, is extremely beneficial in the fight against sun damage. As Paleo Hacks explains, beta carotene essentially “absorbs ultraviolet (UV) radiation before it can damage cells in your skin.” Beta carotene has been proven to provide ample sun protection after just 10 weeks of supplementation in studies.
Beta carotene has also been shown to exhibit synergistic effects when combined with lycopene — so combining sweet potatoes with tomatoes will maximize the health benefits of both nutrients.
Pomegranates contain a wide variety of health-boosting plant nutrients, including polyphenols and flavonoids. The antioxidant nutrients found in pomegranates are known to fight inflammation, protect against DNA damage and support your skin’s immunity to sun damage. Studies have reportedly shown that pomegranate can “reduce damage from UVB rays as well as inhibit certain proteins that play a role in tumor development and skin aging.”
There are many, many foods that can help support healthy skin, and overall well-being. Some other foods that can help protect against sun damage include aloe, avocado, cauliflower, green tea, grapefruit, dark chocolate, and dark leafy greens. Learn more about what you’re eating at Food.news.
Sources for this article include: