Skin is often referred to as our body’s largest organ, so it only makes sense we take good care of it.  Contrary to how it may seem, soaps and cleansers aren’t necessarily the best method of skin care.  As it turns out, good nutrition can make a world of difference in keeping your skin healthy and looking its best.

Hard worker

Your skin performs a number of important purposes and is your body’s first line of defense against injury, insects, allergens, and contaminants such as toxins and carcinogens.  Your skin holds in water and protects your body from the damaging rays of the sun.  It helps you heal, helps regulate your body temperature, and assists your body in producing vitamin D.  With so many key functions, taking good care of your skin might sound complicated.  However, starting from the inside out can keep you glowing and feeling great.  Here are some nutritious foods that feed your skin:

  • Olives

Next time you toss together a salad or sandwich, throw in a few olives!  Olives are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that gives a boost to your skin’s appearance.  On top of that, the fat in olives is considered a necessity for keeping your body’s metabolism functioning properly, and it’s thought to help protect your body from free radicals.

  • Avocados

Avocados are a delicious way to feed vitamins A, D and E and phytonutrients to your skin cells at its basal layer.  

  • Walnuts

Crack open some walnuts to increase collagen production, a protein which helps your skin maintain elasticity, helping to avoid sagging skin and promoting a more youthful appearance.  Walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces stress and lowers your risk for heart disease.

  • Peppers

Most of us prefer to avoid crow’s feet and laugh lines.  According to some studies, as little as a single bite per day of yellow bell pepper is enough to reduce those signs of age by 11 percent in three years.  Ensure you’re consuming peppers to keep your skin looking its best!

  • Fatty fish

Salmon, herring, and mackerel are powerhouses for feeding your skin.  These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which keeps skin moisturized, thick and supple.  Omega-3’s can help reduce inflammation and keep you from being overly sensitive to the sun’s rays.  These fish provide zinc as well, which can also help regulate inflammation, prevent lesions and help your skin heal from wounds.  

  • Sweet potatoes

Do you spend a lot of time in the sun?  Most of us are aware that even though some sunshine is good for us, too much sun can lead to skin damage, causing it to burn, age prematurely and even contributing to cancer.  One recommendation is to ensure you’re consuming sweet potatoes to keep your skin healthy.  Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock and can even give your skin a healthy, glowing color.  These aptly named root vegetables are thought to not only keep your skin from being damaged by the sun, but also to help avoid skin cell death and wrinkled, dry skin.  

  • Dark chocolate

Chocolate lovers will be pleased to know dark chocolate helps keep skin hydrated and improves circulation, reducing rough and scaly skin.  Prevention recommends consuming an ounce per day to reap the most benefits for your skin from dark chocolate without risking weight gain.  

  • Water

When it comes to keeping your skin moisturized, water is an often overlooked but key player.  Some professionals say even slight dehydration will cause your skin to take on a dry, sagging and gray look.  You should consume between 8 and 10 glasses of water each day to keep your skin properly hydrated.   

Balanced, healthy skin

Consuming a nutritious diet is key in maintaining skin health.  Ensure your meals include foods that help your skin look great and perform its best.  Good nutrition is at the heart of keeping your biggest organ working well!