The advertising of beauty creams makes great promises, but the evidence that healthy eating is the best solution to take care of our skin and fight the effects of the sun is even stronger.
The skin: the largest structure of our body
The skin is the largest organ in our body and acts as a protective barrier between our organism and the environment around it, protecting and helping to keep us healthy from external harmful substances and pathogens. Therefore it is really important to give our skin the required nutritional contributions just like any other organ and part of our body. Although there’s not much secret about what helps to that (a healthy and varied diet based on vegetables and unprocessed food) there are a few foods that can help with this.
Foods for our skin
The foods that help to maintain our skin in good condition are various, and the most well known ones are the following:
- Green Tea
- Olive oil
- Nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts…)
However we don’t want you to focus on a single thing but on a whole combination of them, so here are two groups of foods that can really help to produce more collagen or even introduce it into your diet.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Lettuce, spinach, lamb’s lettuce; they are often used as a base for salads and we tend to think that they are foods that do not contribute much to our health, we see them too basic. However, green leafy vegetables have a lot of nutrients, vitamins and minerals (such as calcium, zinc and magnesium), and antioxidants. These components are not a source of calories but are needed to synthesize proteins and help to repair and compensate for the damage that occurs to skin cells after -for example- exposure to the sun. In addition, they facilitate the production of collagen, the protein that is primarily responsible for the good appearance of the skin (as we will see next).
Fish and meat soups, and jelly
Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals (including humans). It is the most important component of bones, connective tissues… and skin: it represents almost a third of our total protein mass. The amino acids that make up collagen (glycine, proline and lysine) are non-essential type, so that means that our body can synthesise them from others and then use them to produce its own collagen. But just because the body can manufacture them does not mean that it does not benefit from additional dietary input.
- We can add natural collagen on our diet consuming traditional dishes and foods like fish broths and bone soups, prepared in a slow or fast cooker.
- Another great source of collagen is the skin of other animals, the best example is the case of roasted chicken (the fried version is not as healthy as the roasted one).
- If you are vegetarian no problem, you have the option of the gelatin desserts. Just be careful when buying the gelatin, it must be pure, without added sugar. You can even prepare your own gelatin at home if you want to go even more healthy.