Ohio University

Healthy Diet for Healthy Skin

Healthy Diet for Healthy Skin

An apple a day may keep the doctor away but eating a rainbow of colors can help keep our skin happy and healthy.

Jennifer Yoder, an OHIO alum, registered dietitian and faculty member of the College of Health Sciences and Professions, said that while proper external skin care is still necessary to protect our largest organ, there are nutrition considerations to make as well to help ensure healthy skin.

“Our skin is constantly exposed to environmental stressors and oxidative stress, making a diet rich in antioxidants a necessity. Staying well hydrated is equally important,” Yoder said.

Yoder offered that a simple way to ensure of getting a diet rich in antioxidants is to eat all of the colors of the rainbow which will also help in making sure our bodies receive antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium which all help in creating healthy skin cells. She said it also helps to eat fruits and vegetables that naturally have more water content. A delicious summer gazpacho will do the trick!

To hit on Vitamin A, scope out foods rich in beta carotene such as carrots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupes. Yoder said the orange-hued foods rich in Vitamin A are supplemented by foods with green and red tints as well.

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes help get the skin the Vitamin C it needs. Strawberries, red bell peppers, broccoli and bob choy are great sources for Vitamin C.

Plants high in oil content yield a good source of Vitamin E including sunflower seeds and almonds.

Although the body doesn’t need much selenium, Brazil nuts are known to be one of the richest sources of the mineral, according to Yoder.

Essentially, healthy skin needs a healthy diet which leads to a healthier body overall. Yoder said the cells of the skin are constantly turning over and that the first symptoms of nutrient deficiency will usually show in the skin first by way of dry or flakey skin or red patches. 

Yoder suggests paying attention to the colors on your plate and to make an effort to get as many colors there as possible. She also suggested foods such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil, olives, walnuts, flaxseed, salmon and tuna as good sources of heart healthy oils to promote overall good health.