By Isabelle Huot
Healthy dietary habits can help keep your skin soft and supple and reduce the signs of aging. Here are six winning tips:
1. Remember to hydrate. To keep your skin supple, you should drink 2.2 litres—about 7½ 300-millilitre/10-ounce glasses—of water or other liquids such as milk, vegetable juices, tea, and herbal tea every day.
2. Meet your protein needs. Protein is essential for skin repair. The ideal is one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, spreading it out over your three daily meals day.
3. Choose the A-C-E trio of vitamins. Forget supplements; instead, rely on the vitamins found on your plate. Vitamins A, C, and E have a significant effect on skin health, acting as antioxidants and combatting free radicals. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains are good sources.
4. Choose good fats. Good omega-3 fats (from fatty fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts) have anti-inflammatory properties, which are good for the skin. They also promote the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and E. As a bonus, they help to hydrate the skin.
5. Limit your intake of alcohol. Alcohol changes the permeability of the skin and affects the functioning of the skin’s barrier.
6. Look to the Mediterranean diet. In all the studies that have looked at the link between food and the skin, this diet has been shown the most beneficial. A diet that is mainly vegetable based with very little red meat and sugar is definitely linked to healthy skin—and to longevity.
Recent studies suggest that probiotics may help keep skin looking younger. The cosmetics industry has been exploring the role of probiotics in addressing the aging effects of exposure to the sun, but researchers have yet to determine whether they are more beneficial when they are consumed in food or when incorporated into beauty products.