The changing seasons can wreak havoc on your skin — especially if you are sensitive to allergens. While creams and serums are popular treatment options, there are some natural alternatives that can alleviate allergic reactions and skin ailments, too.
Here are 5 natural food sources that can help ease some of your skin conditions:
1. Red Meat
Red meat sometimes gets a bad rap, and even though it contains cholesterol and saturated fat, lean red meat can still be considered a “skin food” because of it is high in zinc and protein. In fact, some studies suggest that red meat can even treat acne better than some antibiotics. In order to produce collagen, your skin needs the amino acids proline and glycine. The protein in red meat contains high concentrations of these two amino acids, higher than other proteins. Zinc is also crucial in the production of collagen.
Without it, it can be difficult for the skin to produce the collagen it needs to maintain a healthy outward appearance. Seafood is another source of glycine, while proline can be found in cabbage and cottage cheese. Zinc can be found in raw oysters, kidney beans and lentils.
Often touted as one of your skin’s best defenses, tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene. Recent studies have not been conclusive, but research suggests that lycopene may help protect the skin from sun damage. When safeguarding your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays, it would be best to have tomato sauce, tomato paste or ketchup over raw tomatoes.This is because lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body once it has been cooked. It is fat-soluble, so pair it with other foods such as avocado and eggs.
3. Green Beans
Green beans are a popular weight loss food because it is low in calories, but did you know that it helps you grow healthier nails and hair? Green beans are high in silicon (not to be confused with silicone). Around 10mg a day of silicon is deemed adequate for hair and nail health, but recent studies show that organic green beans are favorable because they are higher in silicon that non-organic green beans. Green beans are also full of other vitamins and minerals for overall health.
4. Green Tea
Everyone knows that green tea has countless health benefits. It’s anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects can be attributed to the high concentration of catchiness found in this powerhouse. Studies have shown that green tea is effective when taken orally and applied topically. When used topically, it helps protect the skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays, and against skin-related cancers.
On the other hand, drinking green tea regularly (approximately 2 cups a day for at least 6 months) may even reverse any skin damage caused by sun exposure. It has also been known to improve skin problems related to broken capillary veins and redness. Chilled green tea teabags have also been used for swollen undereye areas and fresh acne scars.
When you think of omega 3-fatty acids, you might think of salmon as your number once source, but did you know that walnuts are also an excellent source of omega-3s? If you’re concerned with wrinkles, acne breakouts, blotchiness, swelling and redness, you might want to stock up on some walnuts. Plant-based omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, which helps seal in moisture into your skin and protects it from free radical damage and toxins. Omega-3s found in nuts such as walnuts contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) also help to combat dryness from aging, preventing the development of wrinkles as a result.