- Dermatologists pay close attention to their diets in order to keep their skin in top shape.
- Many skin experts prefer to “eat the rainbow” to maintain skin health.
- Staying hydrated with water and herbal tea is another expert tip to great skin.
While regular visits with a dermatologist can boost skin health, treatment starts from the inside out. That is why nutrition is crucial for healthy skin, and it is why many dermatologists pay close attention to what they use to fuel their bodies.
We spoke with four dermatologists to see exactly what they love to eat regularly to maintain clear, moisturized, healthy skin. Just a note that diet alone likely cannot clear up your skin and it’s a mix of genetics, skin-care routine, environment and more. Still, these healthy foods can play a part and can’t hurt to add to your diet.
Smoothies serve up antioxidants
Janet Vafaie, MD, FAAD(Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology) is a fan of smoothies for their ability to act as a vehicle for foods rich in antioxidants.
Vafaie said she packs her smoothies with “fresh berries, mango, and pineapple” which are full of antioxidants and additives like “açaí, chia seeds, ginger or ginger shots, which she all prove to be anti-inflammatory and help with red blood cell repair and prevention of free radicals to keep the skin radiant,” Dr. Vafaie told INSIDER.
Dermatologists look for foods rich in Vitamin B3, or niacin, like mushrooms
According to Ron Moy, MD, FAAD, there are studies, such as one in the New England Journal of Medicine, linking vitamin B3 to skin cancer prevention. Meat, fish, and mushrooms are all great sources of Vitamin B3, also called niacin.
Add protein to the plate with lean options, like fish
Many dermatologists recommend adding seafood to your diet. Rhea Souhleris Grous, director of aesthetics at La Suite Skincare, told INSIDER of the importance of getting protein.
Fish is an especially good choice, and it makes the nutrients easier for the body to use.
“Fish tend to eat algae and naturally do that conversion, rather than us trying to drink cod oil,” Grous said. “We don’t have to wait for [the EPA and DHA] to be converted by our bodies. I love the idea of salmon, Chilean sea bass, swordfish, and other fatty fishes.”
According to Grous, these omega-3 fatty acids keep skin moist and supple.
Eat the rainbow
No matter what time of day, Jennifer Chwalek, MD likes to incorporate plenty of colourful veggies into her meals. “I like to try to eat lots of veggies, and I literally try to eat the rainbow daily.” Dr. Chwalek told INSIDER.
She loves foods including leafy greens, sweet potatoes, avocado, nuts like walnuts and almonds, seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower and berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
According to Dr. Chwalek, the nuts and avocado are full of healthy fats, including omega-3s and the leafy greens, berries, and colourful veggies are rich in antioxidants. Together, the healthy fats and antioxidants give skin a noticeable boost.
Grous agreed and said, “I’m huge on carotenoids in colourful fruits and veggies: oranges, sweet potato mango, papaya.” In addition to being rich in vitamin A, many fruits and vegetables are full of vitamin C. “Vitamin C is directly responsible for producing collagen and helps with capillaries.”
The skin (and gut) is thankful for a diet with plenty of pre- and probiotics
The skin is the largest organ of the body, so according to Grous, the body can wreak havoc on the skin if something is malfunctioning. Many skin issues such as rosacea and acne can be linked to gut health. “I’m a huge fan of pre- and probiotic drinks first thing in the morning on an empty stomach,” Grous told INSIDER. “Starting the day with probiotics directly delivers healthy bacteria to the gut, and prebiotics are insoluble and are needed to cultivate bacteria. You need both because one supports the other.”
Stay hydrated with water, herbal teas, and green tea
Most people know that hydration is key to healthy, glowing skin, so it’s no surprise that dermatologists are always sipping on water. “Water is so important, I cannot stress it enough,” Grous said. “So many people do not drink enough water.”
Another excellent way to stay hydrated? Herbal teas. “It’s cold on the East Coast right now, so I like to get in my hydration with herbal teas,” Grous told INSIDER. For warmer climates, iced herbal tea is an excellent decaffeinated beverage to keep the body, especially the skin, hydrated.
Green tea is another great option for those who might prefer a little boost of caffeine. Chwalek enjoys a glass of green tea, especially because it is chock full of antioxidants to boost skin health.
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