They’re scaly, they’re shiny, they’re a bit ugly to look at. But fish are also a great source of nutrients for gorgeous skin. Who’d think our friends in the deep blue sea can help keep us looking beautiful? When it comes to seafood, your skin will love you for eating more of it.
Loaded with nutrients, fish boasts an impressive number of beneficial ingredients for skin, everything from omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, zinc, vitamins A and D, and protein. While fish do wonders for cholesterol, heart health. and brain function, we’re going to focus on the benefits for skin health. Let’s dive in to learn more about what these sea critters can do for a healthy, glowing complexion.
First up, let’s talk about omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil contains an omega 3 known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which can boost hydration (leading to decreased appearance of fine lines) and regulate sebum production (great for oily-skinned gals!). It can even block enzymes that lead to ageing and skin sagging. It’s basically a super ingredient for great skin. This nutrient is highest in cold-water fish like tuna, salmon, and anchovy.
Science also links omega 3’s in fish to improved skin photoprotection. With regular omega 3 consumption, your skin stands a better chance of warding off the dangers of the sun. Since the sun is said to be responsible for nearly 80 percent of skin ageing, omega 3s really come in handy. Omega 3s decrease sun-induced free radical damage and collagen and elastic deformation, all of which can result in healthier, more youthful skin that is less prone to signs of ageing.
Omega 3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties. This is great news for skin, which can be easily irritated by pollution, sun exposure, and other environmental toxins. Inflammation certainly takes a toll on skin. It can speed up signs of ageing, cause skin to look irritated, and can even increase rosacea symptoms. For those reasons, omega 3’s are especially beneficial for city dwellers or people who are exposed to strong sun on a regular basis. While you should still use sunscreen daily, omega 3s can help skin protect itself and heal faster from damage.
Finally, omega 3’s found in fish oil are linked to lower risk of dermatitis and psoriasis. Early research even suggests it may be a promising for treating acne, too.
Omega 3 isn’t made by the body, so dietary supplementation is recommended.
Fish also contains selenium, which helps reduce free radical damage in the skin. Selenium has antioxidant properties, which inactivate harmful peroxide buildup from free radicals. This helps skin stay better protected from signs of ageing.
Proteins found in fish also helps skin stay healthy. Protein helps the body rebuild and repair tissue. This is great news for skin, which needs frequent repair because it is exposed to the environment and external stresses. More protein isn’t necessarily better for you, though. Protein is essential to skin and body health, but it should constitute no more than 35 percent of your daily nutritional intake. Too much protein may cause liver damage and other bodily harm.
Protein from bone broth can aid skin’s ability to make collagen. Collagen is essential for skin elasticity and suppleness. However, the body’s ability to produce collagen decreases with age. Adding foods like fish, which help collagen synthesis, can help make up for that. Fish bones are particularly rich in collagen, so why not try making a soup stock with fish bones? It’s healthy and delicious.
So what’s the best way to maximize the benefits of fish in your diet? As with most things in life, the natural way is best. Compared to supplements, eating fresh fish has fewer unpleasant side effects. Some users who take fish oil supplements complain of bloating, bad breath, and indigestion, whereas eating fish doesn’t. You should aim for two to three servings of fresh seafood per week.
Further, baking is better than frying. We all know fried foods are unhealthy, but another reason to avoid it is because frying cooks food at a high temperature. Foods cooked at high temperatures for longer can increase AGEs, a free-radical byproduct that can damage the body and skin over time. That said, do feel free to add some olive oil to your baked fish for an added boost of omega 3’s and more anti-inflammatory goodness! Plus, olive oil is rich in antioxidants.
We hope you’ve considered adding more fish to your diet. What’s for lunch?