Apart from incisions, lacerations, abrasions, punctured wounds, bruises, burns or other external injuries, our skin is afflicted with many diseases. They can be due to bacteria – acne, cellulitis and furuncles; fungi – Athlete’s foot, tinea versicolor; viruses – rashes from measles, dengue and generalized viral infections; and allergy from food, drugs or chemicals. Primarily, our skin is very sensitive to nutritional deficiencies. It’s crucial to pay attention to food we put in our mouths for effective skin healing for a glowing and clear complexion.
Whatever the malady the skin is into, our body has a complex but marvellous way of healing the skin. Please refer to Foods for Wound Healing for a simplified version of wound healing. Naturally, foods are key and eating right supports the healing process beautifully.
A balanced diet can never be over emphasized. Substitute some items with foods that are great skin healers. The vital nutrients to support skin healing are: more protein, carbohydrates and fats plus Vitamin A, C and K; Zinc; and antioxidants. Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting. Here’s a guide using the food pyramid by Mayo clinic. Additionally, refer to Foods for Wound Healing for a more specific list of nutrients.
- “GLOW foods” – vegetables and fruits: go unlimited here
- Cruciferous veggies – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower
- Green and leafy vegetables – spinach, swiss chard, water cress, mustard green, lettuce
- Sweet pepper, mushrooms, asparagus, green peas, beans
- Fruits – strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime, pineapple, papaya, mango
- Root vegetable – sweet potatoes
- Yellow vegetables – orange and yellow squash, carrots
- Eat all the colored berries you can find for their antioxidants – blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries
- Watermelon, tomatoes
- “GROW foods” – Protein: Consume more than you usually do. They are broken down into amino acids and utilized by the healing process to form new cells for building, renewing and repairing skin. 3-7 servings daily or more
- lean chicken, turkey, pork and beef meat
- Egg yolks
- Fish – wild salmon, white fish, tuna, trout, sardines
- oyster for the zinc content
- low fat dairy
- legumes – black beans, pinto, white beans
- Nuts and seeds have protein, antioxidants and zinc – brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans
- Soy products – soy milk, tofu, tokwa, tempeh
- “GO foods” – Carbs: carbs with zinc and Vitamin K, 4-8 servings
- whole grain pastas and bread for their
- whole grain cereals – oats, whole wheat
- Another “GO foods” – Fats: provide energy and essential in wound healing. They furnish the building blocks for the cell membrane and aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A and K needed for skin healing. 3-5 servings daily
- Vegetable Oils – olive, canola, sunflower oils
- Nuts and seeds – almonds peanuts, sunflower, pumpkin
- Beverages – the skin can benefit from green tea and coffee in moderation.
Green tea protects the skin from ultraviolet rays as during sun burn due to its antioxidants while the caffeine in coffee improves skin blood circulation. Know the Foods Causing your Allergy: There are foods to avoid which can aggravate allergies. Eczema and other allergic skin reactions worsen with intake of the specific foods. Check if your allergy gets worse with intake of these foods and eliminate them from your diet:
- Shellfish – mussels
- Cured cheeses