Who doesn’t want soft, smooth, unlined skin? Although skin care ads would have you believe that creams and lotions are the answer to a youthful complexion, what goes inside your body may be just as important as what comes from a bottle. A diet high in processed foods, sugar, and the wrong kinds of fat can lead to a low grade inflammatory state which contributes to premature aging of the skin. Combine that with too much unprotected sun exposure and you have the recipe for premature lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. One food that’s been promoted as healthy not only for the heart, but also for skin is seafood. Is fish good for skin?
Is Fish Good for Skin?: The Role of Inflammation
Fish is a source of omega-3’s, polyunsaturated fatty acids that have recently received recognition for their role in heart disease prevention. The two primary omega-3 fatty acids, known as DHA and EPA, have been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory properties which may have benefits when it comes to prevention of skin aging. Chronic low grade inflammation has been linked not only to an increased incidence of chronic disease, but also to premature aging of the skin. It’s thought that one of the ways sunlight damages skin is by triggering free radical formation and inflammation. This causes certain proteins to be activated that can break down collagen and elastin which give skin its support structure. The result can be loose, saggy skin, wrinkling, and other effects of skin aging. Definitely, not what most people want to see when they look in the mirror.
Fish Oils for Prevention of Skin Aging: Which Fish Are Best?
Although the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils appear to have anti-inflammatory properties, not all fish are rich in omega-3’s. Generally fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, lake trout, and herring have the highest quantity of skin enhancing omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources are walnuts, flaxseed, and foods fortified with omega-3’s such as eggs and milk. Omega-3′ supplements can also be purchased for treatment of aging skin at many health food stores. It’s important to choose a reputable brand since fatty fish can contain mercury and other toxins. Most fish oils produced by reputable companies are tested for mercury and other contaminants.
Of course, for treatment of skin aging, you can simply enjoy eating fish on a regular basis. To get the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, most experts recommending eating two to three servings of fatty fish each week. The result can be more beautiful skin when you look in the mirror.