Your skin reveals much about your nutrition and overall health. Along with a balanced daily diet, snacking on the right foods gives you a dose of essential nutrients needed for a glowing complexion and normal skin-healing. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are a good choice because they contain high doses of protein as well as certain vitamins and minerals for skin health.
Almonds Are Rich in Vitamin E
Almonds pack a powerful punch of vitamin E in a small package. A cup of whole almonds -- about 143 grams -- gives you 36.65 milligrams of this nutrient. This is roughly double the recommended daily intake for adults of 15 to 19 milligrams. The National Institutes of Health notes that vitamin E helps to keep the blood vessels dilated and gives the immune system an edge against bacteria and viruses. Hence, snacking on almonds will help keep your skin infused with oxygen-rich blood and protect it against invading pathogens.
Walnuts Are High in Potassium
A cup of chopped walnuts -- 117 grams -- contains 516 milligrams of potassium, roughly 11 percent of your daily recommended potassium intake. You need about 4,700 milligrams of this mineral every day because it plays an important role in balancing minerals, facilitating nerve function and controlling blood pressure. Potassium is instrumental in counteracting the effects of sodium, which cause fluid retention and high blood pressure. Too much sodium can also cause bloating and your skin to look puffy and saggy. A cup of walnuts contains only 2 milligrams of sodium.
Protein and Skin Healing
According to the Cleveland Clinic, nuts are a protein-rich "power food." Protein contains the building blocks that your body uses to produce cells and repair tissues, including your skin. Adding almonds and nuts to your diet improves wound healing and may help reduce the appearance of new scars on your skin, if you get an injury. The average adult requires about 55 grams of protein per day -- more for those who are athletic or overweight. A cup of chopped walnuts provides 17.82 grams of protein, while the same amount of almonds gives you a whopping 30.24 grams of protein.
Fiber and Blood Sugar Balance
Fiber-rich foods help to remove excess fats and cholesterol from your body. This is critical for heart and blood vessel health, in addition to adequate blood circulation for your skin. Fiber also helps to balance your blood glucose levels, which can improve wound healing and prevent infection, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The average adult should get at least 38 grams of fiber per day; a cup of almonds with their skin on will give you almost half of this, 17.49 grams, while a cup of walnuts contains 7.8 grams of fiber.
- National Institutes of Health: Vitamin E
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nuts, Almonds
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nuts, Walnuts, English
- Cleveland Clinic: Nutrition Guidelines to Improve Wound Healing
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Interactive DRI for Healthcare Professionals
- Colorado State University Extension: Potassium and the Diet
- Harvard School of Public Health: Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar
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