6 nutrients in seafood that make it a superfood for your skin:
1) High quality protein
Seafood is an excellent source of protein which is an essential nutrient for tissue growth, development and rejuvenation. The body takes the protein you consume and breaks it down into amino acids, which are reused to form collagen and keratin, which are the structural components of the skin. Protein intake is also important to help the body get rid of old, damaged skin cells and create new ones.
2) Omega 3 fatty acids
Before we dive deep into chatting about how omega-3s are great for skin, it’s important to note that not all omega 3-s are the same! There are actually three main types. All omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats, but they can be further classified into:
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which both come from fatty fish. EPA and DHA are called essential fatty acids because the body can’t produce them on it’s own, which is why we need to obtain adequate amounts from marine sources (like seafood).
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) are the omega-3s found in plant foods (vegetable oils, walnuts, flaxseed, hemp seeds, soybeans). Unfortunately, ALA omega-3s are not the active form of the fatty acid and therefore can’t be used by the body in the same way as EPA or DHA. To reap the same health benefits, ALA has to be converted in EPA and DHA, but this conversion rate is relatively low. For example, this study found that only ∼2 to 10% of ALA is converted to EPA or DHA.
So the general takeaway here is that seafood is really one of the FEW sources of EPA and DHA omega 3-s (the kind that are best used within the body!)
Now, the reason why omega-3s are important for your skin is because they help to decrease inflammation in the body, which helps your skin not look so red and puffy. The fish with the highest source of omega 3-s include trout, salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines.