Michigan State University contends that proper nutrition is the most important step in caring for the integumentary system. The integumentary system is the body's outer protection. It is consistently exposed to damaging elements and requires some care to be at its best. One basic strategy the university recommends for maintaining the skin's health is consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water.
LiveScience explains that the integumentary system includes not only the skin, but the hair and nails as well. This is because the hair and nails are appendages of the skin. The integumentary system accounts for about 15 percent of the weight of an average adult and is the largest organ of the human body.
According to Michigan State University, there are several specific foods available to help maintain the integumentary system. For example, avocados and eggs both help to prevent dry skin while tomatoes slow down cellular damage. Salmon is a particularly useful food because it improves skin elasticity. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to keeping hair shiny and skin smooth. Beans are also an important food for healthy skin because they aid in the repair and regeneration of skin cells. In addition to consuming these foods, the university explains that lotions and special creams sometimes also prevent skin damage and improve its appearance.