That glowing skin lies in a healthy diet is no mystery anymore. Just like an unbalanced diet, nutritional deficiencies and excess of toxic elements (sugar, refined carbs, trans fats, alcohol) can worsen skin appearance, a consistent diet rich in healthy foods will bring you closer to that flawless complexion of your dreams. So before skimping on all kinds of skincare products, make sure your skin is nourished from the inside out. But what are the best foods for skin and what should you avoid? You are just about to find out.
What you should and shouldn’t eat
The lack of certain nutrients can affect the skin renewal process, resulting in dullness, lack of firmness, and early aging signs. This includes foods rich in collagen, vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids, as all are needed to maintain the skin structure integer. On the other hand, avoid refined and processed foods and take advantage of the seasonal and local ones because of their high nutritional content.
In addition to your diet, you can also count on healthy lifestyle habits — including exercise, rest, and staying away from tobacco, alcohol, and stress.
The best foods for healthy skin
According to dietician Angel Aranda Lopez, the skin is the great forgotten in nutrition consultations. “Patients come to us for treatment of overweight, sports nutrition, or specific diseases, but no one cares to prevent the premature deterioration of their skin. We tend to think that only with creams can we keep our skin healthy, and that is not the case”. Try to alleviate this forgetfulness and start thinking from today about taking care of your skin through food. So you’d better incorporate this list of foods into your diet to achieve glowing skin.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect skin cells and stimulate their regeneration while preventing premature wrinkles. In addition, the antioxidant content of vegetables offsets UV damage. Kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, turnip greens, chard — they’re all great for skin!
Yes, we can eat dark chocolate without feeling guilty (not daily though) thanks to its high levels of cocoa flavonoids that soften and moisturize from the inside out. It’s also a rich source of antioxidants since is loaded with organic biologically active compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonols, and catechins.
Greek yogurt is rich in biotins and loads two and a half times the amount of proteins in regular yogurt. It’s one of the best foods for skin because it supports tissue repair while nourishing, strengthening, and restoring the protective barrier. Plus, it contains amino acids that aid in cell growth and regeneration while reducing dark circles’ appearance.
Melon and mango
Melon and mango contain carotenoids that help reduce pimples and acne, improve skin quality, reduce dryness, increase elasticity, and slow down aging signs. You can combine them in a smoothie; not only is it super delicious, but it’s a true boost of energy!
Thanks to its high content of omega-3s, salmon is the MVP for healthy skin as it reduces redness, inflammation, acne, and flakiness while acting as a moisturizer by releasing natural oils. Dr. Melda Isaac, a board-certified dermatologist in Washington, D.C., told that “Omega-3 fatty acid is going to retain moisture in your skin”, the thing that encourages the complexion to stay firm and elastic. In plus, salmon contains vitamin D, known to have photoprotective effects, thus protecting skin against UV damage.
It’s rich in lycopene, another mighty antioxidant effective in protecting cells and combating free radicals and pollutants from damaging your skin. More than that, it’s mega-rich in vitamin C, needed for cell regeneration and collagen formation.
I know you know it, but hydration is vital. Water makes up about 60% of our body weight, acting as a building block and a transport material for nutrients. Also, the brain contains about 78% water, so not hydrating enough can mess up your brainpower, hence more stress and weaker skin. Even more, keeping the skin well hydrated also hinders wrinkles from appearing.
This drink is full of antioxidants, so it makes your skin younger-looking and healthier. Because it’s full of antioxidants, green tea is fantastic in protecting the skin against the environmental agents that damage it. In addition, it fights acne because of its ability to lower levels of the acne-producing hormone.
Berry fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries, are loaded with antioxidants that help skin stay flawless and protected all day long. Dr. Eric Rimm, associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, claimed that “the sooner people start including a higher intake of blueberries and strawberries, the better.” — you heard that.
Avocado is a fruit that does wonders for the skin. According to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the average avocado consumption is one-half fruit, which provides significant levels of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B6, C, E, K1, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, choline, lutein, and phytosterols — all needed for healthy and resilient skin.
Not only it’s delicious, but papaya is also very healthy due to the high content of fiber, folates, antioxidants, and vitamins. In fact, papaya is considered a nutraceutical fruit, aka medical food, due to its multifarious medicinal properties, though its consumption is unsafe during pregnancy.
Thanks to their high content of water, vitamins, and minerals, cucumbers make one of the best foods for healthy skin. Cucumbers are a rich source of phytonutrients, such as flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. Besides, they promote skin hydration from the inside out.
Carrots contain vitamin C, helping the body produce collagen — a protein that prevents wrinkles and slows the skin aging process. Also, carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A that fights free radicals and improves the appearance of uneven skin tone. Whether you consume them cooked, raw, or juiced, carrots are some of the best foods for glowing skin.
Sweet potatoes are full of antioxidants that take care of your skin and fight cell-damaging free radicals that cause premature aging. Besides, they’re known for having high levels of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A once ingested, supporting cell production and growth. They also contain vitamin C, required for collagen production.
Hemp and Flax Seeds
Those are an energy source of essential fatty acids, such as omega 3, and are full of protein, making them a superfood for glowing skin. Eating them regularly as a snack, in salads, yogurt or sandwiches helps protect your skin from wrinkles and sun damage.