The foods you put in your body directly affect your skin. Gut problems and indigestion can affect the way your body retains the nutrients from your food, leading to poor absorption of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for healthy skin. A healthy gut and digestive system ensure these nutrients are correctly absorbed.
Read ahead for the 20 best skin superfoods, including tips for incorporating them into your diet. Your body is always working hard to eliminate toxins through your liver as part of the digestive system process. Sometimes, these toxins can begin to filter through your other organs of elimination such as your skin, which serves as a backup for your liver. When toxins are eliminated through the skin, skin issues like breakouts, rashes, and dullness can occur.
20 best foods for your skin
Each food you eat has the potential to benefit or harm your skin. In addition to a good skincare routine, a healthy gut is the key to healthy skin. These are the 20 best foods for your skin.
Lemons detoxify the body by helping your digestive system and liver eliminate waste quickly. Start every morning with a cup of hot water and lemon. Continue drinking water with lemon throughout the day, and squeeze lemon on top of salads and vegetables. Double up and get the benefits of lemon by not only eating it, but applying it topically as well and add a vitamin c booster into your daily routine.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes feature a skin brightening combination of Vitamin A and Vitamin C that work together to neutralize cell tissue-damaging free radicals. Sweet potatoes are also full of biotin, a form of Vitamin B, another superstar skincare ingredient, often featured in hair, skin and nail supplements.
Almonds are loaded with Vitamin E, the antioxidant responsible for your skin’s smoothness and suppleness. There’s even research suggesting that vitamin E may fight the signs of aging by protecting skin against the damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Keep a bag of almonds handy to snack on throughout the day.
4. Chia Seeds
These free-radical-fighting seeds are packed with minerals, fiber, and essential fatty acids. This combination produces a skin-loving glow, so sprinkle them in smoothies and salads or soak them in almond milk overnight for a healthy chia pudding.
Pineapple benefits the skin by improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and removing toxins from the body. Pineapple is also packed with vitamin C, which helps in the production of collagen. Overall, pineapple is an incredibly healthy food that boosts immunity, suppresses inflammation, and is low in calories.
The powerful combination of vitamins and minerals in beets help fight the signs of aging to keep the skin firm. The folate, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium in beets stimulate cell production and repair, protecting skin from premature aging and wrinkles. Try a cleansing morning juice with beets along with an apple and a hint of ginger.
The tiny seeds in a fig are filled with nutrients that help cleanse the digestive tract of toxins; which is vital to enhancing your skin’s glow. However, figs are naturally high in sugar, so limit your daily intake to only a few. Try throwing a few in your morning smoothies to get a nutrient boost and a little extra sweetness!
The antioxidants present in dates keep the effects of free radicals in check and delay the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, dates contain nutrients that enhance the strength of the subcutaneous tissues, which results in softer and smoother skin. You can slice them up and put them in your salad, or eat them raw as a desert.
The orange color of pumpkin comes from carotenoids – wrinkle-fighting plant pigments that help neutralize free radicals in the skin. Pumpkin is also filled with vitamin A, C and E, making it perfect to treat your skin. Roast some with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt or make a raw pumpkin pie.
Carrots are filled with beta carotene, a form of vitamin A, which normalizes skin functions to correct and heal any skin conditions. Snack on fresh baby carrots or juice one with an apple and a sprig of mint for a skin-boosting replacement to your morning coffee in the morning.
Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce inflammation and the signs of aging in the skin. Salmon makes a quick and easy dinner. Just drench a piece of fresh salmon in lemon juice, wrap it in aluminum foil and pop it in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
Blueberries are a delicious snack for great skin. Filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, blueberries are essential in healing any existing radical damage the skin has suffered. Slather on an anti-aging face mask, put on some cozy socks, and snack on some blueberries while listening to a podcast for an easy self-care sesh.
Soybeans or edamame contain the soy isoflavone known as aglycone. This is known to assist in fine lines and the firmness of the skin. Soybeans are also known to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and diabetes. Roast some soybeans as a snack with a bit of olive oil and pepper.
Tumeric has a ton of skin-boosting benefits. Turmeric has been reported to help with eczema, psoriasis, acne, and wound healing. Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin, which is also anti-inflammatory and can lighten pigmentation. It helps heal and prevent dry skin. Turmeric slows the skin aging process and is used to diminish wrinkles, keep skin supple, and improve skin’s elasticity. Try this golden milk recipe made from coconut milk and ground turmeric.
- 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger (see notes for fresh*)
- 1 whole cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon // I prefer the stick!)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- Sweetener of choice (agave syrup, honey, etc.)
- To a small saucepan, add coconut milk, almond milk, ground turmeric, ground ginger, cinnamon stick, coconut oil, black pepper, and sweetener of choice.
- Whisk to combine and warm over medium heat. Heat until hot to the touch but not boiling - about four minutes - whisking frequently.
- Turn off heat and taste to adjust flavor. Add more sweetener to taste or more turmeric or ginger.
- Serve immediately, dividing between two glasses and leaving the cinnamon stick behind.
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C, meaning they are super-effective at boosting radiance and brightening dull skin. Strawberries also contain salicylic acid and ellagic acid, which are known for reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Throw some strawberries into a smoothie, cut some up in a salad or snack on them whole. For more on skin-brightening, see our previous post on how to get glowing skin.
16. Leafy Greens
The vitamin A in leafy green veggies, like spinach and kale, supports skin cell growth and turnover and strengthens blood-vessel walls (bye bye dark circles!). Spinach is also loaded with Vitamin C, which is essential for the building and maintenance of collagen- making it the perfect addition to any meal, juice, or smoothie.
Packed with essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants, avocados should be a staple in your diet if you're aiming for great skin. The fatty acids are great for the health and hydration of cell membranes. These are the gatekeeper of your skin cells. They let the good stuff in and keep the toxins out. Try a whole avocado smashed for breakfast or slice one up with a can of tuna for a quick lunch.
18. Dark Chocolate
Filled with antioxidants, dark chocolate increases blood circulation in the body for up to 2 hours. When your blood circulates at an optimum level, all your skin cells are being nourished and essentially woken-up. Eat a piece or two of dark chocolate before a night out and get an instant glow naturally.
19. Goji Berries
Goji berries are an amazing source of antioxidants, as well as being fat-free and low in calories. They’re also high in quercetin, a great source of vitamin C and A, and are full of minerals. Goji berries are also an anti-inflammatory. The benefits of goji berries are endless, from preventing diabetes and damage from UV exposure to keeping your nervous system healthy and aiding your skin, eyes, and heart.
Ginger is in the same family as turmeric and has similar anti-inflammatory qualities. The active ingredients in ginger are chromium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. These are major players in blood circulation and tissue repair, both extremely important functions when it comes to skin health. Try this soothing and invigorating fresh ginger tea recipe.
- Thinly slice your fresh ginger. No need to peel the skin, but rinse it and scrub off any visible dirt. Use about a one-inch piece of ginger per cup of tea.
- In a saucepan, combine the ginger with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer for five to ten minutes.
- Pour the tea through a sieve to catch all of the ginger and serve.
The Worst Foods for your Skin
These are the worst foods for your skin, and the guilty pleasures to limit, if not eliminate from your diet completely.
Too much salt can cause you to retain water, which can lead to swelling. Because the skin around the eyes is so thin the area swells easily-and can leave you puffy-eyed in the morning.
A diet high in sugar can worsen common skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. A high sugar diet has also been associated with higher rates of skin cancer and the signs of aging skin. Steer clear of foods like white bread, candy, sugary cereals, and snack bars to avoid a sugar spike that stimulates inflammation in your skin.
Dairy and non-organic meat and poultry can change the hormonal balance in your body because they may contain hormones and antibiotics. If you have acne, rosacea or eczema try to avoid milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and non-organic meat and poultry unless they are hormone- and antibiotic-free. Antibiotics in food have been associated with reducing gut bacteria, which is anti-inflammatory and reduces oxidative stress- things that are vital for skin health.
Alcohol is a natural diuretic, which means the more you drink, the more dehydrated you become. It strips the natural moisture from your skin as well, pronouncing fine lines and wrinkles. It can also trigger rosacea outbreaks.
Foods Grown with Pesticides
Foods containing high levels of pesticides have been associated with skin cancer and the advanced signs of aging. If you’re buying any produce off the dirty dozen list (the 12 most likely to be grown with pesticides) go for organic instead.
If you’re dealing with problematic skin and your plethora of skincare products just isn’t cutting it, a diet change may be all you need to save your skin. A bad diet can create a domino effect that leads from one problem to another, ultimately showing up on your skin.
Dry skin, breakout and washed-out skin are all signs of poor diet. If you’re not eating enough of the good and instead are eating food that doesn’t support your body, your organs don’t function like they are supposed to. Your gut is especially affected by unhealthy foods, and we’re learning more everyday about just how powerful your gut is in affecting your overall health.
As your body’s largest organ, the skin expresses all the breakdowns in your body, resulting in a less than ideal complexion. Load up on the best foods for healthy, glowing skin and let the superfood-ingredients transform your skin into your healthiest yet.
for Skin Regimen by Jaclyn LaBadia