The age-old expression “you are what you eat” is true—especially when it comes to your complexion. To get a radiant glow, make sure to pile your plate high with the right foods for healthy skin.
The foods you ingest not only affect the health of your inner organs, but your outer appearance as well. The skin is the largest organ in the body and requires a healthy diet to stay vibrant. Starving your skin of the nutrients it needs will not only leave it dry and prematurely aged, but can lead to other serious problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
A diet rich in fruits and veggies can give your skin a more youthful appearance. Pigments found in red produce have been shown to protect against sunburn, so snack on some cherry tomatoes and watermelon next time you’re looking for a vibrant glow. But those aren’t the only ones!
Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are not only delicious; they’re also rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants in berries may be effective in counteracting the negative effects of free radicals, such as those that are generated by excessive sun exposure. Free radicals damage the membrane of skin cells, potentially harming the cell DNA, which can lead to skin cancer. Antioxidants help to protect cells, preventing further damage and guarding against premature aging (read: helping your skin look youthful and vibrant).
Add these vitamin-rich veggies to your garden this summer and get the added benefit of healthy, glowing skin. Carrots are a concentrated source of beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A—a powerful anti-aging mineral. Vitamin A is among the most effective substances to slow the aging process and improve skin health. Carrots are also packed with vitamin C, which supports the formation of skin collagen, keeping skin looking youthful and plump.
You probably don’t know how good that guacamole is for your skin. Avocados are a great source of vitamins and minerals that help keep skin youthful. In addition to being an excellent source of vitamins C and E, which combined with selenium-rich foods help to speed up the skin’s healing process, avocados are packed full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that prevent skin from drying out. Also, a 2010 study showed that avocado extracts are effective in reducing UV-induced cellular damage after sun exposure.
While peanuts and cashews typically top the charts of our favourite nuts, don’t miss out on the beauty-enhancing content of Brazil nuts. They provide a rich natural source of selenium, which has numerous health benefits.
These skin-protecting powerhouses are an excellent source of vitamin E, a fat-soluble compound necessary for healthy skin and eyes. These nuts might be called the “beauty nut” as they are not only beneficial to maintaining healthy skin, but can also help improve the appearance of hair.
Salmon is a favourite around here. It is one of the few foods that is high in vitamin D, essential for fortifying your bones, heart, lungs, and more. It’s also full of omega-3s, which may be able to combat the effects of UV damage without surgery. Studies indicate that omega-3s may be an effective treatment for acne, atopic dermatitis, and even melanoma. Salmon is also a great source of EPA and DHA.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, which acts as a natural sun block and may protect skin from sun damage. And that’s not all! Taking a look at the beta carotene in sweet potatoes, the human body converts it into vitamin A. This vitamin is needed for cell growth and development; for healthy skin, bones, teeth, nails and vision; and for maintaining immunity, bringing you one step closer to radiant skin.
Eat your broccoli! It’s a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids that are important for skin health. But sulforaphane, which may help prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sunburn, is its secret skin-loving ingredient.
Tomatoes contain some of the juiciest stuff: vitamins, of course. As well as lots of vitamin C, tomatoes pack all the major carotenoids, including lycopene, which helps protect skin against sun damage and may prevent wrinkling.
Don’t skimp on the chocolate! The latest info on cocoa powder has shown that it improves blood flow to the skin, improves hydration, and decreases roughness and scaling in the skin of middle-aged adults. So don’t feel guilty next time you break off a piece and indulge. Just 1 oz (28 g) of dark chocolate containing at least 70 percent cocoa is enough to give your health a boost.
Green tea has been observed to help clear blemishes and other skin problems such as rashes. The leaves in green tea also act as an excellent exfoliant for the skin. Plus, green tea has been shown in research to help decrease oil production—and it has antioxidant properties! Green tea polyphenols are thought to help protect skin from the damaging effects of the sun.