You are what you eat – a saying that is often said in jest couldn’t be more truthful. Your skin is your largest organ and healthy skin not only looks good but is an indication that one’s overall health is in good shape.
Below you will find a list of some of the best foods to eat for healthy skin. Whether you want to ditch the bags under your eyes or improve symptoms of acne, these 12 foods are what you should be reaching for the next time you go grocery shopping.
Avocado-toast-loving millennials are onto something. This creamy green goodness is packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Containing vitamins A, D, and E, avocados are great for one’s overall health but when it comes to the skin these essential vitamins help the skin by protecting it from oxidative damage.
This crunchy green member of the cabbage family is a staple for gym rats due to its combination of a low fat content and as a source of protein, but it is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that will make your skin glow.
Broccoli contains B, C, and K vitamins that help the body combat oxidative stress and repair skin cells. To get the most nutrition from broccoli, avoid boiling it. Steaming and stir-frying are your best options to get the maximum nutritional benefits.
Not only are they delicious, but strawberries are also chock-full of vitamin C and other nutrients that can help keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay. They are also a great source of antioxidants and anthocyanins which give strawberries their red coloring.
The high levels of vitamin C will help your body fight inflammation so eating strawberries can help your skin if you are prone to acne breakouts in times of stress. The antimicrobial action of anthocyanins will also help combat bacterial infection.
4. Dark Chocolate
A healthy diet doesn’t have to be bland and tasteless. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, minerals, and antioxidants that help protect the skin in a number of ways.
The flavonoids in chocolate help to promote blood circulation and act as an anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce swelling caused by acne. Caffeine and theobromine are also present – these compounds can help reduce symptoms of rosacea, psoriasis, and acne while reducing water retention and giving the skin a firmer appearance.
5. Green Tea
Another rich source of antioxidants and vitamins, green tea is the way to go if you want your skin to glow.
Green tea also contains B and E vitamins which help promote cellular repair. If you aren’t a fan of the taste, there are many topical products available that incorporate green tea for its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
This breakfast staple isn’t just a great source of energy – it has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol, and control blood sugar, and is also a great source of antioxidants like many of the foods on this list.
One of the often-overlooked benefits of eating oatmeal is the fact that it helps promote a healthy gut microbiome which in turn will improve your overall health. A healthy digestive system will protect the rest of your body from potentially harmful bacteria and inflammation.
This finely-sliced lacto-fermented cabbage is great for gut health. Sauerkraut is one of Germany’s national dishes and is prized for its natural probiotic properties.
It also contains vitamins C and K, which help combat inflammation and promote cellular regeneration. Enjoy it on its own or as a side dish.
8. Fatty Fish
Omega fatty acids are widely recognized for their health benefits, and while most people will talk about the effects of it on the brain, these compounds also protect the skin from the elements.
Fatty fish is also a great source of Vitamin E and Zinc, which help reduce inflammation. Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are some examples of fish you can eat to improve your skin health.
Leafy greens are essential for a healthy balanced diet, and the king of leafy greens isn’t just a great source of iron but contains plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that help keep your skin in optimal condition.
If you have an iron deficiency it can leave you with pale, sallow-looking skin. The iron content of spinach makes it a great addition to one’s diet in this case. It’s also an incredibly versatile vegetable that you can incorporate into many dishes.
10. Bell Peppers
Another rich source of antioxidants and vitamins, bell peppers don’t only add a splash of color to your plate, they are also a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Red bell peppers contain carotenoids that help the body fight infection and support the immune system. They are also easy to incorporate into your diet, either as a crunchy snack or as part of a salad or cooked meal.
11. Olive Oil
Unlike many other oils, olive oil can improve your skin health due to its content of healthy fats and antioxidants. Sprinkle some raw over your salad or make a delicious vinaigrette rather than reaching for fatty, creamy dressings.
Oxidative stress is one of the leading causes of skin aging. As another great source of antioxidants as well as vitamin E, olive oil is a great addition to one’s diet. Some people even apply it to their skin – it can help reduce oiliness.
12. Greek Yogurt
This particular type of yogurt is lower in sugar than other types of plain and fruit yogurts and is packed with calcium, probiotics, and protein. You can add some fresh berries and honey for a delicious and healthful snack.
You will feel fuller for longer if you eat Greek yogurt, thanks to its protein content, while the probiotics support your skin in a more roundabout fashion by providing gut and immune support.
Start Eating These 12 Foods For Younger Looking Skin Today!
Skin health starts from within, so be sure to add some of the foods listed above to your diet. The main enemies of your skin are oxidative stress and inflammation, and a healthy, balanced diet is the key to that youthful glow (1).