If eyes are the window to your soul, then skin is the window to your health. Your skin reflects what you eat, that’s why topical creams and lotions can only do so much for your skin’s appearance. Since aging starts from the inside out, it’s only logical to start caring for your skin from the inside out by eating right.
Here at Bright Side we’ve researched the most beneficial foods for your skin and want to share our findings with you.
Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna) are essential for healthy glowing skin. Omega-3 fatty acids keep the skin supple and moisturized and reduce inflammation. These fish are also a good source of antioxidant vitamin E as well as zinc, a wound-healing mineral that helps get rid of acne and irritation.
Just like fish, nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin E. On top of that, they contain other minerals and vitamins that help keep your skin young and glowing, such as several B group vitamins (including folate which prevents dermatitis,) selenium (which is another good antioxidant for the skin,) and vitamin C (which has anti-aging properties.) Walnuts are especially beneficial, with nuts like almonds and cashews coming second and third.
Avocado is another food filled with healthy fats, which help improve your skin’s elasticity and moisture barrier. They’re also rich in carotenoids, which protect the skin from sun damage. What makes avocados stand out, however, is that they contain D-mannoheptulose — a unique phytochemical that is believed to stimulate collagen production.
A favorite drink of many people, green tea is not only tasty but it’s also highly beneficial for your skin health. It’s full of polyphenols and catechins — antioxidants which protect your skin from sun damage (though you should still use sunscreen) and reduce skin redness by fighting inflammation.
Yogurt and kefir
Yogurt and kefir are packed full of living probiotics which help your skin look young by reducing redness, irritation, and acne. The friendly bacteria fight inflammation in the gut, which is where a lot of skin problems take root.
You can also apply yogurt topically to rejuvenate your skin — lactic acid in yogurt has anti-aging and exfoliating properties that will reduce fine lines and give your face a healthy glow.
Honey is naturally antibacterial, antioxidant, and humectant, so it’s no wonder that it’s so beneficial for the skin. Though usually used in DIY face masks and applied topically to reduce inflammation, treat acne and moisturize dry skin, eating honey is also a good idea, especially if you’re replacing other sweets with it.
Most berries are great for your skin and your health in general, but blueberries are especially good. Often called a superfood, they are a rich source of antioxidants, which help your skin fight free radical damage and repair it from the inside. Anthocyanins found in blueberries stabilize collagen, making your skin remain youthful and healthy for longer.
There are 2 main reasons why oranges are good for your skin: they’re packed with vitamin C and they’re also loaded with water. Water hydrates the skin from the inside and prevents breakouts, and vitamin C, while also being an antioxidant, plays a big role in collagen production. Collagen keeps your skin supple and firm, preventing sagginess and wrinkles.
Just like oranges, this fruit is rich in skin-friendly vitamin C. On top of that, pomegranates contain ellagic acid and punicalagin. Punicalagin is believed to increase your body’s capacity to preserve collagen, and ellagic acid fights damage from free radicals and also slows the breakdown of collagen. Combine that with collagen-boosting powers of vitamin C, and you’ll get a real miracle worker for your skin.
Tomatoes, besides being another good source of vitamin C, contain major carotenoids such as lycopene, lutein, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene. Antioxidant carotenoids are known to protect your skin from sun damage and they prevent wrinkles. They’re also naturally anti-inflammatory.
To reap the full benefits of tomatoes, it’s best to cook them using a healthy fat such as olive oil, rather than eat them raw. Eating them cooked helps your body absorb more lycopene.
Spinach and kale
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are full of vitamins that the skin loves, including vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin A controls sebum production, vitamin C boosts collagen, and vitamin E protects from oxidative damage. Together, they help your skin remain moisturized, plump, wrinkle-free, and spot-free. Both spinach and kale are also anti-inflammatory, fighting flare-ups in your gut and therefore, your skin.
Out of all the fruits and vegetables, red and yellow bell peppers contain the most vitamin C. They’re also rich in skin-healthy vitamins B6 and B9 (folate), as well as carotenoids. B6 is known to prevent or fight such skin conditions as dermatitis, eczema, and hormonal acne, and folate improves the firmness of your skin.
You can get nutrients from bell peppers of all colors, not just red and yellow, but red and yellow ones contain much more of them.
Yogurt and kefir aren’t the only fermented foods that are good for your skin and your health. All fermented foods contain probiotics — friendly bacteria that not only balances out the bad bacteria in your gut, calming down the inflammation that would show up on your skin, but also prevents wrinkles and gives you a glowing complexion by optimizing the absorption of nutrients from everything you eat. They also contain anti-aging lactic acid.
This spice has gained the reputation of a superfood, and for good reason. It’s anti-inflammatory, so it helps heal acne and calm down redness, prevents oxidative damage to the skin, repairs sun damage if it’s already happened, and even prevents skin cancers.
The reason why raw cacao is so good is because it contains resveratrol, a really powerful antioxidant. Like all other antioxidants, it protects and repairs sun-damaged skin, preventing signs of premature aging. Cacao is also one of the biggest sources of magnesium in food — a calming mineral that helps reduce skin irritations.
Cocoa (which is roasted cacao) and dark chocolate (which is made with cocoa) also have some resveratrol, but not nearly as much, so it’s best to consume raw cacao by adding it to smoothies or yogurt to get the most out of it.
Oats are full of manganese — a mineral that’s not commonly associated with skin health. However, manganese helps your body absorb essential skin vitamins and minerals such as choline, biotin, and vitamin C. Together, they help preserve your skin’s elasticity and fight free radical damage. Oats also contain skin-healing zinc and antioxidant selenium.
One of the most beneficial oils for your overall health, olive oil is also good for your skin. It contains omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols. As mentioned before, omega-3s keep your skin supple and moisturized, while polyphenols protect it from oxidative damage and fight inflammation.