Many food items can help your skin stay healthy and beautiful. If you’re looking for food to fuel your skincare routine, these ten foods will be perfect for you! They contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that promote health and beauty. In this article, we’ll cover the nutritional value of each of the ten foods, as well as some ways you can easily incorporate the foods into your diet.
The Ten Best Foods for Healthy Skin
Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit
We won’t finish the old saying your parents may have recited to you, but we will say that the legume family provides some magical benefits. Beans help fight acne and inflammation, repair skin damage, strengthen skin elasticity, and soothe dryness. There are many types of beans, including but not limited to peas, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, and soybeans.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE BEANS AND LEGUMES INTO YOUR DIET:
- Add beans to salads and soups for extra protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals.
- Use a food processor to make meatless meatballs using lentils or black beans and add spices like onion powder and garlic powder. A quick google search for “meatless bean balls recipes” will provide you with some great options so you can find a recipe that fits your taste buds.
- Whip up a batch of meatless chili that uses a blend of beans such as kidney beans, navy beans, black beans, or pinto beans. The tomato utilized in chili also provides skin-benefiting properties.
Sunset Selection of Fruits & Veggies
When you think of a sunset, what colors come to mind? Yellow, orange, and red are typically the first colors people think of, and that’s the category of fruits and veggies that we’re speaking to. Melons, citrus fruits, pumpkin, red peppers, and sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C and A, carotenoids, antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), magnesium, and other nutrients that may benefit your skin. Eating these foods can help you enjoy an increase in collagen production, reduce breakouts, increase cellular regeneration, prevent sun damage, a more even tone, and firmer, youthful-looking skin.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE YELLOW, ORANGE, & RED FRUITS & VEGGIES INTO YOUR DIET:
- Eat them raw. Carrots, Oranges, Tangerines, Mangos, and Melons are delicious and the most beneficial when eaten raw. Add them to a salad or make a sunset fruit salad with a blend of your favorite fruits.
- Roast a blend of sunset veggies. You’ll be amazed by how simple and delicious these veggies are when roasted.
- Make a delicious soup like this Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup Recipe by Veena Azmanov
It’s Greek to Me – Yogurt
Yogurt is high in protein and Lactobacillus acidophilus. Yogurt can help you recover from a sunburn, relieve food-related skin inflammation, and fight food-related infections such as acne. The probiotic contents of yogurt have many benefits to your health, one of which is reducing the inflammation and redness that food allergies may cause.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE YOGURT INTO YOUR DIET:
- Easily add yogurt to your diet by substituting Plain Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream.
- It’s also a great addition to a fruit salad as a parfait.
- Using it to make a smoothie is another easy option.
Tiny Tasty Trees – Broccoli
Broccoli is one of the most powerful food sources for beauty. It’s rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, which help your skin look young. It’s high in lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants), which protect skin from the sun’s UV rays. At the same time, the fiber found in broccoli reduces inflammation and food-related inflammations like food allergies which can lead to food-related skin irritations like acne. Vitamin C helps make collagen, which gives your skin elasticity and keeps it firm.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE BROCCOLI INTO YOUR DIET:
- Eating broccoli raw is your best option for getting the most benefits out of it – steaming broccoli cuts down on the food’s nutritional content, so it is best to eat these veggies raw. If you don’t like broccoli by itself, try making a delicious yet healthy broccoli salad like this one from cookiandkate.com.
- Sauté broccoli with other veggies, like garlic and carrots, for a delicious side dish that goes well with pasta or fish.
A Winning Oxymoron – Healthy Fats
A diet that provides some of the most skin benefits is one that’s rich in healthy fats. Food sources, such as olive oil, nuts, fish, and avocados, containing healthy fats, can help keep your skin looking vibrant and young. Salmon and other fatty types of fish are high in Omega-3, as well as flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids help the skin by reducing inflammation and food-related skin irritations such as acne. They can also help dry skin by softening, improving hydration, and soothing irritation and dermatitis.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE HEALTHY FATS INTO YOUR DIET:
- Olive oil and garlic is a food pairing that’s hard to beat. It goes well with pasta, fish, potatoes – anything really! Try making this Ultimate Garlic & Olive Oil Pasta from The Kitchn for an easy meal idea.
- Eat more salmon. Whether you like it smoked as lox, or you prefer to bake or grill it…just eat more salmon. A quick google search for easy salmon recipes reveals over a quarter billion search results, and the options are endless.
- Put down the potato chips and pick up a can of walnuts. Walnuts are a healthy snack that’s not only good for your skin but also your heart.
Super Sunflower Seeds & Oil
Sunflower seeds are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and selenium, which help prevent food-related skin irritations like food allergies and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Sunflower oil is an excellent substitute for other, more high-calorie oils like butter because it provides the same taste without the extra calories.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE SUNFLOWER SEEDS AND OIL INTO YOUR DIET:
- Add sunflower seeds to your food processor and blend until they’re finely ground to make sunflower butter. Sunbutter makes a great, healthy replacement for peanut butter.
- Eat sunflower seeds as a snack by themselves or top off a salad with a small handful to add some crunch in addition to the nutritional benefits provided.
- Use sunflower oil as a food replacement for other oils, like butter or vegetable oil. Sunflower oil is particularly remarkable in salad dressings because its mild taste doesn’t overpower the food flavors.
Eat Leafy Greens Like A Rabbit
Leafy greens can help benefit your skin in a variety of ways. Spinach and kale are rich in vitamin A and C, folate, and beta-carotene, all promoting healthy skin. Leafy greens also contain antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin that protect the skin from sun damage like wrinkles and premature aging. Lastly, food sources with high iron levels can serve as food for healthy skin because it helps make the skin look more vibrant and reduces inflammation.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE LEAFY GREENS INTO YOUR DIET:
- Replace less nutrient-rich lettuces, such as iceberg, with fresh spinach for salads and sandwiches.
- Saute spinach or kale with garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Top it off with a squeeze of lemon for added flavor.
- A great way to eat more kale is by making it into chips – try these simple oven-baked kale chips from Allrecipes.
Indulge in Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that can help keep your skin maintain a youthful appearance. Cocoa is high in flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, food-related skin irritations, and improve the appearance of wrinkles. Dark chocolate is also rich in polyphenols, which provide unique anti-aging benefits. They are great for dry or sensitive skin because they have a soothing effect on the skin cells. Dark chocolate can also be used to help with acne management by reducing inflammation and inhibiting bacteria growth. Now that’s a dessert worth eating, just don’t overindulge, as too much of anything can lead to problems.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE DARK CHOCOLATE INTO YOUR DIET:
- Do you really need us to give you tips on how to include dark chocolate in your diet?!?! It’s delicious all by itself, just eat some. LOL.
- If you are looking for healthy ways to improve your complexion, make a healthy trail mix with walnuts, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate morsels, and dried fruit such as mango or papaya.
Guac it Up with Avocados
Avocados are often referred to as “nature’s butter” because they are so rich in monounsaturated fats. Avocados are also high in vitamin C, potassium, and soluble fiber. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage caused by food sensitivity or sun exposure. Potassium content promotes clear skin by regulating oil production on the skin. Avocados are also rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, which help reduce wrinkles, food-related skin irritations, and inflammation.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE AVOCADOS INTO YOUR DIET:
- Slice one up as a salad topping.
- Mash it up to make a guac or avocado toast.
- Make pudding or mousse with it…that’s right, a dessert made with avocado. Check out this Avocado Chocolate Mousse recipe that combines the benefits of cocoa and avocado.
A Bear’s Favorite – Salmon
Salmon is an excellent food for the skin because it contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients for healthy, vibrant skin. Protein is vital for maintaining the production of elastin and collagen in the skin. Omega-3’s promote clear skin by regulating oil production on the skin. They also reduce inflammation that occurs when food allergens or irritants come into contact with the skin.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE SALMON INTO YOUR DIET:
- Foil-wrapped salmon atop a bed of asparagus topped with chopped walnuts and a honey mustard sauce is a super-easy way to enjoy a gourmet dinner with minimal effort. Check out this delicious and easy Honey-Dijon Salmon & Asparagus recipe from Allrecipes
- Grill or poach some salmon, top it with fresh herbs and lemon juice.
- Add canned wild salmon to your salad for a protein boost – try this recipe from Cooking Light!
If you’re looking for ways to have a youthful, healthy glow to your skin, it takes a multifaceted approach. Being mindful of what you put in your body is a great start, but it doesn’t end there. Drinking plenty of water is one of the most commonly overlooked tips for healthy skin. If you feel your skin is dry, rather than automatically reaching for your moisturizing lotion, ask yourself if you’ve been drinking enough water recently. Hydration is best when it comes from within. Eating a well-balanced diet, including the foods discussed in this article like dark chocolate, avocados, and salmon, will help you enjoy beautiful, healthy-looking skin. You might also decide to seek help from a skin care professional to turn back the years. If so, we hope you’ll visit us at Flawless Medspa in Excelsior, MN. Our medically trained skincare expert, Shawna Joaquin, has years of experience providing our patients with results they are delighted with. We also invite you to subscribe to our newsletter and come back to our blog for other helpful topics and tips designed to help you live a healthy, happy, and beautiful life.