Glowing skin is in - and for good reason. Radiant, lit-from-within skin is indicative of good overall health and well-being. The great news is that glowing skin is possible, and it doesn’t require a 12-step skincare regimen.
A great deal of the work required to improve the quality and look of your skin has to start from within — it’s not just about the topical products. If you pair clean skincare with the power of healthy foods, you increase your chances at the coveted “glass skin” look. This article will uncover the best foods to incorporate into your diet to make your skin radiate from the inside out.
What Makes Food Good for Your Skin?
A healthy and balanced diet can result in plenty of positive effects, including nourished and protected skin that looks vibrant and full of life.
Plant-based foods are particularly ripe with bioactive compounds, such as vitamins, polyphenols, and carotenoids, that can promote structural integrity, reduce inflammation, and protect against ultraviolet damage.
A diet rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients found in food like fruits and vegetables can help keep your skin strong against environmental aggressors. However, healthy skin depends on what you fuel your body with just as much as what you put on your skin.
Basing your diet on nutrient-dense foods will help you get the most out of your efforts in your skincare routine.
Antioxidants can support overall skin cell health against stressors like sun exposure and free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can be absorbed from the environment due to exposure to factors like cigarette smoke and pollutants in the air.
Typical forms of powerful antioxidants include:
- Vitamin A, which is responsible for cell division and growth
- Vitamin C, which supports proper collagen synthesis (production of collagen) and helps protect skin cells against sun damage
- Vitamin E, which supports skin cell health during exposure to free radicals
Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are commonly referred to as healthy fats. These serve as the foundation for healthy cell membranes and are vital for healthy oil production that keeps your skin plump and vibrant. Healthy fats are found in a variety of foods like beans, nuts, legumes, and avocados.
Zinc is an essential mineral that lives throughout your body to help your cells grow and divide, which is pivotal for healing wounds.
To maintain a healthy glow, you must ensure your body gets enough zinc to lend itself to cell turnover. Unfortunately, your body cannot produce zinc, so it must be ingested through food or supplements. Zinc can be found in oysters, beef, chicken, pork, nuts, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal, and mushrooms.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in our bodies that is useful for hydration and water retention, working to ward off dry skin. In addition, it may help you achieve radiant skin by minimizing the appearance of fine lines and dark spots. Hyaluronic acid is found primarily in bone broth.
What Are the Best Foods for Glowing Skin?
From protection from the sun and air pollution to maintaining cell membranes and turnover, we have established how relevant your food choices can be to giving your body what it needs to function like a well-oiled machine.
Now that you know some essential nutrients for skin health, here are some of the best foods for healthy, glowing skin — fortunately, these are everyday foods that can be easily found on your next grocery trip.
1. Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach are excellent sources of antioxidants like vitamins A and C that will help guard your skin against potential damage from environmental stressors. Leafy greens include lettuce, kale, arugula, bok choy, spinach, chard, cabbage, and broccoli.
These veggies can be the base for a salad, but you can also cook them into soups, roast them, or steam leafy greens. To get the most nutritional benefit from leafy greens, consume them raw. This ensures fewer nutrients are lost in the cooking process.
2. Citrus Fruits
Oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, and limes (just to name a few) are some of the most popular and enjoyable sources of vitamin C for consumption. Along with boosting your immune system, ingesting vitamin C has also been known to help support collagen production, a vital protein for keeping your skin supple and elastic. For a simple boost of citrus rich in vitamin C, add fresh lemon to your water.
3. Berries and Fruits
Berries are another tasty source of potent antioxidants and vitamins. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are exceptionally high in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and preserve the skin’s barrier, resulting in fewer skin problems and visible blemishes.
Other fruits like kiwi, pomegranate, and papaya can also benefit skin health thanks to their rich nutrient profiles.
Fish such as trout, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats essential for cell membrane health and skin hydration.
Avocados are another source of healthy fat that can help reduce inflammation and protect the skin with vitamins E and C. These nutrients help keep the skin hydrated and protect it from damage.
6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are also healthy fats and are high in zinc. Brazil nuts also provide selenium, an essential micronutrient for healthy skin. If you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate more healthy fat and zinc into your diet, look for nut spreads made without sugar, oil, or added salt - like raw almond or peanut butter. Add to smoothies or spread on toast for a nutritious snack.
7. Green Tea
Green tea is a healthy source of antioxidants you might already be used to having in your diet. Adding green tea to your diet can do wonders for your skin. Green tea is also made up of about ninety-nine percent of water, so that it will keep you and your skin hydrated.
8. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate isn’t just a great dessert - it’s a superfood because it is high in antioxidants and may even improve blood flow to the skin. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays. Consume dark chocolate in moderation, and look for varieties low in added sugars to reap the most health benefits.
Drinking enough water is essential for keeping your skin hydrated and maintaining a healthy glow and overall healthy lifestyle. Keeping your body hydrated will lend itself to hydrating your skin and soothing dryness while maintaining proper skin elasticity.
Drink at least eight glasses of water daily to help keep your skin looking its best.
In conclusion, food is a powerful tool for your and your skin’s health. Many different nutrient-rich foods can help make your skin glow from the inside out.
Frequently, we shy away from making specific lifestyle changes because we worry we won’t be able to keep up with a complicated diet that cuts out too much of what we have grown accustomed to. Still, when you have the mindset that focuses on what you are gaining by adding more healthy foods to your diet more frequently, you are more likely to successfully adjust to an overall healthier lifestyle that will be readily apparent on your skin’s surface.
Even the most straightforward substitution of eating fruit when craving sugar can make a world of difference for your skin’s health. Daily incorporating essential nutrients will power your body to hydrate, protect, and heal your skin from environmental stressors. In addition, balancing your diet with proper skin care practices like moisturizing and applying SPF will bring you that much closer to a radiant complexion that lasts.