So, what is the best food for glowing skin? There are a number of different things that we can do to help improve the appearance of our skin from face creams to high-end facial treatments but what about the foods we consume in our diets. They do say that you are what you eat and the food that we consume can have a very big part in the way that our skin looks.
Considering that I used to be a self-confessed junk food junkie and to make matters worse, a very fussy eater too, I realised that this wasn’t doing my skin any favours. It had never been a problem in my 20’s but in my 30’s, my skin wasn’t so forgiving so I decided I needed to figure out what foods were the best for keeping skin healthy and which ones would my fussy taste buds tolerate.
We all know how important fruits are in our diet but there are certain fruits in particularly that are especially beneficial for skin. The first ones that spring to mind are berries and blueberries in particular which are considered as a superfood because they contain so many important nutrients.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants that help protect the skin from free radical damage which breaks down collagen in the skin. They’re also packed full of vitamin C which is essential for skin health for a variety of reasons including collagen production.
Strawberries are another great skin food because much like blueberries, they are also full of antioxidants and vitamin C but if you’re not a lover of strawberries then raspberries are another good option. If you really want to treat your skin then goji berries and acai berries are serious skin food not only because they are full of antioxidants and vitamins C but also because they are both filled with numerous other vitamins and nutrients including vitamin A which is another key vitamin for skin health.
The best thing about berries is that they’re easy to consume even by those who don’t particularly enjoy them. Adding a handful of berries to a smoothie each day is a great way to add them to your diet and mixing a few different kinds together can boost the vitamin levels and improve the taste to your liking.
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and trout are filled with essential fatty acids like omega 3 which are extremely beneficial to skin due to their natural moisturising properties and their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3 fish oils are said to be particularly beneficial to those who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Now this is where I struggle considerably because quite frankly I’m not a lover of fresh fish or any other kind of seafood for that matter. I’ll quite happily eat fish that has been deep-fried and covered in batter but I’m pretty sure that this isn’t the kind of fish that’s going to keep my skin looking its best despite how much I might try to convince myself otherwise.
Although oily fish is the best source, for people like myself who aren’t avid fish eaters, there are other sources of omega 3 like flaxseed or chia seeds. The forms of omega 3 found in these seeds are not quite the same as those found in fish but they are still beneficial. Milled flaxseed or chia seed are very easy to consume as they can be either sprinkled on your favourite cereal or yogurt or added to a fruit smoothie where you’ll barely know they’re even in there.
Avocados are an excellent food for healthy skin because they contain fatty acids that not only keep the skin moisturised and soft but also keep it protected from damage too. They are also a good source of antioxidants including vitamin C and vitamin E which are both essential for healthy skin and vitamin C in particular for its role in collagen production.
Avocados also contain biotin which is a form of vitamin B that plays a major role in skin health. It is said to contribute to the maintenance of normal skin to the point where a deficiency of this important vitamin is said to be linked to certain skin conditions including, eczema, psoriasis and even acne.
There are two things in particular that make tomatoes a good food for skin health and the first one is lycopene. Lycopene, which is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their bright red colour, has antioxidant properties that are said to help protect the skin from free radical damage and in particular, protect the skin from UV rays and sun-induced skin aging.
Tomatoes also contain beta carotene which is a precursor to vitamin A which is also considered an essential vitamin for skin health. Beta carotene is another antioxidant that can help protect the skin from free radical damage. When consumed, a certain portion of it is also converted into vitamin A (retinol) which is essential for the growth and repair of tissue. It is also known to increase melanin in the skin which can have the side effect of a natural tan like glow in one’s appearance. However, if you’re not a lover of tomatoes, then carrots are another great source of beta carotene.
Nuts are filled with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties because they contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin E and omega 3 essential fatty acids. They also contain good amounts of the antioxidant selenium, which is believed to be one of the most powerful and effective antioxidants out there. Brazil nuts, in particular, contain especially high amounts of selenium.
Nuts, particularly cashews, are also a good source of the very important mineral zinc which is extremely beneficial to skin for a number of reasons. It’s skin benefits include the encouragement of collagen production, healing and anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to protect cells from oxidative damage. Much like biotin, a deficiency in zinc is said to be linked to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
Broccoli is another great skin food because it contains a wide variety of different nutrients including vitamins C, B, E and A. It also contains a compound called glucoraphanin which is not only an antioxidant that helps keep the skin protected from sun damage but it’s also said to be able to help the skin repair from existing sun damage.
Apples are another good source of vitamin C and also contain small amounts of vitamin A too but they also contain copper which is another essential mineral for skin health. Copper, much like beta carotene can help increase melanin in the skin which not only helps protect it from the sun’s UV rays but also gives your skin a natural glow.
And last but by no means least, dark chocolate. I knew there had to be something good about it other than its taste. Dark chocolate actually contains flavonoids which are another antioxidant for protecting skin against UV damage and free radicals. They are also said to help improve blood flow to the skin as well as thickness and hydration. Just make sure you pick the good stuff with a high percentage of cocoa, at least 70 percent.
The results of adding these beneficial foods to your diet can make a significant improvement to your skin’s appearance. There are tons of other beneficial foods out there that can help with the appearance of your skin (there’s just not enough hours in the day to list them all) but the ones above are good examples of what you can look for.
What skin-boosting foods do you enjoy? Please drop me a comment if there’s anything you’d like to add or share.