“Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well,” says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York City. “The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look.”
Heller couldn’t have expressed the food-skin-overall health connection better. It’s always a bonus to reap the multiple benefits that certain foods deliver beyond internal roles, like improving brittle nails or ridding bad breath. When it comes to getting great looking skin, certain foods play a key role in imparting a healthy glow. Considering that November is National Healthy Skin month, that’s all the more reason to take a closer look at the best foods to eat for healthier skin.
Top 7 Foods to Eat for Healthier Skin
Most of the foods below have properties that yield beautiful, smooth skin. In most instances, they can even be applied topically. However, this article will focus on the nutrients and benefits obtained from ingestion only.
Take a tip from a supermodel. Model Miranda Kerr says, “I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea.” Look for unrefined virgin coconut oil, what Dr. Weston A. Price says is beneficial in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (aff link). Not only does this kind of coconut oil help our hearts, but many people (not just celebrities) are enjoying the benefits of healthy skin when they add the oil to their foods.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat vitamin C-rich foods such as strawberries have fewer wrinkles than those who don’t. This is because vitamin C bolsters the skin’s ability to produce collagen, which helps lessen the appearance of fine lines. Strawberries even beat out orange or grapefruit in the anti-aging department.
Artichokes are loaded with antioxidants and a variety of B vitamins, responsible for fighting free radicals in the skin and can improve redness, cracking and overall circulation.
Avocadoes contain lutein, an important skin nutrient responsible for keeping it hydrated and full of elasticity. Additionally, according to The World’s Healthiest Foods web site, the avocado has also been shown to prevent certain cancers of the skin.
Pumpkins contain carotenoids, known for their ability to fend off wrinkles. Plus, they’re masters at neutralizing free radicals which can build up in the skin and accelerate the skin’s aging process. Author of Palm Beach Perfect Skin (aff link) and Dermatologist Kenneth Beer says, “Pumpkin is filled with vitamins C, E, and A, as well as powerful enzymes . . .” Pumpkin also has very good hydrating properties.
Essential fatty acids like flax seed are healthy for your body and your skin. They help create better looking skin because they help make healthy cell membranes. In essence, it’s nutrients in and waste out with essential fatty acids, explains Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.
Pomegranates are very rich in antioxidants, an age-fighting essential. Sure, green tea and red wine does too, but some research shows that pomegranates fight inflammation better, so it’s an important fruit to incorporate in a healthy skin diet.
Sources for this article include: