Get Glowing: The Best Foods for Healthier Skin
If you keep an eye on health and wellness blogs, websites and magazines, it’s pretty hard to miss: skincare is having a major moment right now. And while we agree it’s super important to cleanse, moisturize and wear SPF, a lot of people are missing out on one of the biggest factors in keeping your skin happy and healthy. Any guesses? Yep. It’s your diet.
The good news: if you’re filling your plate with healthy fats and lots of veggies (and we hope you are!), chances are you’re already eating everything your skin needs. But if you needed another great reason to seek out nuts, fruits and greens…this is it. Read on for some of our favourite skin-nourishing foods that’ll help you feel beautifully healthy, inside and out.
Like you needed another reason to love this creamy, dreamy fruit…it’s also good for your skin! Avocados are high in healthy fats, which helps keep everything supple and moisturized. They’re also a great source of vitamin E, an antioxidant which helps protect your skin – and which most people don’t get enough of in their diets. Not to mention vitamin C, which helps boost the efficacy of vitamin E, protects you from sun damage and helps your skin produce collagen, keeping it strong and healthy. We told you they were magic.
How to eat more avocado:
- Put it in your smoothies for a creamy boost.
- Mash it on whole-grain toast for a nutrient-rich breakfast.
- Add sliced avocado to your favourite salad or sandwich.
- Serving chips and dip? Make sure you have guacamole in the mix.
Nuts and Seeds
High in fibre, plant-based protein and heart-healthy fats, nuts are one ingredient we seem to mention no matter what nutritional issue we’re talking about. So it’s no surprise they’re fantastic for your skin as well. First up, walnuts – a great source of omega-3 fats, which help reduce inflammation, both inside your body and in your skin. Not crazy about walnuts? Flax seeds are another great choice for omega-3s – just make sure to eat them ground, so you get all the nutrients. Next up are sunflower seeds, which are packed with tons of skin boosters like the antioxidant selenium, zinc, vitamin E and linoleic acid. And finally, almonds. Packed with vitamin E, flavonoids, selenium and protein, they’re the ultimate dietary multitasker.
How to eat more nuts:
- Add chopped nuts to your cereal, oatmeal or yogurt for a seriously balanced breakfast.
- Need a snack? Try whole-grain crackers or celery sticks with almond butter!
- Upgrade your salad game with a sprinkle of toasted sunflower seeds or walnuts.
- Add a spoonful of ground flax seeds to your favourite smoothie.
When you’re talkin’ omega-3s, it’s only a matter of time before fish comes up. And for good reason. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are packed with these essential fatty acids, which help keep skin healthy, moisturized – and less sensitive to UV rays. Plus, they’re also a great source of zinc, which regulates the production of new skin cells.
How to eat more fish:
- Once or twice a week, swap out the chicken in your favourite recipe for fish! It’s a wonderful change of pace in tacos, curries and salads.
- Try smoked mackerel on whole-grain crackers for a super luxurious tasting snack.
- Firing up the grill? Throw some salmon steaks on. Hearty, flavourful and oh-so good for you.
Ever heard of beta-carotene? This nutrient, mostly found in orange and dark green veggies, is usually associated with eyesight. But it’s also amazing for your skin. Once consumed, beta-carotene acts as a natural sunblock, helping protect you from sunburn and UV damage. Sweet potatoes are an amazing source of this nutrient, as are bell peppers. Plus, peppers are also packed with vitamin C, another ingredient that helps keep skin firm and strong. In fact, red peppers have more vitamin C than oranges!
How to eat more orange veggies:
- Swap out regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, whether you’re roasting, mashing or baking them.
- Add chopped bell peppers to your favourite salad or fresh-cut salsa.
- Try adding grated carrot to salads, veggie burgers, chili or stews.
Tomato season is almost here – and your skin will be celebrating! These juicy gems are an amazing source of vitamin C, antioxidants and all the major carotenoids, including lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein. These nutrients have been shown to help protect against sun damage and might even keep skin looking younger. Just keep in mind that carotenoids need fat to be properly absorbed – so pair your tomatoes with some olive oil or a little cheese.
How to eat more tomatoes:
- In-season tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil and sea salt is a simple side dish we could eat with every meal.
- Making a side salad? Throw in a handful of quartered grape or cherry tomatoes.
- Top your scrambled eggs with a quick relish of finely diced tomatoes, minced shallots, fresh herbs and olive oil.
- Add crushed tomatoes to your favourite chili or hearty soup.
You know all those studies that say dark chocolate is actually good for you? Well, they’re right. As long as you’re getting something with at least 70% cocoa content, the benefits can be impressive. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which help protect your skin from UV damage and sunburns. And one study showed that people had thicker, more hydrated skin after eating cocoa powder daily for 6-12 weeks. Like we needed another excuse to eat a little chocolate every day…
How to eat more dark chocolate (this shouldn’t be hard!)
- Have a small square of dark chocolate with your morning coffee or tea.
- For a simple dessert, grate dark chocolate over fresh berries.
- Try making a custom trail mix, with unsalted nuts and seeds and dark chocolate chips or squares.
Speaking of berries…these tasty little fruits are pretty great for your skin, too. Packed with vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, they’re a great ingredient to help your skin looking fresh and young. Berries are also an excellent source of vitamin C, which as we mentioned before, helps your skin produce collagen, keeping it firm and strong. Because sometimes, the most delicious ingredients are really good for you, too. How great is that?
How to eat more berries:
- Add fresh or frozen berries to your favourite smoothie.
- Mix a handful of berries into your morning cereal, oatmeal or yogurt.
- Try a simple salad of berries, spinach, goat cheese and nuts.
- For an instant summery dessert, fill a bowl with fresh berries, slivered mint and a touch of heavy cream.
So there you have it. Many of our favourite healthy, fresh ingredients also happen to be great for maintaining healthy skin. And like we said, if your fridge is already full of fruits and veggies, you probably don’t need to worry about a thing. But remember, no matter how many of these beneficial foods you have in your diet, you still need to wear SPF every darn day!
Questions? Or did we miss your favourite healthy skin secret? Drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.