We often talk about what to put on our skin, which is super important. But let’s not forget something that is equally important for healthy skin – food! Food is what keeps our skin healthy from the inside out.
With skincare regimens flooding the shelves of drug stores and high-end retail stores, we forget how big a role our diet plays in our skin’s health.
When it comes to topically treating our skin, consistency is key, so shouldn’t the stakes be just as high when it comes to diet?
8 Foods for Healthy Skin supporting healthy skin
Food can do wonders for your skin. Your diet should be the primary source for supporting skin health. So let’s talk about what foods should we focus on incorporating.
The more the better. Green leafy ones, cruciferous and root veggies. Rather than treating vegetables as a side dish make them the main act. Aim to eat 2-3 different vegetables with each meal.
You’ll see a trend in the vegetables I have listed below. A higher intake of green and yellow vegetables have been shown to aid in the prevention of wrinkles.
Spinach is at the top of my list because it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. Plus it’s super versatile – just add it to your morning smoothie.
This orange wonder food is known for its beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A. The vitamins found in carrots protect the skin from damage, while also promoting tissue repair.
Carrots are said to help moisturize the skin. When your skin is hydrated the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles decreases. I recommend eating this healthy food as a snack or a side dish.
Don’t cry over this next one! …Onions don’t get nearly enough recognition. What’s great about onions is that they are easy to find year-round.
Onions are packed full of antioxidants and fiber, which is helpful in ridding the system of unwelcome toxins. Onions promote healthy skin, as it rejuvenates texture providing for a more youthful look.
This power food supports healthy skin through tissue repair. Similar to the vitamins found in carrots, sweet potatoes are also known to provide anti-inflammatory effects. Oftentimes when we are fighting internal inflammation battles they show up via our skin.
Eat the Rainbow
These aren’t all the vegetables that are good for healthy skin, in fact I can’t think of one vegetable that would be bad for skin health! Overall, vegetables contain protective enzymes that fight free radicals (the things we want to neutralize by taking antioxidants).
When you hear the saying, “eat the rainbow,” know that I’m not referring to Skittles. Rather, it’s to emphasize the various types of fruits and vegetables because the colors that you see represent the vitamins that they contain.
Fiber and Fermentation
When I say that healthy skin starts internally, this is because healthy skin stems from a healthy gut. Fermented foods support the skin’s ability to fight off bad bacteria and retain moisture.
Fermented foods include kimchi and fermented veggies like sauerkraut. I realize that fermented foods aren’t everyone’s favorite. If you know you don’t enjoy fermented foods, finding a high-quality probiotic may serve as a substitute for supporting healthy skin.
Fermented foods support healthy bacteria in the gut, which also aids in nutrient absorption. If the bacteria in your gut isn’t healthy, then it’s likely that your skin will show symptoms. Symptoms may include eczema or acne.
Fruit & Berries
Various fruits are loaded with vitamins and phytonutrients, supporting healthy skin. Berries are high in antioxidants, again to fight those pesky free radicals.
Plus fruit keeps skin looking healthy, as it provides a hydration boost that most of us need. When our skin is hydrated, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles diminish.
Tip: Buy fresh fruit seasonally to get the biggest bang for your buck!
There is such a thing as healthy fats, and well, not so healthy fats. Fatty acids (found in omegas) support the cell structure of the skin. If the cell structure of your skin is off, your skin could look rough, uneven, and even dull.
You want to include a balanced ratio of omegas. Our bodies need both Omega-6s and Omega-3s, yet our diets tend to be richer in Omega-6s. This balance of these omegas is important for reducing inflammation in the body.
Walnuts also provide zinc that supports the skin’s defense against bacteria. The nutrients in walnuts help the skin stay healthy and function properly. If you aren’t sure how to incorporate walnuts into your diet, consider throwing a handful into your morning smoothie or topping your salad with crushed walnuts.
The healthy fats found in avocados contribute to the moisture and elasticity of our skin. In addition to the healthy fats, avocados are also a good source of Vitamins C and E.
Avocados have been found to protect our skin from the sun and free radical damage. Try eating avocados on sprouted bread, or if you aren’t Team Guac, avocados can be thrown into a smoothie for a creamier blend without much flavor.
In addition to the healthy foods listed above, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I cannot emphasize this enough. Water helps release toxins from the body, while also keeping our skin supple and smooth. When you are dehydrated you’ll notice that the appearance of lines and wrinkles are more visible. Here is our favorite water bottle!
There are supplements that support healthy skin, but these should be in ADDITION to a healthy diet. I love collagen promoters, detoxification support, and glutathione activators.
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t supplement your way out of a bad diet. A toxin-free skincare regime and clean foods are crucial for healthy skin.
If you’re experiencing skin sensitivities such as eczema, acne, or itching and redness, consider making changes to your diet.
Many of these symptoms can be avoided by eliminating inflammatory foods. Take milk, for example, research has found it to be a promoter of acne.
The goal is to support structural and visible skin health while aiding in protecting it from environmental damage. Stick to whole foods, while avoiding processed ingredients that tend to promote inflammation.
A diet that regularly includes fruits and vegetables is going to be the most beneficial for healthy skin.
Lacy Catao is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, former paralegal and Army veteran. Motherhood inspires Lacy to share her knowledge of nutrition and optimal wellness, while also providing lifestyle insight as a mother striving to parent with grace and patience. This California native planted her roots in northern Nevada with her husband in 2016. She contributes her love for country living to Idaho, which is where she spent most of her school-age years. Lacy is the mother of three girls and two stubborn Bulldogs.