There’s definitely truth behind the saying ‘you are what you eat’. And this is particularly true when it comes to your skin. Sure, protective and reparative products, the amount of sleep you get and stress levels all play factors as well, but eating nutritious foods is absolutely vital for a healthy, radiant complexion.In fact, you might not even have to continue your search for that life-changing eye cream if you find good balance in the kitchen. In general, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats is recommended.Water is of course also essential, and it’s important to avoid or consume in moderation those foods and beverages that dehydrate the body as well. But let’s get a bit more specific on how exactly to leverage nutrition toachieve and maintain great-looking skin. Here’s what you should be filling your plate (and cup) with:
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C (they’re one of the most potent sources in fact), which help to fight free radicals and premature aging. Antioxidants are also anti-inflammatory, making blueberries especially ideal for those who suffer from acne, eczema and other skin ailments.
Simply eat them by the handful or sprinkle them on top of oatmeal, parfaits and salads.
Brimming with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, avocados are super nutrient dense. They’re extremely moisturizing, promote softness, prevent wrinkles and can even be used topically. Simply apply the fruit directlyto the skin and letthe natural oils penetrate deep into the pores.
There areseveral ways incorporate this green beauty into your diet. Top it on toast, blend it into a smoothie for added creaminess or even dress them up to throw on the grill!
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and A, which are both essential for healthy skin cell production. They’re also full of Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that protects against sun damage. Upping your intake during summer months shouldn’t be difficult, as they’re in-season and will be at peak taste.
Slice them up for a juicy caprese salad, stuff halves with quinoa and herbs or puree a few down for a hearty sauce or soup!
Salmon is rich in protein, and is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These help to keep skin supple, plump and moisturized. As an added bonus they also help to prevent sugar cravings, which often lead to inflammation and breakouts.
Go out for poke bowls, have a seafood taco night or simplysear up some fresh filets drizzled with lemon juice.
Thanks to loads of vitamin E, olive oil nourishes skin cells and helpsthemto resist wrinkles. It also contains good fats (the monounsaturated kind) and more anti-aging compounds like polyphenols. Similar to avocados, it, too, can be applied topically as well as ingested for benefits.
Use it in place of butter, drizzle it on mashed potatoes and corn on the cob or make a homemade salad dressing. You can even drink olive oil by the spoonful!
Bone broth is chock-full of collagen, which helps to strengthen and firm the skin and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.Bone broth also contains hyaluronic acid (found in many beauty products and fillers), which is a key nutrient for helping cells to retain moisture.
Drink it by the cupful or use it as a base for marinades, soups and stew recipes.
This vibrant orange root contains high levels of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to soothe skin conditions. The powerful components found in this spice also assist in the remodeling of damaged skin.
Sprinkle a pinch or two onroasted vegetables and scrambles or opt for a turmeric latte (super trendy these days) at the coffee shop.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts are full of minerals, protein and essential fatty acids, which are all important nutrients for promoting a healthy complexion. These crunchy morsels also contain high levels of selenium and vitamin E. Together they work to repair skin while also providing anti-bacterial qualities that can fight breakouts.
Stash a variety, like brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds, at your desk for a mid-day wholesomesnack.
It’s tough to find a dark leafy green that doesn’t pack a punch in terms of nutrition, but spinach is one of the best when it comes to your skin. It’s loaded with folate and iron and also serves as a great detoxifier for the body’s organs.
Blend a handful into a smoothie (we promise the earthy taste will be hidden) or sauté up a cup or two for a side dish.
Sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that helps keep skin healthy by acting as a natural sunblock. This vegetable is known to actually physically brighten skin as well, providing a natural, bronzed look.
Swap bananas for sweet potatoes as a smoothie base or bake up a pan of crispy chips or fries to serve alongside meals.
The positive effects that cocoa has on skin are quite impressive. AKA a great excuse to indulge. It’s the flavanols found inside that are highly beneficial. To get the most from this treat look for dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or higher and try to keep added sugar to a minimum.
Eat it on its own, add to cereals or drizzle it atop smoothie bowls, toast and popcorn!
There has been a lot of buzz about the benefits of red wine for health. That’s mostly thanks to an antioxidant it contains known as resveratrol. Resveratrol comes from the skin of red grapes and is credited for its fight against aging.
Finally, a no-brainer, but always worth mentioning! Drink plenty of H2O each day to ensure that skin says hydrated from the inside out.
It’s simple really. If you eat your best you’ll also feel and look your best. So think of this list as en edible fountain of youth. Bon appetit!