Struggling with maintaining beautiful skin? If products and treatments aren’t helping you find a fix, the real problem could be related to the foods you eat. A poor diet can significantly impact every organ in your body; this includes your skin.
For example, if you skip too many meals, rely on fast food, or overindulge in alcohol, you might notice sudden breakouts, dryness, dullness, or even loss of volume at a younger age. That’s why so many providers tell their clients to eat well and stay hydrated in the first place. It’s by far the best way to take care of your skin.
But that isn’t where the connection between healthy eating and beautiful skin ends. In fact, it’s really just the beginning. It turns out certain foods have a bigger positive impact on skin than others – including the supercharged selections on this list.
AVOCADO (OR AVOCADO OIL)
Avocados contain a massive dose of healthy fats (called monounsaturated fatty acids), protein, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. Every single one of these ingredients plays a key role in skin softness, collagen production, detoxification, and aging. This makes your favorite guacamole ingredient a real contender for the best of the best.
At least one study has shown that women who increased their avocado intake reported “springier” skin. This is significant because, in many cases, loss of volume can be extremely difficult to correct with topical ingredients alone.
Other studies have linked avocado to lower levels of inflammation throughout the body. And while there’s no specific proof just yet, that does mean that eating more avocados (and healthy fats in general) might reduce the symptoms of inflammation-triggering skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis.
If you’re not super into avocados themselves (they can be expensive and don’t store well), you can still benefit. Just use avocado oil when you cook.
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who absolutely adore broccoli fresh, steamed, or even baked… and those who recoil at the mere thought of a floret crossing onto their plate. Regardless of which of those sides you sit on, mom was right when she encouraged you to eat this leafy green.
Broccoli contains zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C, lutein, and a special little compound called sulforaphane. The first three vitamins and minerals listed are critical to overall health and immune function.
Lutein, on the other hand, is chemically similar to beta-carotene, which has a strong antioxidant effect. And sulforaphane, while it might sound like a risky chemical you can’t pronounce, is a naturally-occurring ingredient with the potential to reduce your risk for melanoma and certain other cancers.
PS: If you really can’t stand broccoli, we understand. But instead of giving up on it altogether, try some of the cooking options on this list. It is possible to mask it or hide it so you still enjoy what you eat and the health benefits, too.
Fish species that have a high fat and oil content, like salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring, are incredible for your skin. And if you’ve already guessed that might be due to the fat content… well, you’re right. Most fatty fish contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
Like the monounsaturated fats found in avocado, these help your beautiful skin stay supple, flexible, and voluminous. They also aid immune function, helping to lower inflammation, reduce pain, and improve cellular turnover.
In fact, omega-3s are so important that it’s even possible to develop a deficiency over time if you aren’t eating right. The number one symptom is dry, itchy skin. But a deficiency in omega-3 can also cause you to burn faster in the sun (SO important in LA’s hot summers) or even experience intense adult acne breakouts.
As for how you should eat your fatty fish? Think of them like any other type of meat; avoid anything fried or battered and go for steamed, baked, or broiled instead.
NUTS (ESPECIALLY WALNUTS)
Nuts like walnuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts all contain healthy fats, including a mixture of both omega-3 and omega-6. This is important because omega-3 and omega-6 directly balance one another in the body. Too much of one, and not enough of the other, can actually be a trigger for new skin problems.
In walnuts, the balance between omega-3s and omega-6s is so perfect that eating them can actually help prevent that imbalance. Walnuts also contain a significant dose of zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and the mineral selenium.
Zinc supports proper immune function, which helps skin heal faster from daily sources of damage (like smog and sun). Vitamin C and E are both heavy duty antioxidants that help improve cellular regeneration and collagen production.
These colorful veggies don’t just make a great addition to salads; they’re also low in calories, high in water content, and packed with good stuff. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers all contain very high levels of key vitamins, like C and A.
In fact, those levels are so high that just a cup provides almost 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDI) for A and over 300% of the RDI for C. That’s a big blast of goodness for a food with such a low caloric load!
Ripe peppers, like broccoli, are also extremely rich in beta-carotene. That’s the same ingredient we mentioned further up when we talked about broccoli, and you can expect that it will have many of the same effects.
Sweet potatoes contain more beta-carotene than almost any other food; a single potato offers around four times the RDI. This high volume offers some unique benefits that may or may not be present elsewhere.
Primarily, studies have shown that eating more sweet potatoes might help protect skin from damage – especially sun damage. Researchers aren’t sure yet exactly why this happens, but believe that it may detoxify cells by actually acting like a sunblock.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that sweet potatoes are a replacement for sunscreen; it isn’t that effective. You can, and should, still slather it on at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Adding more of any of the foods on this list to your diet can really help. But if you’re looking for even more, here’s a few honorable mentions:
Just to name a few! All of these foods contain ingredients that help your beautiful skin stay healthy and maintain its glow over time.