10 Foods to Eat for Healthy, Glowing Skin

10 Foods to Eat for Healthy, Glowing Skin

I’m learning more and more that health and beauty really do come from the inside out. You can apply all of the best creams in the world, but if you aren’t taking care of yourself through nutrition and drinking water, those topical products will only go so far.

Our skin is our largest organ and reflects our gut and hormone health, as well as our stress levels. After struggling with acne for 13+ years and reaching a point of desperation, I finally made changes to my diet and lifestyle. These involved eating for hormone and blood sugar balance, prioritizing a healthy gut, and reducing my stress levels. Through all of these things and more I now have the best skin I’ve had in years (it’s not perfect, but it’s much improved), and I 100% believe that good skin is a result of healthy, strategic eating and life balance.    

This is the kind of stuff I LOVE learning about and love passing along to you. If I was doing college over again I would 100% go to school for nutrition. Maybe it’s not too late - I don’t know! I just started reading the book Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe, which is all about nutrition for beauty (and sparked the idea for this blog post)! It’s a really enjoyable read with nutrition information, recipes, beauty tips, and beautiful imagery. While there are far more than 10 foods that are superstars for skin health, I thought I would start here and if you guys love this post then I would love to cover more in the future.  

top knot with a bandana

Leafy greens
Yeah, we’ve heard it before, but they really are an essential in your diet! They’re full of vitamins and minerals including beta carotene and vitamin E, which help to repair our skin through cellular renewal. They’re loaded with Vitamin A, which not only helps limit the production of excess sebum (attention my fellow acne sufferers), but also helps the body to eliminate toxins. Greens are such a good source of beautification by supporting new cell growth, cell repair, and detoxification of the body (skin creams can’t do all of that). I put a cup of spinach in my smoothie every single morning, and try to get at least one more serving of leafy greens each day in the form of a side salad (usually kale, romaine, or another lettuce mixture).

Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers have twice the vitamin C as other bell peppers (100% of your daily recommended amount actually), and Vitamin C helps to boost collagen production. They’re a good source of B6 and fiber too. They’re also high in carotenoids, which are great for fighting acne, as well as preventing aging and increasing blood circulation. I like to have colorful bell peppers sliced up in my fridge each week to quickly grab for snacks, salads, stir fries and sheet pans of roasted veggies.  

They’re now trendy with millennials, but they used to be shamed for being high in fat. However, we can now rest assured that they’re full of healthy fats, which are essential for bodily functions, can help you lose weight, prevent skin aging and give your skin a beautiful glow. Monosaturated fatty acids actually work to keep the skin moist and healthy, and protect the skin against UV damage. These fatty acids also soothe symptoms of inflammation. Avocados are also rich in Vitamin E (skin restoration), fiber (healthy digestion), and antioxidants (protect against skin damage). I’m not someone who absolutely loves avocados (the texture is not my favorite), but I aim to eat 3 a week. My three favorite ways to eat them are: sliced with garlic salt and hot sauce, on top of Jilz gluten free crackers as an alternative to avocado toast, or as guacamole with raw vegetables.

Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and is one of the best sources for them beyond taking a supplement (which I also do). Omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy heart, but also are great for our skin because they lower inflammation in the body, plump the skin, and boost collagen production and elasticity. Salmon is also a rich source of selenium, which repairs sun damage and helps control irregular pigmentation. The Vitamin D in salmon is good for steady blood sugar levels too (sugar spikes age the skin and can cause acne). I opt for wild-caught salmon when it’s available in order to get the most nutrients and the best taste.

Most herbs are good for skin and health in general, and since it’s green that means it’s packed with nutrients. Cilantro is a blood sugar stabilizer, which is helpful since blood sugar spikes can often lead to acne and other inflammation. Cilantro helps your body to produce digestive enzymes, which help healthy digestion and prevent gas and nausea that come from bad digestion. Why is this related to skin? A healthy gut = a healthy complexion. Cilantro also supports liver detoxification, and when our livers are working optimally to detox the body, those toxins won’t make their way to the skin.

smoothie bowl // foods to eat for healthy, glowing skin

Eggs are a daily staple in my diet! I love that there are so many ways to cook them, and that they’re a complete source of protein in that they contain all 9 essential amino acids (the ones we can’t produce). Egg yolk is packed with vitamins A and D, which help with cell turnover in the skin, and egg whites repair and brighten the skin too. I buy organic or free range eggs as much as possible because they taste better, have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids (good for skin!), don’t have creepy chemical additives, and come from happier, more ethically raised chickens.   

I’ve been eating a lot of cucumbers this summer, and love how hydrating they are with a water content of 95%. Cucumbers reduce inflammation, eliminate toxins, and can help with digestive issues. According to Eat Beautiful, cucumbers “...help to flush the system like an internal cleanser, creating a less acidic environment in the gut.” They also have many skin-feeding vitamins and antioxidants, and are one of the best sources of silica, a mineral involved in collagen production. I love to eat cucumber slices with tuna salad, and also include them in a variety of salads.

Berries are a rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which help your skin to fight the free radicals that age skin and destroy collagen. They’re high in vitamins, anti-inflammatory, and have a good amount of fiber, which aids the digestion and detoxification processes. Healthy digestion helps to clear the body of toxins, meaning they’ll leave the body before they show up in your skin! Just be sure to keep your serving sizes small because they do contain natural sugar (which is still processed by the body as...sugar, natural or not). I’ll either put cup of mixed berries in my morning smoothie, or eat cup at another time of the day, but try to limit to that in order to keep my blood sugar steady.

Not only is garlic a delicious way to add flavor to your cooking, but it also has a number of health benefits, which all lead to better skin health. Garlic kills off harmful bacteria and viruses in the body, including Candida overgrowth in the gut (caused by overuse of antibiotics, poor diet or stress). These bad bacteria, fungi, etc. can cause a variety of health problems, including acne and other skin conditions. Garlic is rich in vitamin C, which supports the immune system and boosts circulation. It’s also rich in sulphur, which is essential for skin structure (it partners with collagen). I love to cook with fresh garlic cloves as much as possible and often saute my veggies in it, use it as part of pasta sauce, or make it part of a marinade for fish. 

Dark chocolate
High quality, low sugar dark chocolate of at least 85% cocoa is packed with antioxidants, which help protect your skin from UV damage, and also repair your complexion. Dark chocolate is anti-inflammatory, and also prompts your body to release dopamine (your happiness and satisfaction hormone). I love to have a square or two most evenings after dinner and it neutralizes any sweets cravings. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!
xo, Jacy