Research on the best foods for healthy skin is somewhat limited, and rather subjective. But what it does tell us is that for glowing skin, we need to eat a wide variety of foods. And, those foods need to be higher in antioxidants because antioxidant-rich foods seem to have a protective effect for the skin.
So, how do we know if foods are high in antioxidants? Antioxidants/phytochemicals are what give fruits and vegetables their color! So by “eating a rainbow” you’re getting your daily dose of antioxidants to boost your complexion, along with important vitamins and minerals.
Consider these skin-friendly foods:
- Carrots, apricots, and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables
- Spinach and other green leafy vegetables
- Blueberries and other berries
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish
Oppositely, some foods seem to be associated with skin damage. Research suggests that a diet high in processed or refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats promotes skin aging. So can lack of sleep as well as not enough hydration. Also, many of the best foods for healthy skin also promote good health overall. Rather than focusing on specific foods for healthy skin, concentrate on a healthy diet in general. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Include nuts, seeds and beans in your favorite meals. Choose whole-grain breads and high fiber sources of carbohydrates. Limit sweets. Strive for variety as you’re making healthy choices and eat your way to a glowing you!
- Draelos ZD. Eating for a lifetime of healthy skin. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2011;10:1.
- Cosgrove MC, et al. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;86:1225.
- Borek C. Aging and antioxidants: Fruits and vegetables are powerful armor. Advances for Nurse Practitioners. 2006;14:35.
Edited by: Lindsey Traudt, LCPC