The quest for positively radiant skin that fools people into thinking we’re ten years younger seems never-ending. And we often want to believe that there’s that one thing that will give us the skin of our dreams. Well, the truth is that it’s never just one thing. It’s a combination of things we do both on the outside and inside.
One of the most important factors in our skin’s health is what we put into our bodies. Eating a variety of fruits and veggies is our best bet for getting the nourishment our skin needs to shine. And while many foods can contribute to beautiful skin, some foods are just better than others.
This list contains five of the best foods you can eat for the maximum benefits for your skin. That doesn’t mean there aren’t many many other foods that will help you glow. These are just the cream of the crop! You might be eating them already, but if not, they’re worth a glance next time you hit the grocery store.
The creamy green flesh of this unique alligator-skinned fruit is bursting with skin-loving nutrients. It’s a superfood that should no doubt be part of any diet to improve skin health. Loaded with good-for-you fats, insoluble fiber, antioxidants and minerals, avocados are a smart addition to your daily diet.
Let’s look at what avocado has. First, the fats in avocados are some of the best ones you can get for your skin. Most of them are the monounsaturated type of fat, which are not only beneficial for your heart, but excellent for keeping skin moisturized and supple and reducing wrinkles and fine lines. In fact, a recent study shows that eating avocados every day increases the firmness and elasticity of women’s skin.
Avocados also contain high amounts of vitamins C and E, powerful antioxidants that protect skin from cellular damage caused by the sun and other elements. Vitamin C also supports your cells’ ability to produce collagen, making it a must-have for aging skin. And vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe skin conditions like acne and eczema.
Another benefit of eating avocados comes from the lutein and beta-carotene in the fruit. These two nutrients are amazingly effective at repairing damage and stimulating cell regeneration, giving skin a youthful glow.
And don’t forget the fiber! Avocados have a ridiculously generous amount of fiber, which is vital for a healthy gut and digestion and to help eliminate toxins and waste from your skin cells (and your whole body).
Avocados are such a versatile fruit too. Add them to smoothies for extra creaminess, or make delicious guacamole. Adding them to lentils, chili, vegetable and rice bowls, or a salad is a great way to get your daily dose too.
Hemp hearts, also known as hemp seeds, have only recently become popular. But it’s easy to see why they’re stealing the spotlight lately. Hemp seeds have so many unique qualities that benefit the skin.
Hemp hearts are a fabulous source of vegan protein. And they have all nine essential amino acids, making hemp a complete protein. Compared to similar seeds like chia and flax, hemp hearts are a much better protein source. Since protein is needed for all our bodies' tissues, hemp seeds are great for regenerating healthy skin cells.
Another reason hemp seeds are your skin’s best friend is that they contain an impressive amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. These types of fats are excellent for keeping skin hydrated and smooth. They can also help heal skin with conditions like eczema and dermatitis. One study even shows that hemp seed oil effectively reduced dermatitis symptoms, like dryness and itchiness.
Yet another skin-loving quality of hemp seeds is the quantity of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). GLA is a specific type of omega-6 fat that improves the integrity of the skin barrier, which helps your skin retain its moisture. This fat also helps reduce inflammation, which can help soothe skin irritations or conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
To top it all off, hemp hearts are also full of vitamin E and a handful of minerals like phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights off environmental damage that leads to wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Hemp hearts have a slightly nutty taste and are great for adding to smoothies or as a crunchy topping on yogurt, oatmeal or salads.
Dark Leafy Greens
We all know by now that eating greens is necessary for any healthy diet. And if you're looking for gorgeous skin, greens should be part of your diet every day. The most significant benefits your get from greens for your skin come from the abundance of antioxidants and their chlorophyll content.
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are excellent sources of vitamin A, a potent antioxidant that helps battle wrinkles and fine lines, UV damage and sunspots, clear clogged pores, and improve skin tone.
Greens also come with generous amounts of vitamin C, which supports your skin’s collagen production, and vitamin E, another age-fighting antioxidant and also anti-inflammatory. Vitamin K in greens supports collagen production and helps with wound healing too.
One nutrient trending these days for better skin is chlorophyll. Dark leafy greens are bursting with colorful chlorophyll! Chlorophyll is shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce acne, shrink pores and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.
Salad never goes out of style, but you can also enjoy greens like chard, collards and dandelion greens sauteed with garlic and a splash of lemon juice.
Also known as the Chinese gooseberry, kiwi is surprisingly big on nutrients for such a small fruit. One interesting fact is that while we often reach for citrus fruits to get a surge of vitamin C, a kiwi has almost three times more C than an orange! And the healthy goodness in this fuzzy fruit doesn’t stop there.
Kiwi also has an abundance of powerful antioxidant vitamin E, a hero in the battle against aging. And it contains a bountiful supply of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that help reduce UV damage and dark spots. A flavonoid in kiwi called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) may even protect you from skin cancer, according to one study.
A handful of studies have been done on kiwi to find other potential benefits it provides for your health and skin. One study shows that kiwis may increase the production of keratinocytes, the predominant type of cells in the epidermis. Kiwis may also help soothe the symptoms of skin conditions like eczema ans psoriasis. And keep in mind that you can even eat the skin of the kiwi, which is packed with the fruit’s nutrients!
Kiwis are delicious alone as a snack. But you can get creative and add it to salads, smoothies, and salsas, or just bake them into a tart!
Most nuts have a lot to offer in the way of health, but walnuts are a true superfood for healthy skin. Walnuts are full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids for strong cells in skin tissue and for maintaining a sturdy protective skin barrier. This means increased cell turnover and better moisture retention.
Walnuts also have a good amount of fiber, which is excellent for more efficient elimination of toxins in your body and skin. Plus, walnuts are a fabulous source of vitamin E, B6, folates and phosphorus to help boost hydration, fight inflammation and brighten your complexion.
Walnuts make a great snack by themselves. They’re also perfect for adding to baked goods like brownies, breads or cookies. And who doesn’t love an apple, cranberry and walnut salad!
These five foods are some of the healthiest skin foods you can eat. With the power to reduce signs of aging, soothe skin conditions and give your skin a new glow, you’ll want to find a way to incorporate them into your current diet. Plus, they're all absolutely delicious! Add these foods to your shopping list and give your skin a healthy boost.