I love sharing beauty tips on cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting my skin. But focusing on what I put in my body is just as important as what I put on it! And though I may not be able to control genetics or the natural process of aging (that would be awesome if I could!), I can control what lifestyle choices I make, including what I eat.
Most of us have our go-to face wash and toner for radiant-looking skin. But if you really want glowing skin, it’s what you put into your body that really makes all the difference. Food is the building block that our bodies need to grow, develop and repair. And if we aren’t eating well, we are ultimately starving our cells — or at the very least, not giving them the proper nutrients they need to function at their best.
In a post on Camille Styles, Camille’s personal dermatologist Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD, MS says, “Dermatologists have long known that nutritional deficiencies often first manifest by changes in skin quality, and yet, we frequently fail to discuss with our patients the many benefits that diet can have on our skin.” Dr. Geddes-Bruce goes on to say that “what you eat can influence how your skin appears.”
Want flawless, glowing skin? Read on to see my favorite superfoods for healthy-looking, glowing skin!
Almonds are a staple food for me for so many reasons. Just a small handful gives me the energy I need to keep going until my next meal, making them the perfect snack. The reason behind it? Almonds are packed with Vitamin E, an antioxidant that defends against sun damage and “one of the most important antioxidants for skin health,” Liz Vaccariello says in an article on Today.com. I always keep a small bag of almonds in my purse. Plus, they add a yummy crunch and protein to any salad, sandwich or bowl of cereal. Or you can sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or chili powder over them and pop them in the over.
Avocados are highly regarded as an anti-aging superfood! So if you’re spending tons of money on anti-aging creams with little results, start adding avocados to your diet. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City tells Allure that “high levels of healthy oils and Vitamin E, both of which are found in avocados, provide the building blocks for healthy skin cell function.” They’re also filled with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which Zeichner says may help hydrate and protect the skin from premature aging and sun damage. I’m a huge fan of avocado toast, so when there’s little time for lunch, I’ll quickly toast a piece of bread and top it off with a few avocado slices and some almond slices.
Believe it or not, blueberries contain the most antioxidants per serving of any fruit according to a 2014 USDA study. These antioxidants protect you from premature aging while adding collagen strength. They are truly one of nature’s best ‘superfoods.’ Whether you like to snack on them alone or add them to your breakfast smoothie, be sure to add more of this glow-giving food into your diet!
In addition to giving your body a dose of healthy protein, egg whites are high in both lysine and proline (amino acids), as well as collagen itself! Another reason not to skip breakfast.So adding egg whites to your diet may help support your body’s natural production of collagen to help fight fine lines. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, peanuts serve up a pretty hefty dose of lysine as well. Honestly, the benefits of eggs are endless.
Vitamin C, when consumed in fresh produce, helps reverse skin damage caused by the sun and pollutants. It stimulates collagen production, causing new skin growth, wrinkle reduction and an overall smoother texture. Since a single red grapefruit contains more than 100% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C, it’s the perfect way to get your skin fix.
I guess this is more of a super-drink rather than a superfood, but the benefits are too good not to mention! The catechins and anti-inflammatory properties in green tea help to reduce the redness and inflammation brought about by acne. The polyphenols help neutralize harmful free radicals, and the Vitamin K in green tea also helps lighten dark under-eye circle. This popular beverage also works as a great natural toner and face mask drawing out impurities, reducing large pores, and keeps your skin hydrated for a radiant, healthy glow. Drink a few cups of this popular beverage daily with lemon and honey in order to reap these glow-giving benefits!
Lemons are packed with vitamin C, vitamin B and phosphorous – an amazing food to make your skin glow. The natural acids of lemon gently remove dead skin cells and lighten age spots. Lemon cleans the pores without stripping the skin of its natural oil balance since it contains citric acid in high amounts. Mix a spoon of lemon juice with egg white and grape juice extract to make your skin smooth and glowing, or squeeze out just some fresh lemon juice and use it on the affected area to get flawless skin. We saved the best for last, indeed.
This leafy green vegetable is rich in folate and Vitamin B which help in cell repair. And Zeichner says spinach is also loaded with zinc, “which has been shown to help reduce inflammation and help prevent acne breakouts.” When it comes to Vitamin K, it’s second only to cauliflower, and its regular intake helps improve muscle strength, regulates blood pressure, and improves the health of your eyes. I love adding spinach to my smoothies, and I prefer to have a spinach salad or sandwich rather than lettuce.
A powerful source of the antioxidant lycopene (“the phtochemical that makes tomatoes red”), tomatoes can help clear up acne and, oddly enough, keep the skin from turning red. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, participants with a diet rich in tomatoes suffered minimal sun damage after being exposed to UV rays, as compared to those who didn’t include tomatoes in the diet. But in order to activate the lycopene benefits of tomatoes, you need to cook them a little. So concentrate on including tomatoes sauces and soups in your diet.
Thanks to all the B vitamins found in walnuts, adding these nuts to your diet can help prevent premature aging. Plus, these nuts are storehouses of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that’s a key component of the lubricating layer that keeps skin moist and supple. When it comes to our skin, omega-3 works to protect our cell membranes, and when our membranes are strong, harmful agents are kept out, nutrients are allowed to enter in, and waste products are eliminated. Get your daily dose of nutrients by eating a handful by themselves or throwing some in your salad or dessert.
Yellow Bell Peppers
I’ve known for a long time that Vitamin C is important for collagen growth and helping to reduce the signs of wrinkles. And yellow bell peppers contain a huge amount in just a single bite! They also have anti-inflammatory properties. Add some humus and you have yourself a healthy mid-day snack. And I love when my mom makes stuffed bell peppers with rice and cheese — talk about yum!