Boost Skin Health and Appearance with These 10 Foods (You Actually Want to Eat)

We all want great skin and not just for vanity reasons. A bright, clear complexion can be a sign of a healthy body that’s being fueled right. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to improve the health and appearance of your skin that are just as delicious as they are beneficial.

“When it comes to skin health, I like to focus on specific nutrients, that help to protect, heal, and moisturize,” writes Majorie Cohn, RDN and founder of MNC Nutrition for Woman’s Day. “This happens on a cellular level, therefore it’s important to choose high quality foods (organic, fresh, local – if possible) that contain these essential nutrients.”

Looking to eat your way to a fresher face? We reached out to the experts for their all time favorite foods for boosting skin. These were their top picks:

1. Berries

Berries may help reduce the outward effects of aging, such as wrinkles and skin damage, thanks to antioxidants such as vitamin C, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid.

Strawberries, specifically, are a top source of vitamin C, a nutrient that plays a role in skin health and is associated with improved measures of skin elasticity, roughness and color, and reduced facial wrinkling. Raspberries are packed with the antioxidant ellagitannins, which may have anti-aging effects as well.

Enjoy fresh berries on their own as a snack. You can toss them into cooked items, like quick breads, pancakes/waffles, add them as a topping to yogurt or oatmeal, incorporate them into a smoothie, or enjoy them with nuts and cheese for the added boost of energy.”

Jenn LaVardera, Registered Dietitian, Naturipe
@naturipe

2. Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is a byproduct of the New Zealand plant and has been used in recent years for medicinal purposes. The primary benefits touted by consumers of manuka honey range from wound care, acne treatment, overall skin health, and treatment of sinus conditions.

Manuka honey's antimicrobial and antibacterial characteristics make it useful in immune health and digestion. By consuming 1-2 tablespoons on a daily basis, you can enjoy the beneficial impact of good gut bacteria on ridding the body of potential toxins and improving the tone and texture of skin.

Manuka honey can be enjoyed by adding it to a hot beverage or as a topping on a favorite bread or yogurt.

Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, The Candida Diet
@thecandidadiet

3. Seafood

One of the best skin-boosting foods out there is seafood. Wild caught fish possesses a long list of health benefits, including boosting your skin.
Salmon, halibut, tuna, cod, snapper, and sardines all contain wrinkle-fighting selenium. Cold-water fish, like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are stuffed with essential fatty acids, like omega-3s and omega-6s, which maintain your skin's natural oil barrier, preventing dryness and uneven complexion.

Fatty fish is also a source of vitamin E, one of the most essential antioxidants for your skin. Getting enough vitamin E is vital for helping protect your skin against damage from free radicals and inflammation. This type of seafood is also a great source of high-quality protein, which is required for maintaining the strength and integrity of your skin 


4. Pumpkin

Pumpkins are the perfect food for anyone experiencing dry skin. Its vibrant orange color indicates that it's loaded with beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant, which gets converted to wrinkle-preventing, skin-hydrating Vitamin A. Pumpkins are also loaded with Vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant that protects collagen and boosts our immune systems.

Dr. Orit Markowitz, Board-Certified Dermatologist and Founder of OptiSkin
@yourdermsderm

5. Acerola

Acerola is a tropical fruit similar to a cherry, commonly referred to as Barbados cherry. Acerola is a vitamin C powerhouse, containing 50-100x the vitamin C content in an orange in just one serving. Vitamin C has been shown to have incredible effects on the skin. It provides hydration, reduces uneven complexion and redness, protects from sun damage, and even helps to promote collagen production.

You can reap these benefits in the simplest way––consuming acerola (most commonly found in its juiced form). If you'd like to take things a step further, you can also add acerola extract to your skin care creams, where it will serve as a natural astringent to help treat blemishes and improve your skin's overall appearance.

Skylar Buchanan, Wellthy Life
@skylarabuchanan

Immune +


Never heard of acerola? Don’t worry! You can enjoy your daily dose from KOR’s Immune +. This acerola-based cold pressed juice shot contains 533% of your recommended value of skin-friendly Vitamin C.

6. Avocados

Avocados can be used externally and internally for a face and hair mask and a good source of vitamin C and E, which are known to protect cells from free radical damage, anti-aging, and improve skin elasticity, softness, and moisture by renewing skin cells.

Avocados’ fiber content supports the regulation of the body’s detoxification and immune systems, which assist with getting rid of the toxins that cause acne, aging, dry skin, and dead skin cells. As a healthy fat, avocados support skin health by increasing the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach LaJune Singleton
@lajunesingleton

7. Pomegranates


Pomegranates are abundant in antioxidants, like tannin and anthocyanin, which help in blocking free radical damage on the skin, while delaying the signs of aging. These amazing fruits are packed with sun protection properties to help prevent sunburn and skin cancer. Additionally, pomegranates can expedite the cell regeneration process, helping skin wounds to heal faster.

Pomegranate works wonderfully for people with dry, dull, and acne-prone skin, as it's known to promote hydration. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also speed up the process of treating acne.

Toby Dash, Founder, Five Star Skincare

8. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed with nutrients, including lycopene, vitamin A, B and C, potassium, and magnesium. Their incredible contents of antioxidants not only protect your skin, but also help fight free radicals. Packed with vitamin C, tomatoes can aid in glowy bright skin and even boost collagen production. Fun fact: more skin products than you think contain tomatoes!

 

Tomato Face Mask

Reena Patel MD, Garnet Health
@that_dr_next_door

9. 100% grass fed beef tallow.


Warning: If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, jump ahead to #10. Otherwise, the fat (known as “tallow”) from 100% grass fed beef contains: Vitamins A, B12, D, E, and K, along with alpha linoleic and linolenic acids in the perfect ratio, stearic acid, oleic acid, conjugated linoleic acid, palmitoleic acid, palmitic acid, as well as several skin friendly minerals.

That's a long list of big words, so let’s break it down: 100% grass fed tallow provides all the nutrients needed to relieve inflammation and improve the structure of skin, making it softer and more supple. You can use beef tallow in place of your standard cooking oil, but if you’re not into eating beef, a tallow balm can give you the same skin-boosting benefits.

Marisa Tolsma CGC, Bumble Bee Apothecary
@bumblebeeapothecary

10. Olives

Olives (both black and green) are a rich source of essential fatty acids, namely unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and linoleic acid––that’s a good thing. We need good fats! When it comes to the skin, fats play a crucial role in maintaining the skin barrier. The skin barrier is often likened to a wall, with the skin cells being the bricks, and the fat being the cement holding them together.

Our body needs a continuous source of essential fatty acids to maintain normal functioning of various tissues. A good intake of fatty acids can help restore and replenish the skin barrier, leading to better texture and softness. It also decreases dryness and irritation.

Olives are also a great source of antioxidants, especially vitamin E. Antioxidants help fight oxidative stresses from sun exposure, pollution, dust and more. They keep the skin functioning optimally and even prevent premature aging.

Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Harshal Ranglani
@derm.with.drharsha

If you’re looking for a vitamin-rich complexion boost in cold pressed juice shot form, we’ve got you covered! According to the experts, KOR’s Immune + is a quick and easy way to access skin-friendly acerola. Add this sweet, yet spicy shot to your skin routine, and you might just notice a better, brighter glow each and every day!


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