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15 Best Foods for Healthy Skin

Nutritious foods are generally consumed to lose or maintain weight along with reduce the risk of chronic disease. However, foods that are good for your overall health are generally foods that are good for your skin. Feel confident in your own skin with these 15 foods!


You know that adding in nutritious, power foods can help you lose weight and maintain weight loss - but did you know that certain foods can affect your skin as well? Get that natural glow and flawless skin from eating these 15 tasty foods!

15 Best Foods for Healthy Skin

1. Berries
Berries are powerful antioxidants, components that protect cells (including skin cells) against damage. Specifically, anthocyanins (the pigment responsible for red, purple, and blue crops) may inhibit the development or progression of skin cancer.

2. Tomatoes
Tomatoes and tomato products contain lycopene, a natural component that offers tomatoes its red color. Though lycopene should not replace a well-formulated sun screen, it can further protect the skin against sun damage.

3. Watermelon
Watermelon is an excellent food for healthy skin for a couple of reasons: Like tomatoes, watermelon also contains the red-contributing and antioxidant lycopene. And as its name suggests, watermelon has a high water content. With skin being an organ and skin cells being comprised of water, maintaining hydration is valuable to skin health.

4. Kale
Often known as a "superfood," kale is a rich source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin most known for its role in blood clotting. Vitamin K can promote skin healing and reduce bruising and swelling, especially after surgery or injury. Topical use of vitamin K may also treat rosacea, a chronic, inflammatory skin condition characterized by redness and pimples on the face.

5. Oysters
Oysters offer high amounts of zinc, a beneficial mineral imperative to proper wound healing. A zinc deficiency may interfere with good healing and increase the risk of infection.

6. Fatty Fish
Salmon, tuna, and halibut all offer omega-3 fatty acids, a type of "healthy" fat. Though renowned for their heart-protective properties, omega-3 fatty acids are also shown to fight against aging, a factor known to compromise skin health. Deficiency symptoms also include dry skin, mostly related to omega-3's responsibility of cell membrane integrity - allowing skin-benefiting and hydrating nutrients and water in, and keeping harmful waste products out.

7. Grass-Fed Beef
Compared to grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef offers more omega-3 fatty acids. Beef is also a rich protein source, a building block for skin and cartilage. Adequate levels of zinc further construct beef as an ultimate skin food.

8. Almonds
If beef and fish are undesired, almonds also offer omega-3 fatty acids. Also serving as a plant-based protein source, almonds can be extremely valuable for individuals following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

9. Oranges
Known for its vitamin C content, citrus fruits play a large role in skin health related to its antioxidant and collagen-building properties. Collagen maintains the structure of bones, tendons, cartilage and skin.

10. Carrots
The vitamin A content helps to promote healthy skin inside and out. Vitamin A helps mature skin cells. Additionally, vitamin A deficiency can result to drying, scaling, and hardening of the skin.

11. Sunflower Seeds
Along with small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, sunflower seeds contain vitamin E. The intake of this fat-soluble vitamin can reduce ultraviolet (UV) light damage along with protecting the skin against inflammation.

12. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are the richest sources of selenium, a mineral present in skin cells. Deficiencies and imbalances of selenium have shown to compromise skin health - including an increased risk of skin cancer and skin hardening and drying.

13. Olive Oil
Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that protect cells against damage. They have also shown the ability to improve cell survival (including skin cells) and defend against UV light, a severe risk factor for skin cancer development.

14. Red Wine
Like olive oil, red wine also contains polyphenols. But red wine is more commonly noticed for its resveratrol content, mostly known for its role in heart-protection. However, resveratrol may potentially offer anti-aging benefits, thus reducing the physical signs of aging.

15. Water
Skin can become dry, scaly, and sunken in without adequate water intake. When hydrated, water can offer health and glow to skin. General, healthy adults should drink at least eight, 8-ounce cups (or 64 ounces) of water each day, especially on hot days.

Though excellent skin foods noted above, skin health should not be limited to the list. Ultimately, the wellbeing of skin is optimized by a complete, healthy lifestyle - the totality of a nutritious diet, partaking in consistent exercise, smoke cessation, stress-relief, etc. Using sunscreens and skin moisturizes can further protect and nourish the skin!

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on April 16, 2013. Updated on August 29, 2017.


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