We all want to look our best and eating the right types of foods can make a big difference. When you eat a healthy, balanced diet, your body gets the nutrients it needs and rewards you with soft, smooth, and beautiful skin.
Those nutrients would include the following:
- Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce dryness in the skin.
- Vitamin C helps with collagen production and the connective tissue layers of the skin1.
- Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, allowing it to keep the bacteria and other pathogens from entering the body2.
- Selenium may help reduce the risk of skin cancer3.
- Red, yellow, orange, and dark green plant pigments, such as lutein and lycopene protect the skin as antioxidants.
- Zinc helps your skin heal4.
The following foods contain combinations of those nutrients that can benefit your skin:
1. Strawberries: Strawberries have loads of vitamin C so they help the connective tissues under the skin stay healthy and strong. They also contain fiber, folate and many phytochemicals that reduce skin damage from free radical exposure.
2. Oysters: Oysters provide zinc for the skin. You can get your entire day’s worth of zinc by eating only three oysters. They also are high in iron and protein. Most grocery stores will have either fresh or canned oysters available.
3. Oranges: The vitamin C in oranges helps with collagen formation and keeps your skin strong. They also contain high levels of vitamin A which helps your skin cells grow.
4. Blueberries: You get an antioxidant punch in blueberries that protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals. They also contain copious amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as plenty of fiber. 1 cup of fresh blueberries only has 84 cal so enjoy.
5. Carrots: Vitamin A and beta-carotene are available in carrots. Vitamin A helps keep your skin healthy. You will also find plenty of fiber and potassium in this low-calorie treat.
6. Kale: As a cruciferous vegetable, similar to broccoli and Brussels sprouts, it has plenty of nutrients. Vitamin A and C, found in kale can help with your skin and it contains plenty of fiber.
7. Salmon: The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon keeps your skin soft. Salmon also provides plenty of selenium, protein, and zinc. Salmon has a lot of healthy fats but it doesn’t load you up with a lot of calories.
8. Brazilian Nuts: If you are looking for a source of selenium, you can stop looking after you get to Brazil nuts. One serving of Brazil nuts will give you multiple days worth of selenium. They also have plenty of magnesium, calcium, and protein. Be a little cautious with eating too many Brazil nuts because they are high in calories, but eating only two Brazil nuts gives you all the selenium you need.
9. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A so they can keep your skin healthy. They also contain a lot of fiber and potassium. Most people love sweet potatoes because they are, well, sweet!
10. Tuna: Tuna helps to keep your skin soft with a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a great source of selenium, zinc, and protein. You can grill, bake or broil a tuna steak or buy it in the can.
11. Broccoli: Broccoli has high levels of vitamin C that help with the skin’s connective tissue. It also provides vitamins A and K along with antioxidants and fiber.
12. Walnuts: Walnuts provide a very specific type of omega-3 essential fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It helps your skin to stay moist and soft. You will also find plenty of protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E in walnuts.
13. Trout: Eating freshwater trout is another way to get healthy omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Trout also provides high levels of selenium and zinc that are good for your skin.
14. Tomatoes: Tomatoes provide plenty of vitamins A and C along with calcium, magnesium and trace amounts of vitamin K. Although fresh tomatoes have plenty of nutrients, they are low in calories. Cooking tomatoes into tomato sauce adds the extra benefit of concentrating lycopene, which is a healthy antioxidant.
15. Watermelon: I think everybody loves watermelon because they are so refreshing and sweet. They also contain a lot of vitamins A and C so they are good for your skin. Watermelon is a low-calorie food that is rich in potassium.
16. Red Sweet Peppers: Like many vegetables, red sweet peppers have high levels of vitamins A and C along with some vitamin K. It helps to keep your skin soft and improves the blood flow to the skin. You can also eat red sweet peppers without worrying about your diet because they are low in calories.
17. Pumpkin Seeds: This is a great snack choice because they have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein. Buy toasted pumpkin seeds at a local shop and enjoy the treat.
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1. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. “Vitamin C Fact Sheet.”
2. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. “Vitamin A Fact Sheet.”
3. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. “Selenium Fact Sheet.”
4. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. “Zinc Fact Sheet.”