We all know that what we eat affects our health, but what many people don’t realize, is the impact food has on skin health. Your complexion is like a mirror of what’s going on internally. If you want beautiful skin make sure you’re eating a nourishing diet. Check out 10 of the best foods for a clear complexion.
If you want naturally glowing skin, and who doesn’t, try to incorporate the following foods into your diet. They’re packed with antioxidants, hydrating fats, and life-giving vitamins and minerals. One of the best ways to take care of your skin as you age is to pay attention to what you put in your mouth.
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Best Foods A Clear Complexion
Avocados contain healthy fats, including monounsaturated fats – oleic and linoleic acids – that hydrate the skin and prevent dryness. This creamy fruit also contain antioxidants, including vitamins A, B, C, and E that protect against UV radiation, and free radical damage. The nutrients in avocados also aid in skin repair.
You can make a natural skin mask using avocados to nourish your skin. This mask is safe enough for those with dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin. All you have to do is mash up one ripe avocado, and mix it with a little honey until it forms a paste. Apply it to your face, and leave on for 15 minutes. Do this once a week or so to rejuvenate your complexion.
2. Probiotic-Rich Fermented Foods
Most of us associate fermented foods with intestinal health, and that’s true, probiotic-rich foods support gastrointestinal health and the microbiome. When a food is fermented, the nutritional profile skyrockets. Fermented foods are also easy to digest, and they strengthen the immune system. These foods also promote beautiful skin because they aid in detoxification, balance hormones, and help the body assimilate nutrients.
There are a variety of fermented foods to choose from: Yogurt, kefir, creme fraiche, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, and my favorite, raw cheese. If you’re brave, give Japanese natto, or Korean kimchi a try. Bubbies is famous for making a great-tasting sauerkraut. Kombucha is a popular ferment, and one that is gaining in popularity. You’ll need a scoby to make your kombucha. Watch the video below to learn how to make your own from scratch.
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3. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are one of the best sources of healthy fat. They’re also loaded with fiber, and are one of the best snack foods out there. The fatty acids in nuts and seeds are anti-inflammatory, and contain B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps to repair the skin. Zinc is important for many functions in the body, and plays a role in reducing acne.
I soak my nuts overnight in warm water to break down the phytates so they’re easier to digest. In the morning when they’re done soaking, I roast them in the oven on the lowest heat until they’re crunchy. You can sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on them, or coat them with butter and salt. Nuts are handy to take on the go. Walnuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts are my favorite, but I also like almonds and Brazil nuts.
Seafood is a great source of protein, boasts an impressive nutritional profile, and is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. There are all sorts of ways you can enjoy fish. Bake a salmon fillet for Sunday dinner, pack a tuna sandwich for lunch, throw some shrimp on your salad, or make a cozy clam chowder.
Among other nutrients, fish contains vitamin B12, which many people are low in, biotin for healthy hair, and vitamin D for healthy immune function. Fatty acids in seafood protect the skin against sun damage, help it retain moisture, and may even prevent acne.
Berries are full of antioxidants, are low-glycemic so they won’t imbalance blood sugar, and are delicious. Toss them in your morning smoothie, mix them in a salad, top off your granola, or pour some heavy cream over them for a nourishing treat.
Strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries, and raspberries all contain a fair amount of fiber so they’ll keep you full between meals, and help keep your digestive system running smoothly. Swap out high-calorie desserts for a bowl of colorful berries. Blood-sugar swings create inflammation in the body, and this shows up in the skin so finding alternatives to replace high-glycemic foods is a good way to keep your complexion glowing.
6. Healthy Oils
Healthy oils soothe the skin, make it softer and reduce dryness. Moisturizing oils include coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil. I also love macadamia nut oil. Coconut, avocado, and macadamia nut oils all have high smoke points so you don’t have to worry about them hydrogenating when cooking. I use olive oil for sauteéing on low heat, or mix it with red wine vinegar to make a zippy salad dressing.
Oils contain fatty acids, which hydrate, and protect against photo-aging and wrinkles. They’re also good sources of antioxidants, like vitamin E, that reduce swelling and inflammation. Coconut oil is an amazing topical moisturizer, and is purported to be good for acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
7. Dark Chocolate
Like many of the foods in this post, dark chocolate also contains antioxidants that fight inflammation and free-radical damage. This makes it an anti-aging food, which is great news for us chocolate lovers. There is a caveat however, you’ll want to eat chocolate that is at least 70% cacao, which means it’s low in sugar, and high in healthy fats.
Cacao contains flavonoids, phytonutrients that reduce collagen degradation and sun damage. Interestingly, cacao tops the ORAC scale, which measures a food’s antioxidant value. Dark chocolate also has a fair amount of magnesium in it, which is a mineral many people are deficient in. And because it’s quite bitter, a couple of squares is all you need.
8. Cruciferous Vegetables
These foods have an impressive phytonutrient content. Sulforaphane, a phytochemical, is plentiful in cruciferous vegetables, and has garnered attention lately in regard to broccoli sprouts, which are being used to prevent and treat cancer, including skin cancer.
Sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that shares similarities with curcumin. It promotes detoxification, and combats oxidative stress. My favorite way to cook cruciferous vegetables is by steaming them. They’re also delicious roasted or eaten raw in salad. Or make a cauliflower pizza crust if you’re gluten-free.
9. Bone Broth
A list of foods for skin health wouldn’t be complete without mentioning bone broth. It’s one of the best food sources of gelatin. The nutrients in bone broth include amino acids, including proline, glutamine, and glycine that support skin and gut health, along with a line up of other wholesome nutrients. Bone broth, made from grass-fed bones, also contains GLA, a fatty acid that is unbelievable for skin disorders, like psoriasis and eczema.
Both broth is easy to make yourself or you can buy it online. This is amazing because high-quality bone broth hasn’t been available until recently. You can also supplement your diet with collagen and gelatin that mix easily into hot or cold liquids. This is the collagen supplement I use, or toss a scoop of bone broth protein powder in your smoothies.
10. Collagen-Boosting Foods Like Vitamin C
Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen, making it hands down, one of the most critical nutrients for skin health. It’s plentiful in many different foods, including berries, oranges, papaya, and kiwi fruit. This antioxidant vitamin is also found in green vegetables like broccoli, kale, and snow peas. Vitamin C is not only beneficial for the skin, but is vital for an optimally-functioning immune system.
Although, I try to eat vitamin-C rich foods, I also take a food-based vitamin C supplement to cover my bases. This is particularly important in the winter if you want to stave on colds and flu. I like liposomal vitamin C because of its superior absorbability. NutriFlair is a great brand.
If you have acne or are prone to breakouts, you’ll definitely want to cut out dairy. It’s the number one culprit when it comes to skin issues. Also, try to drink enough water to hydrate your skin, and remember that caffeine is dehydrating so take it easy on caffeinated soft drinks and coffee. Alcohol is also dehydrating and can disrupt blood sugar so limit your consumption.
Skin care lotions and potions are awesome, but you’ll get more bang for your buck if you use them in conjunction with eating a nutrient-dense diet. Healthy skin is undeniably an inside job. If you’re struggling with dry skin, break outs, or an uneven complexion, start paying close attention to what you’re eating.
Ditch the inflammatory and high-glycemic foods in place of fatty fish, a steaming mug of bone broth, or a creamy avocado. Small changes do make a difference, and the changes you’ll notice in your skin will be amazing:)
Have you personally made the connection between a clear complexion and a healthy diet? Let me know in the comments:)