5 Foods for Skin Health
Beauty comes from the inside out – here are a few of the best foods for skin health!
A few years ago, I became aware of how what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in our bodies, and I switched to using all non-toxic, green beauty products.
But skin health goes beyond just what’s in our medicine cabinet – a nutritious diet can actually benefit our body’s biggest organ from the inside out.
So today, I want to share some simple food-based strategies to support skin health and I have a very special guest with me to do that — the lovely Celeste Thomas of The True Spoon.
Celeste is a registered nurse and non-toxic beauty and skincare expert, and she is here to help me break down the research on how what we eat affects our skin.
Beauty comes from the inside out, so today we’re going to share a few of our favorite foods for skin health. But before we jump into that, I had Celeste share some of her beauty secrets with me.
W: You always look so flawless – what is your morning skincare routine?
C: The first thing I do is my one-minute face wash and face massage, which brings circulation to the skin and helps get rid of dead skin cells. I follow with a toner, and I moisturize and use SPF every single day.
W: What are your top 3 favorite green beauty products?
C: I am obsessed with the Naturopathica Cherry Enzyme Peel mask. I’m super acne-prone, so this natural enzyme prevents me from getting breakouts. I also love January Labs Mist – it’s rich in aloe and very hydrating, which helps with oily skin. The third one is the lipgloss I’m wearing now – Tower 28 Lip Gloss. It’s basically a non-toxic version of the Juicy Tubes from Lancome that I used to love.
W: What are some lifestyle habits other than eating healthy that are important for good skin?
C: First, I think everyone can benefit from meditation. I meditate every morning, and it really helps to keep my cortisol and stress levels low, which we know can affect the skin. I also think low-intensity cardio can help to detoxify the skin. And lastly, just make sure your skin is protected from the sun. This means not only putting on SPF but also making sure that if you’re going on a hike or going to the beach, you have a physical barrier like a hat or an umbrella.
Ok, so without further ado, let’s jump into the science! Here are 5 foods we recommend consuming on a regular basis to benefit your skin.
Bell peppers are a great source of the antioxidant vitamin C, which is used by the body to make collagen. Humans don’t make their own vitamin C, so it must be consumed in the diet. Among many effects, vitamin C deficiency causes abnormal growth of hair follicles, skin lesions, and poor wound healing.
Topical vitamin C beauty products can help with pigmentation issues and anti-aging, but some studies have shown that oral vitamin C may be helpful for treating sun damage. Luckily, vitamin C is abundant in a plant-based diet. Other great sources include citrus fruits, strawberries, and leafy greens.
Try this Vegan Hawaiian Pizza, which features two types of bell peppers!
Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, the orange pigment which is a precursor to vitamin A. Studies have shown that beta-carotene may help to protect skin from the damaging effects of UV-light.
Of course, you should definitely still wear sunscreen, but eating beta-carotene-rich foods is another delicious way to benefit your skin. Carrots, pumpkin, and papaya are other great sources of this important phytochemical.
These Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Cashew Sauce are perfect for the holiday season!
Tomatoes are an excellent source of the phytochemical, lycopene. This antioxidant compound is found in a large amount in the skin and is destroyed by UV light, suggesting that it may play a role in reducing sun damage to other tissues.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you’ll want to make sure you’re replenishing your lycopene stores! Lycopene is richer in cooked tomatoes than in fresh, so we recommend including tomato sauce, soup, and roasted tomatoes regularly in your diet. Just watch out for sodium – which is not great for skin!
This Tri-Color Tomato Salad makes for an easy lunch or a refreshing side dish!
Green tea is packed with antioxidant phytochemicals known as catechins. Studies have shown that these compounds may be protective against the harmful effects of sunlight and offer anti-cancer benefits.
One study showed that drinking three cups of green tea reduced the toxic effects of light-induced DNA damage on human blood cells. I especially love matcha, which is made from specially grown green tea leaves and contains much higher amounts of the cancer-fighting catechin, EGCG!
Looking for a healthy treat made with matcha? Try my Coconut Green Tea Pudding!
You’ve heard me rave about turmeric many times before, and skin health is yet another reason I love this beautiful, anti-inflammatory spice. Research shows that turmeric may be beneficial for a variety of skin conditions, including acne.
One study showed that volunteers who consumed an oral supplement including turmeric’s main bioactive compound, curcumin, along with a topically applied curcumin cream had greater improvements in skin lesions compared to those who just took the oral supplements, just used the cream, or did neither.
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Weigh-in: Have you heard about any of these benefits? Which of these foods for skin health is your favorite?