5 Fruits & Veggies for Healthy Skin
Posted by Kat Stein on September 14, 2018
The foods we eat have an effect on every single part of the body – yes, even the skin! Older skin cells are constantly shed and replaced with younger ones, so a steady supply of nutrients is the key to maintaining soft, supple, blemish free skin. You probably think about how the things you consume affect you body internally (i.e. drinking is hard on the liver, probiotics are good for the gut, etc.) but the biggest organ, the skin, tends to go unnoticed when it comes to diet. Just remember: you are what you eat!
In an ideal world with unlimited time and money, we would all be eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Realistically, it may be hard to get a ton of variety in there! So, which essential fruits and vegetables should we choose to help our skin glow?
Tomatoes are an incredible dietary addition to help protect your skin against sunburn. Ironically enough, lycopene (the chemical that makes tomatoes red) is what helps to keep you from looking like a tomato yourself! Lycopene also helps to booth collagen strength which helps slow down signs of aging and helps eliminate the effects free radicals from the skin. Eating cooked tomatoes vs. raw will offer even more protection, as the process of cooking these tasty fruits ups their lycopene levels. Consider eating tomatoes with a source of fat like cheese, avocado, or olive oil – fat will increase the amount of tomato nutrients that are absorbed by the body.
Avocados are a wonderful source of fat. Yes, fat! The fats found in avocados are the healthy kinds that help keep your skin moisturized, supple, and youthful. Avocados also contain Vitamins C and E, both of which are antioxidants that help protect your skin from damage due to free radicals, especially when combined! Vitamin C also helps with the production of collagen, making it easier for your skin to stay strong and healthy. Along with their own benefits, the fats in avocados help you absorb many other fat-soluble vitamins that will also aid in protecting your skin!
Broccoli contains so many important vitamins and minerals like lutein zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A and lutein are both skin strengthening nutrients that help your body protect the skin from sunburn, cell death, dry skin, and wrinkles. Broccoli also contains a compound called sulforaphane which switches on your body’s skin protective systems and neutralizes free radicals. It may even have anti-cancer benefits!
Bell peppers are an awesome source of beta-carotene, a nutrient found in plants that, when consumed, your body is able to convert it into vitamin A! High amounts of beta-carotene tend to add a slightly warmer tone to your skin, contributing to your healthy glow. Bell peppers are also one of the best sources of vitamin C, necessary for keeping your skin strong. One single cup of chopped red bell pepper contains 92% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A and an incredible 317% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C!
Blueberries are what we like to call “superfoods.” They are packed with antioxidants that help destroy skin-damaging free radicals, and contain high levels of a nutrient called anthocyanin that help to boost the strength of the collagen fibers in your skin. Blueberries are also a great source of prebiotics, which your gut turns into anti-inflammatory fatty acids that help keep your immune system functioning properly. A healthy immune system means you will have less issues with skin inflammation and breakouts!
There are so many other fruits and vegetables that are beneficial for the skin including sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, papaya, and carrots. Try mixing it up for the maximum benefits and enjoy your healthy, strong, glowing skin!