Bae Yoon Young for Beauty+, April 2015
While we are all about slathering our face and body with nurturing oils, beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within. In fact, what we eat has a direct effect on our skin, and a healthy diet abundant in antioxidants, vitamin C, good fats, collagen, and amino acids can mean the difference between a fresh, radiant complexion and a weary, puffy, one. Older skin cells are continuously shed and replaced by younger ones, and a steady supply of micronutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. When you eat the correct balance of foods, you feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to stay, soft, supple and blemish-free.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of eight beauty superfoods that will significantly enhance your complexion. Keep reading to see what they are.
The powerful antioxidants in beets help fight signs of aging to keep skin firm and youthful. Their combination of minerals and vitamins (folate, Vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium) stimulates cell production and repair, protecting our skin from premature aging and wrinkles. Add the vibrant root vegetable to your morning juice along with apple, carrots and a hint of ginger for a delicious cleansing boost.
These antioxidant-rich seeds are packed with minerals and fiber as well as the perfect balance of essential fatty acids (packing almost 5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per 1-ounce serving). Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is credited for giving our skin that "glow" we all strive for while also leading to a visible reduction in inflammatory skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. Sprinkle chia seeds into smoothies and fruit salads, or soak them in almond milk overnight for a satisfying dessert.
While you probably already know that Brazil nuts are a healthful snack, they are also a beauty food, as they’re a rich source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant which is essential for the immune system. A selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. Just four nuts will provide you with the recommended daily amount. Sprinkle them on your salad alongside other seeds, or carry as nutritious snack.
Adding these delicious beta-carotene-rich starches into your daily diet can combat lackluster complexions. The wondrous, skin-brightening combination of Vitamin A and Vitamin C in sweet potatoes works to neutralize cell tissue-damaging free radicals that cause the dreaded dulling effect. Sweet potatoes are also rich in biotin, which stimulates hair and nail growth.
This leafy green is high in Vitamin A, essential for promoting growth in skin and hair. Spinach is also loaded with Vitamin C, which is imperative for the building and maintenance of collagen, making it a no-brainer for any meal, juice, or smoothie.
Tangy and exotic, pineapple benefits the skin by improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and removing toxins from the body. What’s more, it also helps in the production of collagen.
Anti-oxidant fig fantasy
The tiny seeds in figs are loaded with nutrients that help rid the digestive track of toxins and mucus, which may prevent important nutrients from getting to the skin. High in fiber, figs are a perfect sweet treat to aid in cleansing and detox.
Besides being a delight smashed on a crispy toast, avocados are an abundant source of vitamin E. Praised as a skin-beautifying antioxidant, Vitamin E is present in the human epidermal tissue, where it creates smoothness and suppleness. Studies also found that vitamin E helps fight signs of aging by protecting the skin against oxidative cell damage as well as supporting healthy skin growth.
And lastly, it goes without saying water is imperative for a dewy, healthy complexion. Our skin needs moisture to stay flexible, and even mild dehydration will cause it to look dry, tired and slightly gray. After all, H20 isn't a beauty secret — it's a basic human need. So make sure to keep hydrated at all times (especially during these hot summer months). If you work in an office, keep a large bottle of water on your desk to remind yourself to drink regularly.
– Written by Sofia Sosunov