Your best skin is just a few bites away
Many adages come to mind when it comes to what you put in your body. For example, “you are what you eat” or “treat your body as a temple.” As is often the case with old sayings, there’s a good bit of truth here. The foods you eat can, in fact, play a tremendous role in your outward appearance. While we love experimenting with supplements or tinctures, sometimes just opening your refrigerator door is all it takes to do your skin a whole lot of good. Below are a few ways you can rethink the food pyramid to nourish your body from the inside out.
1. Green tea
No surprise here—green tea is once again to the rescue. Looking to add elasticity to your skin? The catechins in green tea (or matcha!) increase blood flow and deliver more oxygen to your skin. Other foods that contain high doses of catechins include raspberries, blackberries, and cherries.
People often associate citrus with vitamin C, but did you know that just one kiwi can offer 120% of your daily vitamin C intake? Kiwis stimulate collagen growth, and collagen growth minimizes wrinkles and smoothes skin. Not into kiwis? Try papaya, strawberries, and cantaloupe, which are also jam-packed with vitamin C.
Dietary zinc can help control acne, and oysters are full of it! Other alternatives for the same desired effect include garlic, sesame seeds, and chickpeas.
4. Yellow bell pepper
Looking to diminish wrinkles—namely, crow’s feet? Try yellow and green vegetables, such as yellow bell peppers, which contain a compound that fights free radicals.
5. Red meat
We know red meat can be controversial when it comes to the environment, heart health, and animal rights, but it can be great for your skin in small, occasional amounts. Why? Because protein boosts collagen and elastic tissues (and also because nothing compares to a well-cooked steak).
6. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate (with a cocoa level of 65% or higher) is one of our favorite ways to satisfy a sweet-tooth craving. And it’s all thanks to an antioxidant called cocoa flavanols, which helps hydrate and improves circulation in the skin. Just one ounce a day—for most—should do the trick.
Not only is fish oil good for your pets, but it’s also good for you, too! We suggest sardines, which are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that can help with acne and inflammation. Not a sardine-lover? Salmon can have a similar effect, or opt for caviar if you’re fancy like that.
For vegetarians who don’t eat fish, walnuts also offer a nice helping of omega-3 fatty acids that fight off eczema and dry skin—other great choices: Soybeans and peanut butter.
9. Olive oil
People who consume at least 2 teaspoons of olive oil a day show 31% fewer signs of aging than those who take in less. This is due in part to its high concentration of both the antioxidant polyphenols and monounsaturated fats.
10. Orange and lemon peel
We love foods that help fend off skin cancer, so why not sink your teeth into orange and lemon peels? Amazingly, this can result in a 33% decreased risk of squamous cell carcinoma due to limonene, a compound that fights dangerous UV-rays.
Pumpkins aren’t just great for decorating or spicing your lattes — they also contain carotenoids, a wrinkle-fighting plant pigment. Pumpkins are also loaded with powerful enzymes that help cleanse the skin. Other foods high in carotenoids include carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
Blair Smith is a lifestyle and beauty writer who currently resides (and will likely stay forever) in Brooklyn, New York.