The best foods to eat for glowing skin might surprise you, but they all have one thing in common—they are brimming with nutrients and antioxidants that help fight the signs of aging, repair damage, and keep your skin looking youthful and radiant. With this list of the foods for glowing skin, you can help your body do what it’s meant to do naturally—keep your skin looking healthy, vibrant, and young-looking!
Why is Skincare Important?
The skin is the largest organ in the body. It plays a vital role in maintaining good health and ensuring whatever is underneath is well protected. At the same time, it can act as an entry for disease-causing pathogens to invade. This is because the skin is constantly being exposed to unexpected environmental toxins that you may not have control over. This calls for more attention to ensure you maintain your skin healthy and well protected. Sometimes that may require extra attention, especially on the food you choose to consume.
While some foods may be suitable for general health, some may contain specific nutrients essential for healthy skin and, thus, should be consumed more in addition to other healthy foods.
Top 8 Foods for Glowing Skin
Avocados are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated healthy fats that can deeply penetrate the skin, providing hydration and nourishment. This can help boost your skin’s immunity, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and maintain smooth and glowing skin.
Avocado is also rich in vitamin E and C, powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation and protect against oxidative damage from free radicals on the skin. Moreover, combining vitamin E with vitamin C has been shown to be more effective.
Vitamin C is also essential for collagen formation, the main structural protein that promotes skin elasticity and protects the skin against sagging, increases blood flow, and reduces visible signs of aging like wrinkles. This helps keep the skin more plump and youthful.
Ways to incorporate avocado into your favorite foods
Add it to smoothies
Because avocados are so creamy, they lend a smooth texture and creamy consistency to smoothies. This can be especially helpful if you’re trying to replace heavy cream or coconut milk in your recipes—avocados blend seamlessly into any smoothie, taking on whatever flavor it’s mixed with.
Make some guacamole
Incorporating avocado as guacamole gives you even more nutritional benefits from your delicious dip. Guacamole is easy to make at home—simply combine avocado flesh with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic powder, lime juice, cilantro (or parsley), salt, and pepper. Try adding some diced jalapeno for extra spice. You can serve it as a side dish or use it as a topping for tacos or burritos.
Use it as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, and burgers
One of my favorite ways to use avocado is in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. The creamy texture helps keep sandwich fillings from falling out and lends a bright flavor that pairs nicely with other ingredients.
As part of a salad dressing
Most people have heard of using avocado as a salad dressing, but did you know it can be used as part of your vinaigrette? Try adding a spoonful or two of avocado to a basic vinaigrette—it’ll add creaminess and healthy fats while improving taste. This is a simple way to sneak in an extra serving of veggies and fiber!
Add to pasta dishes
Whether you’re craving something savory or sweet, a little avocado can take a dish from boring to delicious. One of our favorite things to do with avocado is mix it with pasta, whether it’s in a traditional pasta salad or a more offbeat variation. Both are unexpected takes on classic Italian dishes that will soon become favorites.
2. Sweet potatoes
Like avocado, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins E and C, which are essential in maintaining supple, glowing, and healthy skin.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in beta carotene, a provitamin A, meaning it gets converted into the active form of vitamin A (retinol) once in the body.
Vitamin A promotes new skin cells, which speeds up healing, boosts the skin’s immune system, and prevents breakouts. It also increases collagen production, which firms the skin and prevents wrinkles and fine lines.
Beta carotene can also act as a sunblock, protecting the skin from sun damage.
According to research, a high concentration of vitamin A on the skin may make you look younger, while a deficiency will make you look older.
However, you need to keep in mind that vitamin A and E are fat-soluble vitamins. So pair them with a high-fat food like olive oil or avocado.
Ways to incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet
Sweet potato smoothie
Blend with coconut milk for a nutrient-rich beverage that tastes like dessert. 1 medium sweet potato cooked and peeled, 1 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Wash, peel, and slice your sweet potato into french-fry-like strips. Toss with a bit of oil, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with salt or other seasonings you’d like (I recommend chili powder!) and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. The result? A healthy alternative to regular potato chips that will satisfy even your most intense salty cravings. Try it out!
Roasted sweet potatoes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wash sweet potatoes and pat dry. Slice each potato into 8-12 wedges (depending on size of potato) and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, or other seasonings of choice. Bake until tender – approximately 20 minutes. Serve with low-fat sour cream for dipping! Sweet potatoes are also great mashed or baked as French fries!
Broccoli is rich in glucoraphanin, a compound that gets converted to sulforaphane, a sulfur-rich compound that offers antioxidant benefits, fights inflammation, and aids skin repair. Sulforaphane may also protect against sun damage and help maintain collagen levels in the skin.
In addition, broccoli is rich in many skin-promoting vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc.
Easy ways to eat broccoli
Use it as a garnish
Whether you’re making a vegan omelet or a stir-fry, adding a touch of broccoli can brighten up any dish. Plus, it adds flavor and texture for few calories. Use your creativity—Cut your broccoli into florets or use as a crudité on your next appetizer platter. And don’t forget about broccoli rabe: Chop it up and mix it with pasta, serve as a topping for pizza or toss into sautéed tofu and pasta!
Use it raw
Raw broccoli contains plenty of enzyme inhibitors that can keep your body from absorbing a lot of its nutrients. However, you can still eat it raw—just lightly steam or blanch it first.
Add it to your green smoothies
Smoothies are a great way to incorporate a healthy dose of veggies into your diet. Adding broccoli adds an extra kick of nutrients and makes it taste better, too!
Steam, roast, or grill it
Steamed broccoli is a classic, but there are tons of other ways to enjoy it. Try roasting broccoli florets in olive oil and sprinkling them with sea salt or garlic powder. Or toss fresh florets on your barbecue for a smoky, charred flavor. Be sure not to overcook broccoli—it should still be crisp and crunchy—or you’ll lose all those precious nutrients and vitamins!
Turn it into soup stock!
Because it’s filled with flavor and is high in fiber, broccoli makes a great addition to soup stock. Broccoli adds tons of nutrients but won’t dominate your soup or take away from its main ingredients.
Walnuts are an excellent food for the brain, skin, and health in general.
They are rich in zinc, an essential mineral that promotes cell stability, protects against UV damage, enhances wound healing, fights inflammation, and offers antioxidant defense against harmful free radicals.
They also contain omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Even though too much omega 6 is associated with increased inflammation, walnuts have a good ratio that helps prevent any inflammatory effects of omega 6.
Ways to eat walnuts
Use walnut oil
Drizzle some on a salad or steamed veggies for a tasty way to incorporate more heart-healthy fats into your diet.
Add it to smoothies
Add 1/4 cup of shelled, raw walnuts to your next fruit smoothie. Walnut oil is also great in smoothies – just a tablespoon or two will give your smoothie an awesome, nutty flavor.
Bake with it
Walnuts are great in baked goods, particularly nutty brownies. Walnut flour can also be used as a low-carb alternative for other baking needs.
Put them in homemade granola bars
Granola bars are easy on-the-go snack options, but oftentimes store-bought varieties contain too much sugar. Try putting some walnuts into homemade granola bars To make your own healthy and low sugar granola bars.
Add in salads
Walnuts are a great addition to green salads. They give bulk and texture, and their savory flavor makes them an excellent complement to other salad ingredients. Walnut oil can also be used in place of olive oil or any other vegetable oil when making salad dressings.
5. Red grapes
Red grapes are rich in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant compound that controls aging and maintains healthy skin.
They are also rich in another set of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. This provides anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and antimicrobial effects that can help clear acne and scars.
Delicious ways to eat red grapes
Eat them while they are fresh
Fresh, ripe red grapes taste delicious. If you’re lucky enough to live in a climate where they’re available year-round, buy some and eat them as is—cold or at room temperature. They also work well as an addition to salads, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Turn them into jam
I love making homemade fruit preserves with what’s on hand. When you make your own jam, you can control all of the ingredients, so it will be free from added sugar and artificial preservatives.
Carrots share a lot of similarities to sweet potatoes when it comes to skin health. They are high in beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin against UV radiation, thus preventing premature signs of aging. It also improves physical appearance and promotes skin health.
Carrots are also high in vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and prevents oxidative stress.
Delicious ways to eat carrots
The original way to enjoy a carrot is by pickling it! Pickled carrots add a tangy flavor to any dish. Add them to your next lunch with pita and hummus, or use them as a fresh side with rice.
Roasted with spices
If you’re used to eating carrots raw, try baking them with some spices and herbs instead. Tossing carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper and any other seasoning of your choice will allow you to experience their naturally sweet flavor in a whole new way.
Carrots are often used as a topping on salads, but when diced up and paired with other veggies like red onion, cucumber, and tomato, you can enjoy them in a different way.
Use in soups
One of the healthiest and easiest ways to eat carrots is in soup. Not only are soups a convenient way to get your vegetables, but they also provide a good amount of nutrients and vitamins that can be destroyed through other cooking methods.
Juicing carrots removes all of the fiber, leaving only the pure carrot flavor and nutrients. This is a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin A and other important nutrients.
Papaya is a tropical fruit with numerous health benefits, including promoting a healthy gut, lowering cholesterol, maintaining cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, promoting healthy kidneys, and fighting against cancer.
It’s also beneficial in promoting skin health. Papaya contains lycopene, an antioxidant that helps boost skin moisture, promote elasticity, and prevent skin texture changes, discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Additionally, it contains papain, an enzyme with skin cleansing properties. It’s beneficial in treating acne and blemish-prone skin, unclogging pores, and removing dead skin cells. That’s why it’s a common ingredient in most skincare products, such as scrubs, peels, body cleansers, and face masks.
Just like melon, you can scoop out papaya seeds and enjoy. You can also blend it into smoothies or include it in your homemade ice cream.
Tomatoes are rich in beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein, all of which have been shown to prevent wrinkles and protect the skin against UV damage. In one study, supplementation with tomato-based products offered protection against sunburn.
In a similar study, consuming lycopene-rich products resulted in reduced UV radiation sensitivity.
Tomatoes are also full of vitamin C, which is essential for healthy and firm skin.
Include potatoes in soups and stews, fruit juices, smoothies, salads, skewers, or pasta sauces.
Your skin is an important organ that requires as much attention as any other organ in the body. This may sometimes call for a more specific nutritional approach to ensure your skin gets all the necessary nutrients to fight inflammation, neutralize free radicals, offer protection against sun damage, prevent premature aging, and generally keep it healthy and glowing.
The best foods to help promote skin health while enhancing the glow include carrots, papaya, tomatoes, red grapes, walnuts, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and avocados.
For foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and E, remember to pair them with healthy fats to enhance proper digestion and absorption.
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