A guide to skin-friendly foods
- Written byAmber Klinck
It’s tempting to look for healthy skin in a bottle when so many skin care products promise glowing complexions. But with nutrient-rich superfoods like these—overflowing with antioxidants and essential fatty acids—the secret to radiant skin may already be in your kitchen.
Lycopene, the phytonutrient responsible for giving tomatoes their red pigment, protects against the damage caused by UV rays. This powerful antioxidant neutralizes free radicals, increases cellular function and improves the integrity of the skin. Cook your tomatoes for the highest level of lycopene absorption.
This nutrient-rich protein is an excellent source of natural omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and astaxanthin—a potent, skin-friendly antioxidant. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, astaxanthin is also credited with reducing wrinkles and protecting the skin from sun damage. The concentration of healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants works in combination to improve the elasticity, tone and texture of the skin. Opt for wild salmon over farmed to enjoy the perks without the antibiotics and PCB chemicals.
These tiny berries pack quite a punch. Boasting a high concentration of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that’s both reparative and anti-inflammatory, blueberries guard your skin against free radicals, improve circulation and minimize redness. Add to that the collagen-producing power of vitamin C, and it’s easy to see why these bitty berries have become superfood royalty.
Not that you needed a reason to indulge, but it turns out that stash of dark chocolate hidden in your desk could be doing wonders for your skin. Chocolate with at least 70% cocoa contains flavonoids—potent antioxidants that increase circulation and help protect your skin from sun damage … all while improving skin’s hydration and firmness. So enjoy—in moderation, of course!
With a triple threat of anti-aging nutrients like vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, this leafy green delivers the perfect solution for radiant skin. The healing benefits of magnesium and the oxygenating properties of iron are also abundant in spinach, making it a skin-nourishing hero. Toss a handful in your morning smoothie, your salad at lunch or as a side with dinner.
Looks like carrots aren’t the only beta-carotene superstars; sweet potatoes are chock-full of this heavyweight antioxidant. Once absorbed in the body, beta-carotene converts into vitamin A, repairing cellular damage, fighting against free radicals and improving the texture and tone of the skin. Serve your sweet potatoes with a side of healthy fat for maximum nutrient absorption.