Our skin is amazing. It reacts to its environment and to the air around us. It reacts to what we put on our bodies—and what we put in our bodies. It’s our largest organ, and our most adaptable. If you’re tired of hearing about how you are what you eat, we hear you, but it really is the truth, especially when it comes to your skin.
“Superfoods” are the fruits, veggies, seeds, and animal products we eat that pack a powerful nutritional punch, coming in to save our skin from the dangers of inflammation and free radicals that cause aging and other problems. Some of these superfoods go through fads, eventually falling out of favor, but they never stop delivering high doses of vitamins, minerals antioxidants and other good stuff your skin needs to thrive. Let’s meet the heroes of your dinner table—but first, we’ll explore how superfoods and skin work together to make you look and feel great.
Let’s meet the heroes of your dinner table—but first, we’ll explore how superfoods and skin work together to make you look and feel great.
How Superfoods and Skin Work Together
Before you meet the superfoods, let’s take a look at some of the nutrients they contain that makes them so effective for maintaining healthy skin. Obviously, all superfoods have some benefit to the skin—after all, they promote good health, which is beneficial to skin. The foods listed below just have a little extra kick when it comes to maintaining great skin—perfect for those of us who want to look youthful and glowing. Here are some of the vitamins, minerals, and more that help these superfoods and skin become best friends.
● Antioxidants – Antioxidants like Vitamin E help protect and repair the skin from free radicals that cause aging.
● Vitamin A – Acne can strike at almost any age, but vitamin A can help fight oil production to control breakouts.
● Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Collagen is an essential protein in the skin that gives skin its structure and youthful qualities, but it breaks down as we age. Omega-3 fatty acids help stimulate collagen production—and are heart-healthy.
● Vitamin K – Vitamin K stimulates circulation, which plays a role in skin health and repair.
● Zinc – A skin-healing agent, zinc plays a major role in keeping the skin repaired and renewed.
● Beta Carotene --Found in orange vegetables, beta carotene helps to reduce oil production in the skin.
● Vitamin C – Vitamin C does double duty—it’s an antioxidant, but it also helps to stimulate collagen production for more youthful skin.
● Healthy Fats – Healthy fats, like those found in avocados, help keep the skin glowing and moisturised.
● Polyphenols – Powerful antioxidants for fighting off free radicals and repairing the skin.
● Biotin – Found in some grains, biotin plays a major role in the overall health of the skin.
These are great benefits, but these vitamins, minerals, and acids are just the beginning—a quick summary to introduce you to the superfood magic. The foods below contain even more goodness to help your skin stay beautiful and healthy! Let’s meet them.
Fruits & Veggies
Noni is an amazing green superfood with incredible health benefits when eaten. The fruit is rich in coveted antioxidant benefits for keeping the skin youthful and beautiful. Noni can promote cellular repair, help reduce wrinkles and acne, and reduce inflammation, which breaks down vital collagen.
Though blueberries have fewer polyphenols than aronia berries, they’re easier to find and incorporate into a normal diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized the blueberry’s superior antioxidant benefits by ranking it first of 40 common fruits and vegetables in antioxidant content. Blueberries are also a source of Vitamin A, helping to clear up excess oil in the skin.
Dark fruits like pomegranates pack a powerful anti-aging punch, and pomegranate is near the top of the list for antioxidant activity. Another source of polyphenols, pomegranates not only help prevent your skin from damage caused by inflammation and free radicals, they may even help protect against UV ray damage (but that doesn’t mean you can forget the sunscreen!).
Avocados are the best kind of superfood: delicious, nutritious, and versatile. Avocados contain linoleic acid, which helps the skin stay hydrated and supple, while the vitamin E they contain acts as an antioxidant, fighting off aging and damage to the skin from free radicals. They even contain some of the same carotenoids found in orange veggies—an additional antioxidant.
Kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower…whichever crucifer is your favorite, you’ll gain tons of benefit from the Vitamin K contained in these cleansing veggies. Improved circulation and detoxification of the body from these veggies helps to keep skin clear, and may even help with hormonal imbalances that cause breakouts. Kale isn’t the only star—give other crucifers a chance too!
If you’ve got oily skin, then sweet potatoes might just become your new best friend! Orange veggies like sweet potatoes contain large amounts of beta carotene, which helps to control oil production and reduce breakouts.
You won’t believe all the benefits that spinach boasts, especially since it’s often overlooked for its more glamourous cousin, kale. This leafy green offers a potent combination of vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and more! Better news? It’s easy to add spinach into your diet. Simply add the leaves to your favorite dishes, substitute for lettuce, or blend it into a fruit smoothie.
Need an antioxidant kick from vitamin C? Don’t reach for the orange juice—cut up a bell pepper instead. These bright vegetables can help fight free radicals and stimulate your body’s production of collagen and elastin for more youthful skin and can even help normalize skin pigmentation (goodbye dark spots!). Bonus: they can help keep hair healthy by preventing splitting and dryness.
A confusing but delicious vegetable, artichokes also contain major health benefits. Delivering the antioxidant silymarin, artichokes are another vegetable in your arsenal for helping to soothe acne-prone skin and reduce breakouts.
New on the superfood scene, the prickly pear can be difficult to find, but it does have some important superpowers. Containing a winning combination of vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, prickly pear helps to keep skin hydrated and pores small.
Nuts, Seeds & Grain
Free radicals can cause massive damage to the skin, but antioxidants like vitamin E (found in almonds) can help fight them off and repair the skin. Plus, almonds have the good fats of other nuts, helping to nourish the body and the skin.
Zinc, a mineral that helps the body repair and maintain the skin, is plentiful in pumpkin seeds. These addictive little snacks also contain omega-6 fatty acids, which maintains the health and hydration of collagen in the skin. Not convinced yet? This superfood and skin are best friends, thanks to the biotin they contain, which helps keep skin and hair healthy.
Chia seeds have been popular for years, which is no surprise: these seeds may be tiny, but they’re an incredible source of nutrition, and can provide skin with a variety of benefits. A source of omega-3 fatty acids, chia can help skin build up collagen, helping to fight wrinkles and other signs of aging. They can also help keep skin hydrated, a key component in skin’s radiance.
Have you ever seen biotin listed as an ingredient in your beauty products? That’s because it helps to maintain skin and hair health in a big way. It’s also a component of oats, which are also full of fiber and provide other health benefits. Why not treat your skin to the benefits of biotin by adding more oats to your diet?
Seafood & Meat
For most people, adding salmon to their diet isn’t hard—and that’s a good thing. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, helping skin to produce more collagen and maintain a healthy glow. Plus, this fish offers many other health benefits, containing vitamins and minerals that benefit your bones and teeth. Just be sure to choose wild salmon!
This luxurious seafood may be delicious, but it’s also a great choice for superfood and skin. The biggest draw? Zinc. Zinc deficiencies have been linked to all sorts of skin problems, like acne, dry skin, and dermatitis, so eat up those oysters when you get a chance!
A trendy new superfood, bone broth might seem weird, but it does have some concentrated vitamins and minerals, which are beneficial to your skin. Because bones contain collagen, elastin, amino acids, gelatin, and calcium, bone broth can help skin stay smooth, supple, elastic, and hydrate. Try this trend out—you might be surprised by the results.
Spices & Condiments
Brighten and renew your complexion with the help of turmeric, an anti-inflammatory spice that boasts lots of benefits and helps stimulate collagen production. Packed with antioxidants, this spice can easily be added to a variety of delicious dishes so you can work toward improving your complexion without feeling like it’s a chore.
A modest spice, cinnamon helps skin in a basic way: by improving circulation and stabilizing the blood sugar. Better circulation means more nutrients to the skin and better skin health overall. Add cinnamon to baked goods, drinks, or sweet breakfast items to get the benefits!
Anti-inflammatory foods are the best choice for reducing short-term puffiness and loss of collagen over time. Ginger root can be used in many different foods, juices, and teas to provide this benefit. Plus, it adds great flavor to your dishes! It’s also a skin soother and source of antioxidants. What’s not to like?
Yogurt and miso both have probiotic benefits, but miso can be combined with other superfoods, like spinach and fish, to provide even more benefits. Probiotics help balance out your digestion and also help improve your skin’s health and beauty.
Superfoods at the Table
So how do you get these superfoods into your diet with ease? It’s not hard to snack on a bowl of blueberries or a pomegranate (yum!), but adding a food like prickly pear into your rotation is a bit more challenging—especially if it’s not available at your local market. Start by picking a dish that stars one of those easy-to-find superfoods—it won’t be hard to find a tempting and healthy option to suit your tastes. Once you start getting comfortable building meals around superfoods and skin health, it will start to feel like second nature.
Not a fan of a few foods listed above? No problem! You’ll still have plenty of options to work with. Working in superfoods doesn’t have to be a drag!
Only a Part of the Skincare Routine
Diet is a big part of keeping your skin healthy, but it’s far from the only factor in maintaining youthful, glowing, and wrinkle-free skin. Other lifestyle choices and daily routines play a role as well, from avoiding smoking and protecting the skin from sun exposure to proper hydration and regular exercise. Beyond lifestyle, a skincare routine using natural products will keep skin glowing from the outside in.
Start with a simple, natural, and powerful routine like the Biconi Face Cleanser and Glow Facial Serum for extra antioxidant power. With the right diet and products, your skin could be unstoppable!