If you’re wondering what foods will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of the greatest skin benefits we’ve got you covered.
Put down the junk food and get a pen and paper for your new grocery list. Here we have ten of our most favorite foods to eat for better skin counting down to the absolute most essential food.
We also left a brief description on why we love each food and who will benefit the most so if you have any particular issues (aging skin, acne, etc.) you know just what to eat to help address that concern.
If you’re interested at a more in-depth look at how each vitamin, mineral, or nutrient mentioned in this list will help your skin check out this helpful little guide we made. We talk about the benefits of each here only briefly.
As we like to remind people, changing your diet is the first step to transforming into a sexier, more attractive you. If you’ve ever wondered whether it was really possible to eat your way to better skin, make these the new staples of your diet and watch as your skin transforms over time — clearing up, improving its tone, and glowing with a radiance you’ve never seen before.
Why We Love Papaya: More Vitamin C than an Orange, Boosts Collagen Production
It’s true: Even though oranges are more commonly associated with Vitamin C, one small papaya fruit has nearly double the amount of the vitamin clocking in at 159% of your recommended DV (daily value).
The papaya fruit also offers the skin boosting effects of a modest amount of Vitamin A and Magnesium. Eat papaya if you’re especially concerned about wrinkles or ageing skin. It’s Vitamin C content will help synthesize collagen which is the support structure of our skin and what gives it its elasticity and bounce.
Why We Love Walnuts: Great for on-the-go snacking, Packs a big punch in just a small amount
Walnuts beat out papaya, along with every other type of nut we could have put here instead (like almonds or pistachios). While you can’t go wrong with those two choices, walnuts are here in the number 9 spot for a few reasons.
With one of the highest omega 3 concentrations of any type of nut (¼ a cup has more than 100% of your daily value) walnuts offer another way for any vegans or vegetarians to get their daily Omega 3 intake. If you need a reminder of why we’re praising Omega 3s so much remember to check out our nutritional guide to better skin. It really is one of the most underrated nutrients for better skin.
Walnuts also contain rare antioxidants and help reduce inflammation which can be useful for fighting off a variety of bothersome skin conditions (link) and they have about half the DV of copper along with some Vitamin E to round off a great nutritional profile and earn its place in our top 10.
Why We Love Berries: Packed with a little bit of everything
Berries of all sorts: blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, and more are amongst the best foods to eat not only for their skin benefits but also for general health.
Their biggest advantage over other foods outside of this top 10 is that they offer small concentrations of tons of different vitamins and minerals. Among these are Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Manganese, Copper, and Vitamin E.
Even better, berries are one of the best sources of phytonutrients and antioxidants which will help fight inflammation and even help control acne if you eat enough.
Berries will help out with nearly any skin concern you have. Try eating a cup of berries a day (the more variety the better) to get the maximum skin benefits.
Why We Love Sweet Potatoes: Brightens up your face and helps fight acne
Have a dull complexion? Struggling with acne? Sweet potatoes are exactly the food you should be eating to help you out. One medium baked sweet potato has over 200% DV of Vitamin A!
Popular acne treatments like Accutane and Retin-A are basically synthetic forms of Vitamin A. The great thing about sweet potatoes is that unlike synthetic forms, it’s pretty hard to overdose on Vitamin A by ingesting it through food. We recommend eating sweet potatoes once or twice a week to help manage acne outbreaks.
Sweet potatoes are also filled with carotenoids which are pigments that change the color of your skin to a golden hue when digested. Eating enough can help liven up your appearance especially if you don’t get much sunshine and you also get to avoid all the negative effects of UV radiation like premature ageing. Sounds like a great deal to us!
As an added benefit, one baked sweet potato also fulfills half your daily need for Vitamin C. These three factors combined, place sweet potatoes at our number 7 spot.
Why We Love Bell Peppers: A variety of carotenoids and a whole lot of Vitamin C
It’s no secret by now, that we’re huge fans of eating foods that contain carotenoids because who doesn’t want a glowing skin tone? We’re fans of sweet bell peppers not only because they taste good, but because along with tomatoes, they’re one of the foods with the greatest variety of carotenoids that can transform your skin.
We recommend eating them raw alongside other foods or your main dish because cooking them destroys their phytonutrient count. Also, allow them to ripen because doing so increases their Vitamin C content — one cup of these peppers sliced, raw has over 150% your DV.
Why We Love Spinach: One of the best sources of Vitamin K
While eating spinach alone might not get you those bulging biceps like Popeye, it can help clear up your skin and improve blood circulation thanks to their Vitamin K content.
One cup of cooked spinach has 987% the DV of Vitamin K., more than 100% the DV of Vitamin A and a quarter of the Vitamin C DV. Not to mention it contains a variety of unique carotenoids, which… well you already know by now what they do. These are all helpful vitamins and thanks to the high concentrations found in spinach, it earns a spot in the top 5.
Why We Love Broccoli: One of the most nutrient-dense foods around
1 cup of cooked broccoli has over 200% your DV of Vitamin K making it one of the easiest ways of increasing your vitamin K intake. To top it off, it also has more than 100% of your daily Vitamin C requirement making it an especially potent food for improving your skin.
This combination of improved blood flow with Vitamin K and collagen synthesis with Vitamin C, makes broccoli the perfect food for those concerned with ageing skin.
Not to mention the fact it also has some Omega 3s and Vitamin E at smaller concentrations, broccoli is a powerhouse and rightfully sits at the number 4 spot.
Remember: It’s important not to cook broccoli too hot to the point it gets soggy or soft because then it loses its nutrients. Steaming or eating it raw is best.
Wild Caught Salmon
Why We Love Salmon: 2g of Omega 3s, an assortment of trace minerals, and it’s absolutely delicious!
Think salmon’s too high on this list? Not if you realize just how much of an impact eating it can have on improving your skin.
Already filled with B Vitamins, Vitamin D, and selenium, salmon has a great nutritional profile but what really sets it over the other foods on this list is its omega 3 content.
4 oz. of broiled salmon has 2 grams of omega 3s, which is a lot more than what the average American adult gets daily and a lot more than the other foods on this list.
Why omega 3s? As mentioned back in our nutritional guide:
- Balancing out your omega 6:omega 3 ratio will reduce inflammation. Most people get too much Omega 6s and not enough Omega 3s!
- Increases collagen production
- Fights acne
- Delays aging at the molecular level
- Offers UV protection
….It really is the all in one nutrient.
It’s important the salmon is wild caught. This ensures the fish ate a natural diet and isn’t pumped full of hormones which you’d then be ingesting yourself.
Why We Love Tomatoes: 35% natural increase in UV protection, and Lycopene!
As we said in our skin nutrition guide, tomatoes particularly in paste form are our 2nd most recommended food and here they are!
If you’ve ever wondered how so many Italians, Greeks and other people of Mediterranean countries seem to have that perfect sun bronzed skin tone look no further (Hint: It’s not just the sun!). Thanks to their Mediterranean based diet, these countries consume a lot of tomatoes which contain a helpful little nutrient called lycopene.
Lycopene is a carotenoid which besides improving your skin tone, also increases your skin’s resistance to UV rays by 35% when eaten alongside a fat like olive oil.
This is a winning combination when combined with a light tan– you’ll get that much sought after sun bronzed skin tone with less of the negatives from UV induced skin damage thanks to the lycopene.
A natural sunscreen and an attractive skin tone? Not to mention the skin boosting effects of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and some potassium? Welcome to 2nd place!
Why We Love Kale: The Ultimate Juicer Food! Broccoli and Spinach 2.0
If you thought broccoli, tomatoes, and salmon were nutritional powerhouses, kale is basically an atomic bomb of skin healthy nutrients.
Case and Point:
While it’s true broccoli is among the foods with the highest amount of Vitamin K, it really is nothing compared to kale. One cup of cooked kale has over 1000% the DV of Vitamin K, more than 5x the amount that broccoli has.
And if that wasn’t enough, 1 cup of kale also has nearly 100% the DV of Vitamin A and nearly 75% the daily Vitamin C requirement . This places kale, wayyy above most other foods, especially those praised for their positive effects on skin.
We’ll leave it at this: It’s a pretty good idea for you to be eating kale if you want better skin. A lot of people can’t stand the taste and like juicing or making a shake out of it by combining it with different foods. If this is you, try drinking it to reap all of its benefits. Seriously, kale hasn’t skyrocketed in popularity for nothing — it’s absolutely great for your skin! I And it’s why we placed it at the number one spot.
So there you have it. Ten foods you should be making a staple of your diet starting TODAY to get better skin.
Agree or disagree with any of our choices? Think we missed a more essential food? Let us know what you think!