We’ve been hearing it all our lives – you are what you eat! So sometimes I’m a refreshing plate of chilled watermelon and other times, I’m a heavy bunch of crispy french fries (with truffle oil and parmesan cheese, of course!) Of course we should eat healthy foods – but where do we start? Also, what foods should we really be eating? Over time, I’ve realized that O shouldn’t be eating as many fries. I try to eat foods that will really make me look and feel good. I’ve been learning more about what foods can age me (wahh, potato chips can wreck my collagen?) But I also wanted to look at foods that will also make me look better and that are easy to buy and cook. So I came up with this list of 7 foods for healthy skin.
7 Foods for Healthy Skin
I’ve known for a while that colorful vegetables are healthy ones. Bell peppers, especially red ones, are high in vitamin C which are not only the building blocks of our immune system, but create and promote the expansion of collagen. It also hinders aging displayed by fine lines and wrinkles by slowing the rate of free radicals. The vitamin E in bell peppers protects skin because it contains fatty acids to build strong cell walls.
Celery has been a classic diet food for some time mainly because it is refreshing, crunch, and made of 98% water. It’s also antioxidant rich and contains vitamins A and C which protects your skin from the signs of aging caused by free radicals. Eating celery can also help reduce the white spots associated with the skin disease Vitiligo because it stimulates the production of melanin.
Zucchini is another water rich food and is made of 96% water! Its skin is its first and healthiest component (which makes sense since it is mostly water!) It contains beta carotene, the antioxidant that protects the skin against the effects of aging, such as wrinkles and line formation. Zucchini helps our bodies to produce choline, which is a component of collagen formation. Collagen keeps our skin healthy and also helps us to heal from wounds faster too.
Broccoli can be a polarizing vegetable – you either love it or hate it. But it’s full of so many vitamins and minerals from Vitamin A, C, and calcium that support healthy hair and skin. One of the most unique aspects of broccoli is that it contains glucoraphanin–an organic compound unique to broccoli and cauliflower that can regenerate sun-damaged skin. In addition, the vitamin B, vitamin E, and beta carotene nourish skin. Broccoli’s super qualities continue with its enzyme called myrosinase that changes the sulfur-based chemicals (glucosinolates) into another type of chemical (isothiocyanates), which have anti-cancer properties.
Bright red tomatoes have more going for it than a bright color. The substance that gives it the bright color – lycopene – help protect against sunburn and skin ageing caused by sunlight exposure. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes harmful molecules that are produced in the skin as a result of overexposure to the sun. It’s nice that eating some fresh caprese salad is a small, additional protection against summer sun!
Tofu is another love it or leave it type of food. This processed offspring of soybeans has been a favorite protein substitute ever since it was first created. This source of healthy, unsaturated fats and calcium is also great for skin. Calcium, which is most present in the epidermis of the skin, helps spur new skin growth and sheds old skin. It is also full of additional antioxidants like selenium to battle free radicals and help repair damaged DNA.
Pretty much everyone loves avocados right (except my daughter, gasp!) This creamy, rich fruit is full of moisturizing properties inside and out – yes eat or apply avocado to take advantage of its major moisture. Avocados are high in oleic acid which is great for keeping skin soft. This monounsaturated fatty acid maintains moisture in the epidermal layer of your skin, helping to make it soft and hydrated. Oleic acid also helps to regenerate damaged skin cells and minimize facial redness and irritation which may occur even now in humid summer weather. (source) Avocados also contain lutein which speed up the absorption of carotenoids such as beta-carotene; it helps your body absorb nutrients quickly!