The Best Foods to Eat for Healthy and Glowing Skin

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Keep reading for my 5 favorite nutrition tips for healthy and glowing skin.

As the largest and fastest growing organ, our skin has one of the highest demands for nutrients. Whether you suffer from acne, psoriasis or wrinkles, nutrition plays a key role in having healthy, balanced, and glowing skin.

The appearance our skin is influenced by our genetics and environment, but also by other organs in the body. Dating back as far as the 1930s, researchers have noted connections between the skin, digestive system, and the brain. Scientists have termed this connection as the “gut-brain-skin axis” and more recent research has validated strong associations between skin, mental health, and digestive conditions.

If you want help treating a skin condition or just want better looking skin, start by changing your diet to support the skin-gut-brain axis.

These are my top 5 nutrition tips for healthy and glowing skin.


The Best Foods for Healthy Skin

Everyone can benefit from adding these key foods for healthy skin to your diet. If you have a skin condition like eczema, acne, or psoriasis, I recommend having these foods as much as possible for treatment.

01 - FOODS RICH IN VITAMIN A

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is one of the most well recognized nutrients for healthy skin. Synthetic retinoids have been commonly prescribed for the treatment of several skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis since the 1980s.

Vitamin A contributes to healthy skin by promoting skin cell growth and turnover. It helps fight acne by inhibiting oil secretion in the skin and decreasing androgen production.

Recommended Reading: Is Dairy Causing your Breakouts?

If you have rough, dry, scaly skin and/or small raised bumps on the back of your arms (known as hyperkeratosis pilaris) it may be a sign that you are vitamin A deficient.

Keep in mind that it’s best to get your vitamin A from food because this fat-soluble vitamin has a high risk of toxicity, especially from medications, supplements, and skincare products.

The best food sources of vitamin A come from animal products, but your body can also make vitamin A from certain compounds in plants known as carotenoids.

The best food sources of retinol are:

  • Liver and kidney

  • Egg yolks

  • Cod liver oil

  • Grass-fed dairy

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid that can be converted to vitamin A in the body. The best food sources of beta-carotene are:

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables:

  • Carrots

  • Pumpkin

  • Apricots

  • Cantaloupe

  • Sweet potatoes

Dark green vegetables:

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Broccoli

I recommend having at least 2 cups of these vegetables per day to promote healthy and glowing skin.


02 - FOODS RICH IN ZINC

Zinc is an essential mineral that supports healthy skin by promoting wound healing, fighting inflammation, and protecting our skin against UV radiation.

Studies have found that zinc may be particularly beneficial for healing acne and other skin conditions like eczema (1).

Zinc can be found in a variety of animal and plant foods, but is best absorbed from animal products, including:

  • Organ meats - liver and kidney

  • Red meat - beef and lamb

  • Seafood - oysters, scallops, shellfish

Plant-based sources of zinc like nuts, seeds, and beans are bound to phytates, which decrease their absorption in the body (2). You can boost their bioavailability by soaking them in water.


03 - FATTY FISH

The benefits of omega-3 fats are not just limited to heart and brain health. These nutritionally essential fats are also key nutrients for healthy skin.

Recommended Reading: Ultimate Guide to Fat: The good, the bad, and everything in between

Omega-3 fats have been shown to reduce the risk of acne (3) and effectively treat or improve skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis (4).

A diet high in omega-3s may also give you smoother and younger looking skin by decreasing inflammation.

The best way to get omega-3 is through cold-water, fatty fish like:

  • Sardines

  • Salmon

  • Mackerel

  • Tuna

  • Anchovies

  • Black cod

  • Trout

  • Herring

  • Sturgeon

I recommend consuming 1 pound of fatty fish per week to meet your needs for omega-3s and promote healthy skin.


 04 - FOODS RICH IN BIOTIN

Biotin is another well know nutrient for healthy skin. This water-soluble B-vitamin helps regulate fatty acid metabolism, which is critical for healthy skin.

Biotin deficiency leads to impaired fat production which tends to manifest in the skin first. Some common signs of biotin deficiency include hair loss and scaly, red, and inflamed skin around the mouth and other areas of the face and scalp. Biotin deficiency can also be a cause of dandruff for some people.

The best food sources of biotin are:

  • Egg yolks

  • Liver

  • Swiss chard

  • Romain lettuce

  • Almonds

  • Walnuts

 05 - FERMENTED FOODS

As I mentioned earlier, gut health has a strong influence on our skin through the skin-gut axis.

Probiotics benefit skin health through a number of different mechanisms, including balancing the gut microbiome and decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress.

The best food sources of probiotics are through fermented foods like the follow:

  • Sauerkraut

  • Kimchi

  • Yogurt and kefir (grass-fed dairy or non-dairy products)

 

Have you tried using food to treat your skin condition or get a glowing skin? I’d love to hear from you! Leave questions or comments bel, and Pin it for later!

XO Tamar

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Hey! I’m Tamar…

the founder of All Great Nutrition, Dietitian, and National Board Certified Health Coach. I help frustrated dieters get back to feeling confident, empowered, and positive about their health.

Want to transform your relationship with food and stop emotional eating? Contact me to learn more about my coaching program.

 

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