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5 Foods For Glowing Skin

5 Foods For Glowing Skin

Cook with these foods for clear, hydrated, and luminous skin

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Eat your way to radiant skin with these foods.


Keep your skin radiant by snacking on carrots; they’re an excellent source of vitamin A, which canstrengthen your skin’s outermost layer, helping it to protect itself from blemish-causing bacteria. Click here for our best carrot recipes.


A sweet treat that helps fight wrinkles? Yes, please! This delicious green fruit has more vitamin C than an orange, which means smoother and more youthful-looking skin. Click here for our best kiwi recipes.


These tasty little mollusks are a good source of zinc, a mineral that helps skin cells repair themselves. Since our skin is constantly working to renew itself,zinc plays an important role in keeping skin healthy and luminous. Click here for our best oyster recipes.


Salmon has become an incredibly popular source of protein amongst dieters and the health-conscious, and for good reason: it has numerous health benefits. Salmon is a good source of essential fatty acids and B vitamins, and that combination keeps skin healthy, hydrated, and glowing. Click here for our best salmon recipes.


Spinach is a healthy skin powerhouse; it contains vitamins C (antioxidant protection) and omega-3 fatty acids (which help your skin stay hydrated). Other good sources of antioxidants and omega-3s include Brussels sprouts and kale. Click here for our best spinach recipes.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.


The 5 "glow foods" this celebrity facialist tells all of her clients to eat for radiant skin

Real talk—the beauty industry is massive. The market is densely packed with brands, products, and celebrity endorsements, and as a result, it’s easy to forget that skincare is more than just the products we use. If we separate the word “skincare” from its commonly associate word “routine,” we get a better idea of the breadth of its definition. It’s an all-encompassing term that covers everything from water intake to caffeine consumption, sun exposure, exercise, and stress relief. The truth is that skincare refers to the intangible, just as much—if not more—than the tangible.

One of the most important components of skincare is diet. Science has shown that what we eat, and how much of it, has a direct effect on our skin, and no one knows that better than Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skin Care. Her clients include the likes of Rachel Brosnahan, Mindy Kaling, Tessa Thompson, Greta Gerwig, and more (you know, all those celebrities who are known for their bright and glowing complexions).

“Making healthy food and beverage choices can make all the difference to your complexion, but please remember that beauty is more than skin deep,” Vargas says. “Nutritious, organic whole foods help you inside, improving your body’s functions and helping to extend your life. It’s not just about looking good it’s about feeling great as well. A beautiful, glowing face is merely the sum of many parts, and nutrition is all of that.”

Vargas recently released a book, called Glow From Within. In it, she shares a list of “glow foods,” or foods she recommends her clients eat to improve the look, tone, and texture of their complexions. She also includes a list of 𠇏oods that dim your glow,” or those that should be avoided due to their detrimental effects on the skin. Keep scrolling to see the full list of “glow foods” and learn why you should incorporate them into your diet (and why you should avoid two others).

Shop it! Glow From Within by Joanna Vargas, $19.36, amazon.com


1. Sugar

Sugar scrubs contain glycolic acid that helps moisturize, hydrate, and remove dead cells off your skin naturally.

Therefore, it promotes new skin cells and younger-looking skin.

  • Mix 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of coconut oil, and 50 drops of your favorite essential oils.
  • Use the paste as facial scrubs in the morning and evening for clean, moisturized skin.
  • Store the leftover mixture in a jar.
  • Pro tip: we recommend exfoliating your skin with sugar scrubs three to four times per week, but one to two times per week is okay if you have sensitive skin.

18 Superfoods for Glowing Skin, According to Dermatologists

When it comes to your skin, there's one thing we know for sure: What you eat can have a direct impact on how you look. If you're not specifically chowing down on superfoods for glowing skin and instead are constantly noshing on processed foods or those high in sugar and fat and devoid of fiber, it can show up in the form of dull skin, perhaps along with other issues like acne, dryness, oiliness, or dark under-eye circles. (We've been preaching to you for years about this.)

"A diet focused on high-quality lean proteins, fiber, healthy oils, raw fruits and vegetables, and spices is best for supporting healthy skin," Paula Simpson, nutritionist and cofounder of ZSS tells Allure. "These foods tend to contain high-quality amino acids—the building blocks for firm skin—plus anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredients that promote optimal skin metabolism and defense against environmental stressors."

One of those stressors is free-radical damage, "which can weaken your skin's immunity and break down its metabolic functions," says Simpson. This causes skin to eventually become uneven, and it loses that effervescent glow we're always seeking out. "It can also trigger inflammatory reactions that destroy collagen, resulting in thin, wrinkled, and blotchy skin," she continues.

Now, let's get started on that grocery list. Below, we've highlighted the superfoods for glowing skin that belong in your kitchen, stat. Not only will they fuel a healthy body and mind, but they'll also help solve your biggest skin concerns and lead you to your most glowing look yet.

No matter what your skin is like.

Ginger: Ginger is best known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are found in the root of the spice, says Simpson. Not to mention studies show ginger can have a soothing effect on skin, so don't be surprised when you see it on facial menus, too.

Chia seeds: A top-notch smoothie ingredient, sprinkling these little guys into your morning meal means you're netting one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. "Omega-3 fatty acids help provide building blocks for healthy skin cell function and new collagen production to keep the skin foundation strong and wrinkle free, Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City tells Allure.

Tomatoes: The salad fave is one of the best sources of lycopene, an anti-aging antioxidant that may also help prevent heart disease. But some research suggests that lycopene is more easily absorbed by your body when it's cooked, so go nuts on those comforting stews and soups this season.

If you have. acne.

Oatmeal: Swap sugary cereal (sorry, Lucky Charms) for a bowl of plain oats in the a.m. and your skin will thank you. This food is low on the glycemic index, a scale that rates foods containing carbohydrates according to how much each food increases blood sugar (high-glycemic foods cause a fast, drastic spike and subsequent crash, whereas low-glycemic options provide a slow, steady increase and decline). "Foods with a low glycemic index [are better] because starchy foods [that are high-glycemic] increase blood sugar, promote inflammation, and have been shown to be associated with acne breakouts," says Zeichner.

Miso: We could be boring and tell you to have yogurt because it has a lot of probiotics, and probiotics are great for your skin, digestive system, and bloat control. But you've heard that a billion times before, and it's not exactly helpful if you're lactose intolerant. Instead, try miso, which Simpson says has all of the same gut-friendly bugs. Did someone say sushi with miso soup for lunch? Count us in.

Artichokes: It's time to quit passing by this oft-misunderstood green in the veggie section. Artichokes contain the flavonoid silymarin, a an antioxidant that can protect the liver and help clear blemish-prone skin, says Simpson. And since it's often paired with spinach, another acne-fighting food (see below), we say it's okay to enjoy that famous football dip every once in a while.

If you have. oily skin.

Sweet potatoes: There's no reason to go carb-free just because you're after perfect skin. Zeichner says sweet potatoes are a great option because of their high levels of vitamin A. "Vitamin A derivatives have been shown to help reduce oil production in the skin, and are used to treat acne," he says. Carrots are another solid vitamin A option, but he warns against taking a supplement. "Overdosing on them can have side effects that are harmful to your health," he says. Some research has shown those side effects could include blurry vision, bone pain, and dizziness.

Cinnamon: Perhaps your skin always looks great in the fall and winter seasons isn't the soft glow of your Christmas lights, but instead it's all the cinnamon in the season's goodies. The basic spice is great for stimulating circulation and blood flow, which Simpson says brings oxygen and nutrients directly to the skin. Plus, some studies have shown that cinnamon could help to stabilize and balance blood sugar levels, which is important, she says, when a diet heavy in sugar and refined carbs (ahem, holiday cookies) can stimulate oil production. She suggests adding a dash of the spice to your coffee or tea to start your day off right, or blending some into a morning smoothie.

If you have. dry skin.

Avocados: Bring on the guac! "High levels of healthy oils and vitamin E, both of which are found in avocados, provide the building blocks for healthy skin cell function," says Zeichner. "They may also help improve barrier function and hydration."

Sardines: Don't rule out the fish in a can just yet. "Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12 and selenium," says Simpson. Why's that matter? B12 plays a major role in skin cell reproduction, she says, and when you're lacking the vitamin, it often causes dry, patchy skin. Selenium is necessary if you want your body to produce an antioxidant called glutathione, which Simpson says helps the skin's barrier function. Lastly, sardines are packed with phosphorus, protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which play important roles in keeping your skin hydrated and glowing, according to Simpson. So, anyone ready to crack open a can?

If you have. wrinkles and fine lines.

Salmon: Nutritionists (and Victoria Beckham) love salmon for its myriad of health benefits—lower risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure, to name a couple—but when it comes to your skin, dermatologist Joshua Zeichner says it's the omega-3 fatty acids that are key. Sure, it's good for heart health, but those fatty acids also contribute to the production of collagen, a protein that "helps keep the skin foundation strong and wrinkle-free," he explains. The American Heart Association recommends eating 3.5 ounces at least two times per week, so use that as your benchmark.

Egg whites: Another reason not to skip breakfast: "In addition to giving your body a dose of healthy protein that it needs, egg whites are high in both the lysine and proline (amino acids), as well as collagen itself. So adding egg whites to your diet could help support your body's natural production of collagen to help fight fine lines" says Simpson. Vegans and vegetarians can also try nuts—peanuts, in particular—since serve up a hefty dose of lysine.

Quinoa: This protein-packed grain is well-known in the kitchen, but its high levels of riboflavin make it a superstar for your skin. Riboflavin lends a hand to your skin's elasticity and the production of connective tissue, which helps even things out and makes fine lines and wrinkles look less prominent.

If you have. dark under-eye circles.

Spinach: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens, along with broccoli and Brussels sprouts, are rich in vitamin K, a powerhouse nutrient when it comes to improving blood circulation and coagulation. Spinach is also loaded with zinc, "which has been shown to help reduce inflammation and help prevent acne breakouts," says Zeichner. Simpson adds that spinach (as well as collard greens and kale) contains zeaxanthin, "a naturally-occurring antioxidant that protects skin and helps even out skin tone."

More skin-friendly rules to live by:

If you have. dark spots.

Citrus fruits: "Dark spots are caused by extra pigment production due to UV light exposure," says Zeichner. "Topical antioxidants like vitamin C have been shown to help calm inflammation, brighten dark spots, and even your skin complexion." Eating citrus may also help, he notes, so foods like oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits should be your top snacks.

Bell peppers: Another food high in vitamin C, these veggies can help smooth out your skin and lighten the appearance of any dark spots caused by the overproduction of pigmentation. Not a big fan of peppers? Broccoli, cauliflower, and berries are also high on the vitamin C list and make for a less-spicy snack.

If you have. a dull complexion.

Paprika: If your skin is looking a little drab in those Insta-pics, it's time to spice things up in the kitchen—literally. "Paprika provides a great source of antioxidants, including vitamin C and E, and beneficial carotenoids like zeaxanthin," says Simpson. Try sprinkling it onto sweet potatoes with olive oil before roasting, or use it as a rub on chicken breast with garlic powder and cayenne.

Turmeric: All the top chefs are cooking with this trendy spice (and beauty gurus are DIY masking with it), and for good reason. It contains curcumin, an antioxidant that combats free radicals that are seriously dulling your skin, says Simpson. It also promotes collagen synthesis, and when used topically it can help renew the skin by acting as a stimulator for skin elasticity and firmness, in turn fighting any wrinkles and fine lines. Enjoy it sprinkled in an egg scramble or frittata, or blend it straight into a smoothie—we promise you won't even notice it!

Learn how to make the perfect body scrub with just three ingredients:


Fruits To Eat Daily For Glowing Skin

1. Oranges

Daily Vitamin C intake is mandatory for radiant skin. The natural oils present in oranges keep your skin hydrated, making it look plump.

Vitamin C is known to aid in collagen production, which keeps your skin firm and reduces the appearance of signs of aging (1) (2). High in vitamin C and antioxidants, oranges help fight free radicals in the body, minimizing DNA damage. This slows down premature aging.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Eat half an orange everyday.
  • You could even consume freshly squeezed orange juice. Avoid the pulp if you have ulcers in your stomach, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • You could make a tasty orange smoothie or add it to your salads.

B. For Pigmentation

Apply plain, freshly squeezed orange juice to your pigmentation spots.

C. For Oily Skin

Mix 3 tablespoons of orange juice with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Add a pinch of turmeric to the mixture along with 2 tablespoons of gram flour. Apply it as a pack and leave until dry (around 15 minutes). Rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm or cold water.

D. For Dry Skin

Mix 3 tablespoons of orange juice with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Add half a teaspoon of milk to the mixture along with a pinch of turmeric and one teaspoon of honey. Apply it to your skin and leave it on for 10 -15 minutes.

2. Papaya

Carica papaya or simply ‘papaya’ as most of us call it, is a naturally moisturizing agent that helps keep your skin hydrated and soft when used topically.

Rich in Vitamin A, C and B, this fruit can prove to be effective in maintaining good skin health. Papaya can also improve your digestive system and prevent constipation. This, in turn, aids in clearing up your skin. Studies suggest that this fruit can also speed-up the wound healing process (3).

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Eat a bowl of papaya in the morning as part of your breakfast.
  • Papaya smoothies are also a good option. Blending the fruit with some lemon juice will make for a tasty drink.

B. For Smooth Skin

Mash some papaya pieces in a bowl and apply them onto your skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes.

C. To Reduce Pigmentation

Mash a few pieces of papaya and mix with lemon juice. Add a pinch of turmeric. Apply to the affected area and wash off after 10 minutes.

D. To Moisturize Dry Parts Of Your Skin

Mix mashed papaya with half a teaspoon of almond oil and apply to the affected area. Wash off after 10 minutes.

E. Papaya Scrub

Mix mashed papaya with 1 teaspoon of an orange peel. Add a tablespoon of rosewater to the mixture if you have oily skin. If your skin is dry, you can use honey.

3. Lemon

Lemon is popularly used in a number of skincare products. From anti-acne creams to anti-aging lotions, this citrus fruit can prevent a host of skin issues.

Rich in Vitamin C, lemon can help reduce signs of aging, hyperpigmentation and scarring (4). Lemon is also a natural bleaching agent. It helps reduce sun damage and tan. Addressing a host of skin issues, this ingredient should be made a mandatory part of your skincare regimen.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Lemon juice water with a teaspoon of honey added to it should be the first thing you drink in the morning.
  • You can add lemon juice to your salad and even your curries while you consume them.

Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to a teaspoon of sugar and mix the two. Rub it onto the affected areas and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash off with cold water.

Note:

Make sure you do not scrub your skin too hard to prevent it from getting dry.

C. For Puffy Eyes And Dark Circles

Mix one teaspoon of lemon with one teaspoon of milk. Gently apply to your undereyes. Make sure you do not allow the ingredients to enter your eyes to prevent burning. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off with cold water.

D. For Pigmentation Spots

If you have oily skin, applying lemon juice alone to your affected areas is recommended. However, if your skin is dry, mix a few drops of lemon juice with some coconut oil.

E. For Acne Scars

Mix lemon juice with rose water and dab it gently on your skin using a cotton ball. Rinse off after 10 minutes.

4. Watermelon

The name itself sounds so refreshing. Watermelon is rich in fibres and of course, water. It contains 92 percent water, which means hydrated, soft and supple skin. This red ball of refreshment, quite literally, contains Vitamin C, A, B1, B6 and Lycopene that are essential in improving overall skin health and texture.

Vitamin C helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin A and B contributes to maintaining an even skin texture. Lycopene acts as a free radical scavenger, preventing tissue damage in your skin (5).

Free radicals are responsible for increased skin inflammation that promotes a number of skin issues. The best part - watermelons contain no fat and are cholesterol-free (6).

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Have watermelon juice in the morning or instead of your evening snack.
  • Add freshly cut watermelon to your salads and smoothies.

B. For Oily Skin

Mix 3 tablespoons of watermelon juice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of fuller’s earth. You could even add a teaspoon of rose water if you wish. Apply the mixture to your skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes (till it dries) and rinse off with cold water.

C. For Dry Skin

Mix 3 tablespoons of watermelon juice with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add 1 teaspoon of honey and aloe vera gel each. Apply it to your skin and rinse off after 10-15 minutes.

5. Cucumber

According to the technical definition, cucumbers are fruits, and oh so hydrating! The major part of cucumber is water. Thus, they have a cooling effect on the body and are high in antioxidants (7).

The peel of a cucumber contains Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which is vital to achieve healthy, glowing skin. Studies suggest that sea cucumbers can aid in skin whitening and can also reduce the appearance of fine lines (8). They also help in reducing puffy eyes and dark circles.

How To Use

  • You can consume a cucumber every day just by eating it raw as a snack.
  • You can also add cucumber slices to your sandwiches and salads.
  • Cucumber juice can also be eaten first thing in the morning.

A. To Reduce Acne

Add 1 tablespoon of gram flour to a freshly grated cucumber. You can add a teaspoon of rose water to the mixture. Apply it to the affected area and rinse off with cold water after 15 minutes.

B. For Dry Skin

To moisturize dry skin, grate a cucumber and add 1 tablespoon of milk to it. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the mixture and apply it to your skin. Rinse off after 10 minutes.

6. Pineapples

Pineapples contain Vitamins A, C, K and minerals that are essential in maintaining clear, healthy skin (9). They are also rich in bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties (10) (11).

This fruit can improve your skin texture, reduce sun spots and reduce acne symptoms. It is also effective in speeding-up the skin’s healing process and removing dead skin cells (12).

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Consume freshly chopped pineapple as part of your morning breakfast or as an evening snack.
  • You can add pineapple pieces to your pizzas, sandwiches or even desserts.

B. Anti-aging Face Pack

Add a teaspoon of milk to a teaspoon of pineapple juice and apply it to your skin. Rinse off after 10 minutes with cold water.

C. To Brighten Skin

Take a few spoons of pineapple pulp and add a tablespoon of gram flour to it. Mix till you get a paste and apply to your skin. Allow it to sit on till it gets dry. Wash off with cold water.

7. Mango

Almost all of us look forward to the summer for mangoes! This delicious fruit is not just a treat to your taste buds it also benefits your skin in many ways.

Mangoes are packed with Vitamins A, E and C. It also possesses wound-healing properties (13). This makes it effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and acne marks. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce acne symptoms. This fruit rejuvenates your skin to give you that beautiful, radiant summer glow.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • What could be better than starting your summer mornings with freshly cut mangoes?
  • Mango smoothies are also a drink to savor.

B. For Oily Skin

Mix mango, rose water and lime together in a bowl and apply to your skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse off with cold water.

C. For Dry Skin

Mash a mango and mix with 1 teaspoon of yoghurt, 1 teaspoon of honey and mix well. Wash with normal water after 10 minutes of application.

8. Apricot

Apricots are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps fight free radicals in your body. It helps reduce the appearance of signs of aging. Apricots also possess anti-inflammatory properties that can improve acne symptoms.

Apricots are also rich in Vitamin A, K and folate that are effective in improving your skin’s overall health.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • You can add chopped apricots to your breakfast or smoothies.
  • You can also add some spices to it and dry it under the sun to store it for future consumption.

B. For Healthy Skin

Place thin slices of apricots to the pigmented areas of your skin and remove them after 10 minutes.

9. Apple

Apples are packed with Vitamins A and C that cater to a host of skin issues. Apple peels are also rich in antioxidants that help reduce the appearance of signs of aging. Apples also contain antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress.

Note:

The peel of an apple is rich in antioxidants (14). Gently rinsing an apple for a minute under the tap and consuming it with the peel is the best way to eat it, to reap its benefits!

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Eat an apple every day with your breakfast.
  • Apple smoothies are a tasty way of consuming this fruit.

B. Topically

Apply a grated piece of apple to your skin for 10 minutes for better skin.

C. For Dry Skin

Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with a grated piece of an apple. Apply to your skin for 10 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.

10. Strawberries

Apart from being great ice cream flavors, strawberries also possess qualities that can help improve skin health! Strawberries are great chemical exfoliators. They contain an alpha-hydroxy acid known as salicylic acid which is a popular ingredient in beauty products.

Salicylic acid in itself possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help reduce acne symptoms. It cleanses the skin and removes unwanted dirt and bacteria that may clog your pores.

Strawberries also contain Vitamin C and ellagic acid. Ellagic acid prevents UV damage and reduces the appearance of signs of aging (15).

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Have a bowl of strawberries with your breakfast.
  • You can also add strawberries to your desserts.

B. For Pigmentation And Tanning

Mash a few strawberries and add a tablespoon of lime juice to it. Apply to the affected area. Wash off after 10 minutes with lukewarm water.

C. For Glowing Skin

Mash a few strawberries (how much ever you think you may require). Apply the mashed pieces to your skin and wash off after 10 minutes.

11. Muskmelon

Another fruit that is packed with vitamins is muskmelon. Muskmelon contains vitamins A, C and K that are essential for good skin health. It also contains folate and minerals.

This fruit is effective in treating psoriasis, a dry skin condition that causes itchy, flaky and red patches of skin (16). Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it a good option to help reduce skin issues like pigmentation.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

B. Topically

Mash up a few pieces of the fruit and apply to your skin for 10 minutes for glowing skin.

C. For Uneven Pigmentation

Mash up a few pieces of muskmelon and add a few drops of grape and lemon juice to it. Apply it to the affected area for 15 minutes and rinse off with cold water.

12. Avocado

Avocados possess anti-inflammatory properties that reduce oxidative stress. This prevents skin damage. They also contain dietary fiber and Vitamins A, C, K, B3 and B6.

Avocados also contain lutein and zeaxanthin that protect the skin against UV induced damage. Avocados also improve the firmness of your skin and speed-up its wound-healing process (17).

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • You can add this fruit to your salads/smoothies.
  • You can also use it in a variety of recipes from sushis to dimsums.

B. Topicallyy

Apply mashed pieces to your skin and rinse off after 10 minutes.

C. For Soft Skin

Mash an avocado to form a paste. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and 1 tsp honey to it. Apply for 30 minutes to your skin and rinse off.

13. Cherries

Cherries, apart from being mouth-watering, are extremely beneficial to your skin. Packed with Vitamin A, C, K, folate and minerals, they can do wonders for your skin. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce damage caused to your skin.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Consume cherries at any time of the day as a snack.
  • You can even add this delicious fruit to your cakes, smoothies and yoghurt dishes.

B. For Glowing Skin

You can mash a cherry and apply it to your skin for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

14. Banana

Delicious, easy to peel and not at all messy! This fruit is packed with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and is also very moisturizing (18). It contains Vitamin A, C K, E, folate and minerals that make it effective in improving your skin health.

It is also rich in dietary fibre that is required for a good digestive system, which helps with good skin as well. Bananas are also moisturizing agents that help soothe dry skin.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Just peel it and have it at any time of the day.
  • You can even make a banana smoothie that is extremely filling and healthy.
  • Bananas can be used to make breads and various desserts.

B. For Smooth Skin

Mashed bananas when applied to your skin can instantly make it soft and hydrated.

15. Kiwi

Puffy eyes and wrinkles can be quite an issue for some of us. However, kiwis can come to your rescue! Kiwis promote the production of collagen in the body (19). Rich in Vitamin C, this fruit also prevents oxidative stress in the body.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • You can slice a raw kiwi and have it with your breakfast.
  • Kiwi smoothies are also great to have in the morning and can be refreshing.

B. Topically

Mash a kiwi and add the same to your skin. Rinse off after 10 minutes.

C. For Skin Lightening

Mash a kiwi and add a pinch of turmeric to it. Apply the same to your skin.

16. Pomegranate

This fruit is a good option if you tread out in the sun a lot. Pomegranate peels are packed with antioxidants and the fruit itself is rich in Vitamins C, K, folate and minerals.

It helps reduce UV damage and pigmentation. Researchers also found that this fruit was effective in renewing the human skin.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Pomegranate can be added to your salads, smoothies, desserts and other meals.
  • You can also juice it or enjoy the raw fruit as it is.

B. For Normal Skin (Pigmentation)

Mash half a pomegranate and apply the juice to your pigmented areas.

C. For Oily Skin (Pigmentation)

Mix 1 teaspoon of fuller’s earth and 1 tablespoon of gram flour with 1 teaspoon of lime juice. Add 2 tablespoons of pomegranate juice to it to form a paste. Apply to the affected areas.

D. For Dry Skin (Pigmentation)

Mix 1 tablespoon of gram flour with 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of pomegranate juice. Apply to the affected areas.

17. Gooseberry

This is one fruit that doesn’t get enough credit! Packed with antioxidants and loaded with Vitamin C, gooseberry makes a great fruit to effectively speed-up wound healing and treat inflammation.

Gooseberries also boost collagen production in the skin, making it effective in treating signs of aging.

How To Use

The best way to reap its benefits is by consuming it post your meals (preferably lunch) or adding the same to your smoothies/desserts.

18. Grapes

Another fruit that is loaded with antioxidants is a grape. Grapes contain resveratrol that protect your skin from UV damage. They are also rich in Vitamin C, K, folate and minerals.

What sets them apart is that their seed extracts have skin rejuvenating and wound-healing properties.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Just munch on a bunch of grapes as an evening snack.
  • You could also add them to your smoothies/desserts.

B. Topically

Mash a few grapes and apply them to your skin for 10 minutes. Rinse off with cold water.

C. For Skin Brightening

Mash a few grapes and add them to a blender. Add a tablespoon of yoghurt and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply the paste to your skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with cold water.

Note:

If you have dry skin, you can skip the lemon juice.

19. Peach

Pink, peachy cheeks is something a lot of us strive to achieve. Peaches do just that. Well, maybe not literally, but this fruit contributes to a healthy glow.

Peaches are packed with vitamins C, A, E and K. They also contain calcium and other minerals, along with dietary fibre for a healthy digestive system. Peaches contain antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body, preventing UV damage and contributing to that healthy glow!

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • You can consume a few peach slices in the morning with your breakfast.
  • You could even add a few pieces to your smoothies or make a peach smoothie.

B. For Healthy Skin

Slice a peach and apply the pieces to your skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes before you wash it off with cold water.

20. Tomato

Another fruit that is rich in lycopene is the tomato. It contains powerful antioxidants that protect the skin from UV damage and premature aging. Its natural acids regulate sebum production, making it a good option for those with oily skin types.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

  • Consume a freshly cut raw tomato in the morning.
  • You can even have fresh tomato juice or use it in all your curries.

B. Topically

Blend half a tomato into a puree and add half a teaspoon of lemon juice to it. Gently dab the mixture onto your skin using a cotton ball and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water.

C. For Skin Lightening

Blend a tomato to form a puree and add 2 tablespoons of turmeric to it. Apply to your skin and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wash off with cold water.

21. Blueberries

Blueberries have high nutritional value and are rich in vitamins A and C. They also contain antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. These fruits, if consumed regularly, can leave your skin feeling softer and more youthful.

How To Use

A. In Your Diet

B. For Skin Toning

Mash a few steamed blueberries and add them to a tablespoon of yoghurt. Apply to your skin for 20 minutes and rinse off with cold water.

Wrapping Up

It is important to remember that a number of factors contribute to glowing skin. Consuming the above-mentioned fruits is good for a healthy digestive system and to treat a number of skin issues. However, healthy skin in the long run is usually the result of a collective effort.

Other factors that contribute to glowing skin include following a healthy diet (rich in antioxidants, vitamins and dietary fibre), pampering your skin every now and then with a face massage to improve blood flow, exercising regularly and using the right skin care products made to suit your skin type.


Five foods for healthy skin.

1. Small, fatty fish

Sardines, anchovies, and wild-caught salmon.

These fish contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are highly anti-inflammatory. Since almost every skin condition has an inflammatory component, fatty fish can certainly reduce redness and/or itching associated with some of the most common skin conditions that we treat, including acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

A randomized control trial from 2008 which was published in the British Journal of Dermatology, showed that after 20 weeks of daily supplementation with 5.4 grams of DHA, a fatty acid found in fish oil, there was significant improvement in symptoms and IgE blood levels in eczema patients, as evidenced by improved SCORAD (severity scoring of atopic dermatitis) index (1). Omega-3 fish oils can also help decrease depression, which has also been linked to excessive inflammation (5, 6).

We frequently see patients at Parsley Health who have some kind of emotional or mental disturbance at the same time as an exacerbation of their skin condition. This correlation is well-documented and there is even a field of study dedicated to understanding it called psychodermatology, or psychocutaneous medicine. It’s important to understand that the mind-skin connection is real and should also be considered (7).

When deciding what types of fish to consume, it’s important to remember to eat small fish as opposed to large ones. Large fish spend their lives eating smaller fish, causing them to accumulate mercury. Mercury, a byproduct of fossil fuels and industrial waste, is a neurotoxin even in minuscule doses, and can accumulate in our own bodies if we consume too much of it. For the complete list of fish to avoid see the guide from the Natural Resources Defense Council (8).

2. Carrots

A superfood in many ways, including their support of the skin.

Carrots get their bright orange color from beta-carotene, which is readily converted into vitamin A by the liver. Carotenoids and vitamin A are potent antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage of the skin from UV radiation. They also aid in the production of rapidly dividing skin cells.

Vitamin A deficiencies can occur for many reasons including low dietary intake or problems with fat absorption. Because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, dietary fat is required in order to be properly incorporated into the body. You could consider pairing carrots with hummus as a vitamin A rich, delicious snack.

At Parsley Health, we sometimes use high doses of beta-carotene or vitamin A in supplement form for patients with more serious skin conditions, like cystic acne. It’s important to note that taking high doses of these supplements have been associated with birth defects and should only be done with your doctor, however, if you’re getting these nutrients solely through carrots and other fruits and veggies, there’s no need to worry.

The body will only convert as much beta-carotene to vitamin A as it needs, and carrots have never been associated with any birth-related complications. Eating a lot of carrots can cause carotenodermia, a harmless condition that turns the skin’s color slightly orange.

3. Parsley

In addition to its great name and taste, it provides incredible health benefits as a powerful detoxification tool and antioxidant. When the body is burdened with too many toxins from chemical exposures in our internal and external environment, these toxins can cause oxidative damage and inflammation, which frequently causes skin conditions.

Parsley also contains a super nutrient called apigenin which can aid in regulating the immune system. Apigenin has been shown to lower TNF-alpha (2), an inflammatory molecule involved in psoriasis and eczema.

There are potent medication creams and injections called biologics or monoclonal antibodies that work by inhibiting TNF-alpha’s inflammatory effects. Although generally effective, these potent drugs come with numerous side effects as they substantially decrease immune function.

4. Broccoli

Sprouts are an incredible food for detox and for your skin.

As mentioned, if toxic load is high in your body, (and if you live in a major city, we can be sure that it is), then oxidative stress will lead to inflammation and skin conditions can be worsened.

Toxins are normally supposed to be processed and filtered out of your body by your liver. If the liver is too busy dealing with excess amounts of toxins from your environment, internal or external, the body will attempt to get rid of these toxins in other ways.

One of these routes of export is through the pores of your skin. By living in large cities, we are constantly bombarded by environmental toxins in the air, water, food, and things that we touch. Broccoli sprouts are nature’s most potent source of glucoraphanin, which creates sulforaphane upon chewing, and sulforaphane helps your liver detoxify pollutants.

A 3-month long study done on 300 Chinese individuals showed that the daily consumption of broccoli sprouts increased urinary excretion of some harmful pollutants up to 61% (3).

5. Kimchi

Last and certainly not least.

It’s delicious, spicy, packed with healthy bacteria, and one of our favorite comfort foods. Not only is it good for the skin, but the capsaicin, which gives it its spicy flavor, increases your metabolism, can aid in weight loss and can alleviate IBS symptoms (4).

The gut harbors 100s of trillions of bacteria and is where the majority of our inflammatory molecules are made. If we create an environment where happy, healthy bacteria want to thrive, our immune systems will flourish. When the immune system is dysfunctional due to inflammatory bugs living in our gut, your skin will most certainly be at risk to develop inflammation as well.

The connection between the gut and skin is proven. This direct connection is demonstrated by celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. When people with celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, eat gluten, a red, blistering, itchy rash called dermatitis herpetiformis can form. This is just one example of how gut inflammation can lead to a skin disorder.

There does not need to be a name or diagnosis given to your specific food intolerance which is connected to your skin condition in order for it to be real, as many common foods cause all kinds of problems nowadays. Working with your doctor and health coach to figure out if you have problematic foods in your diet is an important and sometimes time-consuming effort, but has huge payoffs.

Recipes for glowing complexion

Want to get started with nutrient-packed recipes to help you achieve clear skin? Try out our Lemon Detox Bars, Super Green Lunch Salad, or our Blueberry Almond Smoothie.

Achieving clear skin

Some say that the skin is the window to what see what is going on inside of the body. Chronic skin inflammation and disease are indicative of an imbalance inside of the body and a clue that we need to look deeper into what root cause might be.

Whether the root cause is toxicity overload, gut dysbiosis or imbalance, or mental health related, the good news is that there are delicious, natural foods that can at least partially alleviate the situation. This is the core of what we practice at Parsley Health—using food as medicine, and giving the body what it needs to heal in the most natural way possible.

It’s not always the quick fix answer like a steroid cream, but it’s long-lasting, and the full body benefits most certainly outweigh the risks.

Resources

  1. Br J Dermatol. 2008 Apr158(4):786-92. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18241260 )
  2. Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Sep93:1205-1212. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28738536)
  3. https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2014/broccoli-sprout-beverage-enhances-detoxification-of-air-pollutants-in-clinical-trial-in-china.html
  4. Dig Dis Sci. 2011 Nov56(11):3288-95. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21573941/ )
  5. J Clin Psychiatry 77 (12), 1666-1671. 12 2016. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/27337107/)
  6. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2009 Summer15(2):128-33. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19499625)
  7. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Recognizing_the_mind-skin_connection
  8. https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/walletcard.pdf

Dr. Soyona Rafatjah, MD is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan with a BSE in Biomedical Engineering, received her medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and did her residency training at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. She has completed training in Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and mind-body therapies. Soyona is passionate about helping her patients address the root&hellip

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Blueberries

"In my professional opinion, the best food for your skin is blueberries," says Dr. Rachael Burns, a dermatologist with Sönd in the U.K. "My personal favorite is a blueberry smoothie:

  • 2 cups blueberries (frozen)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

"Blueberries are rich in antioxidants that help fight cell-damaging free radicals. Berries contain high amounts of plant compounds known as anthocyanins that have strong antioxidant properties and give the berries themselves their purple-blue appearance," Dr. Burns says. "As we age, our body's natural ability to fight off free radicals diminishes, which in turn leads to higher levels that can have a detrimental impact upon our skin cells. When there are more free radicals present than there are antioxidants, our skin cells begin to weaken and show signs of aging."

Blueberries also help boost the strength of collagen fibers, which Dr. Burns explains "give our skin structure." If you're looking for glowing skin, grab a handful of these berries ASAP!


15 Foods For Naturally Glowing Skin

1. Water

Drinking lots of water throughout the day will keep your system internally hydrated, which, in turn, directly reflects on your skin (2). Water not only flushes out the harmful toxins from your system but also keeps wrinkles at bay and gives you naturally glowing skin. Keep a bottle of water handy and sip on it whenever you crave for your favorite cola.

2. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

When it comes to skin health, dark leafy greens take the front seat. They are loaded with antioxidants and essential vitamins and nutrients (3). Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, radish leaves, mustard leaves, lettuce, coriander, parsley, broccoli, and arugula help rid your skin of dullness and enhance its glow. You can add them to salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, daal, etc.

3. Turmeric

Curcumin is the main phytonutrient responsible for turmeric’s antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Turmeric taken orally or used for topical application has overall skin benefits, though further research is required to prove the same (4). You can consume washed and peeled raw turmeric first thing in the morning or while going to bed with a glass of milk. You can also add fresh turmeric to curries, salad dressing, juices, etc.

4. Avocado

Avocado is the perfect superfood for the skin. It is rich in vitamin E and healthy fats (5). A cross-sectional study done on Japanese women has revealed that healthy fats – especially saturated and monounsaturated fats – improve skin elasticity (6). This means that avocados may help slow down skin damage, lock in moisture, and prevent premature wrinkling and dullness. Easy ways to include them in your diet is to add them to your breakfast bowl, sandwiches, salads, dipping sauce, etc.

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is the most popular home remedy for all skin problems. It contains the hormones auxin and gibberellin that have anti-inflammatory properties (7). Hence, when you apply aloe vera topically or consume its extract in the form of juice or supplements, it helps reduce any kind of inflammation. A study done on rats has found that it can also boost collagen synthesis and heal dermal wounds (8). However, don’t ever consume aloe vera gel directly from a plant.

6. Fruits

Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fruit sugar. These sweet treats keep your hunger pangs at bay, preventing you from consuming sugary junk food that increases inflammation in your body. Hence, by consuming fruits, you will be able to maintain your skin’s health and get the glow that you always wanted. Here are a few fruits that we recommend:

  • Mangoes are rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), which is synthesized in the skin. Oral intake of beta-carotene helps reduce UV-induced redness in humans (9). It also said to prevent premature aging, retain the skin’s elasticity, and facilitate the growth of new skin cells, though there is not enough scientific evidence to support these claims.
  • Banana is rich in vitamins A, B, and E and prevents premature wrinkling of the skin. It has moisturizing and antioxidant properties (10).
  • Papaya has antibacterial properties (11). Thus,it may help in shedding the dead skin cells and clearing your skin of impurities.
  • Oranges and kiwis are rich in vitamin C (12), (13). Vitamin C delays the onset of wrinkles and boosts collagen synthesis (14) Kiwi is also a powerful antioxidant (15). Other vitamin C-rich fruits are guavas, grapefruits, and strawberries. Vitamin C also protects the skin from sun damage and promotes cell turnover, thus preserving the youth and beauty of your skin (14).
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that a glass of warm water with honey and lemon juice can lighten your skin tone and keep it clear.
  • Apple helps maintain a toned look and makes your skin look younger, though there is no scientific evidence to prove the same.
  • Berries have potent antioxidant properties (16). Anecdotal evidence suggests that consuming them may help you get rid of dark spots and marks quickly.

7. Carrot

Carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They make your skin healthy from the inside by flushing out toxins. They also have a photoprotective effect. They protect your skin from sun-induced damage and prevent premature aging and wrinkles (17). Sweet potatoes and yams are other options that show similar results.

8. Fish And Fish Oil

Fish and fish oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They provide the skin with a healthy dose of natural oils (good fats) to reduce inflammation, acne, and redness (18). Consume fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and carp or take fish oil supplements to keep your skin healthy and soft. Consume grilled or baked fish. Do not discard the skin.

9. Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are great for your skin. The main sources of healthy fats (omega-6 fatty acids) are nuts (almond, walnut, macadamia, etc.), seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seed, chia seed, etc.), healthy oils (olive oil, rice bran oil, etc.), and fish and fish oil, which we have already talked about. Nuts, seeds, and oils are great options for vegans and vegetarians to nourish their skin, improve its structure, and heal wounds (19). Include them in your diet in adequate amounts to get flawless skin.

10. Green Tea/Matcha Tea

Green tea is a natural source of antioxidants. It is loaded with a potent phytonutrient – epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). The percent of EGCG is highest in matcha tea and green tea. These antioxidants in tea help scavenge the harmful free radicals, thereby protecting your skin from premature aging, dark spots, and redness (20). Green tea polyphenols also prevent acne vulgaris and lipid synthesis by the sebaceous glands, leaving your skin healthy and blemish-free (21).

11. Broccoli

Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants (22). Antioxidants play an important role when it comes to enhancing skin health. The free oxygen radicals attack the cells and disrupt the normal functioning of the cells and organs. This, in turn, can cause hormonal imbalance, weak immunity, gut problems, etc. So, you need a good dose of antioxidants from food, specifically broccoli, as it gives you quicker results compared to other cruciferous veggies.

12. Yogurt

Yogurt and buttermilk contain probiotics that help in digestion, absorption, and excretion (23). When your digestion is smooth, and you have no gut problems, your skin will be less prone to breakouts, dryness, and infections. Consume yogurt every day after lunch, dinner, and in shakes and smoothies.

13. Bottle Gourd

It hydrates and protects your skin, thereby giving it a natural glow. The phytonutrients present in bottle gourd have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (24). Therefore, it may help in getting rid of scars naturally. Bottle gourd juice also improves digestion and reduces constipation (25). Thus, it may lend your skin a natural glow. Consume bottle gourd juice in the morning with other breakfast items. You can also make bottle gourd soup or add it to stews and daals.

14. Bitter Melon

It tastes bitter but is an amazing natural remedy for skin problems like redness, allergies, scars, and tanning. A study conducted on liver-injured rats has found that, apart from being a good source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, bitter melon also keeps your liver and gut-healthy (26). Consume boiled bitter melon or add it to stews. Do not fry or soak it in water for a long duration as it reduces its nutritional value.

15. Red Wine

Red wine is nothing but fermented red grape juice. It has the ability to retain the skin’s original glow and prevent aging. The polyphenols present in it protect the skin from inflammation and sun damage (27). However, consume it in limited quantities as excess alcohol causes dehydration, which might aggravate your skin problems.

These are the foods you need to consume to keep your skin healthy. But which foods do you need to avoid? Here’s the list.


3 of 5

Green Tea

Start drinking green tea if you want to reduce wrinkles. "It's packed with antioxidants and nutrients, which have powerful benefits for your overall health and beauty,&rdquo Kimberly Snyder, Los Angeles clinical nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution, told Marie Claire. Beyond giving your skin an antioxidant boost, it can also help protect &ldquoskin and hair from environmental stressors like pollution, UV rays, and cigarette smoke," New York dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe added.


Bone Broth: To boost collagen

Not just bone broth but any food that is rich in collagen is a skin superfood. Collagen is rich in amino acids, glycine proline, and hydroxyproline. Your body can absorb these important amino acids and use them, together with vitamin C and other nutrients to form new collagen in your skin.

Studies have shown that consuming collagen can improve skin elasticity, moisture, and firmness while reducing wrinkles. In fact, one study showed that taking a collagen supplement along with vitamins C and E for 12

weeks significantly reduced wrinkle depth.

So, when it comes to radiant and glowing skin, think about not only the products you&rsquore putting on your skin but also what you&rsquore eating too! Achieving the healthiest skin is truly a holistic effort.