9 Top Foods to Eat for Glowing Skin
How do you nourish your glowing skin?
My first principle for a healthy glow has always been to work from the inside out. Remember the old saying, you are what you eat? That rings especially true for the skin, which needs just as much nourishment as anything else in the body. So using nutrition as my guiding principle, with a healthy skincare routine coming second, these are the 9 top foods to eat for glowing skin.
The first key to a healthy glow is nourishing fats, and it’s something you’ll hear me say time and time again. Good quality short-chain fatty acids, especially omega 3s, are essential for a strong skin barrier and a radiant glow. Thankfully, one of the most delicious foods is also the most nourishing, and that’s avocados - so if you didn’t already have an excuse for more guacamole, here it is!
Zinc is another hardworking mineral essential for a vibrant, blemish-free complexion. It is involved in enzymatic reactions throughout the body, including healing wounds and clearing up tissue injury. Due to these properties, zinc is praised for healing acne, fungal infections, small irritations, and sores. It’s also a favorite for protecting our vulnerable skin from sun and pollution damage and reduces free radical production. Cashews, as well as being a versatile staple for plant-based cooking.
You might have seen the trend of cold cucumber being rubbed on the face for a fresh, nourished complexion. It’s amazing, and it works, but you can get the same results from eating it too. Ensuring we are adequately hydrated is paramount for healthy skin, and cucumber is one of the most hydrating foods available.
4. Flaxseed Oil
Good quality cold-pressed flaxseed oil is one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3s. In Western society, the balance of omega-3s to omega-6s is often too far in favor of the latter. But by increasing our intake of healthy omega-3s, our skin barrier stands a better chance against the outer world.
Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for a luminescent face. This is because this vitamin is a potent antioxidant, which helps to fight free radicals and prevent the signs of aging. It also supports the immune system to fight off unwanted pathogens, replaces damaged tissue to tackle blemishes, is essential for the production of collagen, and helps protect the skin from UV rays. Want to know one of the easiest ways to up your intake of essential C? Oranges - the kitchen staple that you always have on hand.
High concentrations of vitamin C can also be used in therapeutic doses known as orthomolecular medicine. Dr. Andrew Saul is an expert in this field and goes into its wide use of applications in our 2008 film, Food Matters (which is screening free and online for a limited time).
The health of our skin also relies on a thriving gut microbiome (the billions of good bacteria that live inside each of us). The best way to nourish a microbiome? With healthy, fermented foods. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, and it’s known for its health-promoting functions as well as delicious taste. We like to have it on almost anything savory!
7. Superfood Greens
Another important element to consider for health is alkalizing the body. This involves eating a diet rich in foods that counter the acidic diets we typically eat. Dosing up on superfood greens is the most simple way that we can do this (plus they’re also rich in our favorite vitamin C).
8. Sustainable Fish
Remember the amazing health benefits of omega-3s? You can find them in their most concentrated form in sustainably caught fish. When looking for fish, think of the SMASH analogy; salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring - these are going to give you the nourishment that your skin craves.
Remember how I mentioned hydration being the most important step? Well, here it is, water. It’s so incredibly important that we drink enough water to keep us hydrated throughout the day, especially clean and chemical-free, fresh from a spring where possible. One of the first places dehydration starts to show up is in the skin. Water is my daily essential for plump, vibrant skin, and you should try to get as much of it as you can. For those who find water more challenging to drink, try it with a squeeze of lemon of a few sprigs of fresh mint - it makes it so thirst-quenching all year round.