8 foods for skin health, according to a nutritionist

Food that Improve Skin Complexion

If you’ve tried all the different lotions, serums and treatments influencers swear by – you’re not alone. Who doesn’t want glowing, radiant skin? While those can help, your diet also plays an incredibly important role. To nourish your skin from the inside out, here’s 8 foods that we recommend.

1. Strawberries

Sweet but slightly tart, strawberries are a favorite among many – and for good reason. They’re not only delicious, but these small, red triangular berries are rich in vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant to help fend off free radicals, natural substances that damage and age skin when they build up. Plus, vitamin C is essential for collagen production to help maintain skin structure and elasticity. Another benefit? Strawberries are also a good source of folate, which can help speed up cell regeneration and synthesis of new cells according to some research.1

Strawberries are tasty on its own, but can easily be added to smoothies, yogurt or even in a salad.

2. Avocados

Hailed as a superfood for its *many* health benefits, so it’s not surprising that avocados are also great for your skin. They’re a great source of monosaturated fatty acids, which helps moisturize, soothe and promote healthy skin. Avocados are also rich in antioxidants to help fight premature aging and maintain skin elasticity.   

Avocados can be eaten as guacamole, with roasted veggies, in a burrito or on toast with an egg aka the famous avocado toast.

3. Cucumber

One way to help keep your skin hydrated is to eat your water. Cucumbers are 95 percent water, which can help maintain your skin’s natural moisture and hydration. What’s more, cucumbers are loaded with skin-loving vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants like silica, a mineral that involved in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that is vital to your skin’s hydration and elasticity.

Add cucumbers to your favorite salad, sandwich or make cucumber noodles for a cool, refreshing dish.

4. Tomatoes

You’ve probably heard that tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and lycopene – an antioxidant that helps aid your skin’s natural defenses. But they’re also rich in vitamin A, which helps reduce the production of sebum, an oily, waxy substance your body naturally makes. When your body overproduces sebum, it can lead to increased blemishes, pimples and oily skin.

The lycopene content rises when tomatoes are cooked – so make homemade marinara or roast them to reap all the benefits! Prefer it raw? Toss them in a cold pasta, make a caprese salad or bruschetta!

5. Cold water fatty fish

Adding cold water fatty fish offers a slew of health benefits, including healthy skin. Some sources of fatty fish are salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring. These fish are rich in healthy fats to keep your skin moisturized, supple and smooth. Not just that, but they also contain vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties to prevent free radical damage. And also zinc, which is plays an important role in formation of new skin cells, skin health and promoting a healthy inflammatory response in your skin.2

To net all the benefits, try to eat fish at least twice a week; otherwise, it’s best to add a supplement to your diet.

6. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, offering about 2.5 grams per ounce,3 helping your skin to stay soft and plump. But they’re also rich in selenium, which aids your skin’s natural defenses from environmental factors. Walnuts also boost circulation to encourage the flow of blood and nutrients throughout your body for healthy skin.

Walnuts are great as a salad topping, with roasted veggies or in trail mix.

7. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is never a bad idea. In fact, cocoa is packed with flavanols, antioxidants that not only ward off harmful free radicals, but can also help hydrate your skin and improve circulation. The antioxidants also help promote a healthy inflammatory response, reducing the appearance of blemishes, redness and puffiness.

To reap the benefits that dark chocolate has to offer, be sure to choose chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao.

8. Water

While water isn’t exactly food, but it’s imperative for healthy skin. This probably isn’t surprising since every system in your body depends on water to function well. But drinking enough water keeps your skin hydrated and encourages healthy, hydrated skin that appears less wrinkled, dull and dry.

So how much water should you drink? Basic rule of thumb: aim for half your body weight in fluid ounces. If you’re struggling to up your water intake, try carrying a reusable water bottle with you. If plain water isn’t your favorite, you can add fruit (or cucumber) in you water for natural flavors or try decaf teas.

For more antioxidant sources, read 8 foods high in antioxidants

About Gabby

Gabby is a Nutritionist with a master’s degree in strategic communications. She loves using her nutrition-fluency with storytelling to encourage positive change. Before Persona, she worked at a mental health clinic helping clients manage stress, anxiety and other mental health issues through diet.    

Do you have questions about supplements? Reach out to one of our experts, or take Persona’s free nutrition assessment, and learn exactly what you need to take your wellness to the next level.    

This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.      

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  1. Fernández-Villa D, Jiménez Gómez-Lavín M, Abradelo C, San Román J, Rojo L. Tissue Engineering Therapies Based on Folic Acid and Other Vitamin B Derivatives. Functional Mechanisms and Current Applications in Regenerative Medicine. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(12):4068. Published 2018 Dec 16. doi:10.3390/ijms19124068
  2. Schwartz JR, Marsh RG, Draelos ZD. Zinc and skin health: overview of physiology and pharmacology. Dermatol Surg. 2005;31(7 Pt 2):837-847. doi:10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31729
  3. Hayes D, Angove MJ, Tucci J, Dennis C. Walnuts (Juglans regia) Chemical Composition and Research in Human Health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(8):1231-1241. doi:10.1080/10408398.2012.760516

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