There are many things we can do to improve our skin’s appearance—and when we feel good on the inside, we usually also look better on the outside. We should all eat healthy for many reasons, and your skin is certainly one of them. A poor diet with a lot of processed food, too much salt, and too few nutrients can not only make us feel unwell, but will also have negative effects on our skin.
When thinking about how to eat foods that our skin will love, we only need to look to the rainbow! The natural rainbow, of course – not Skittles or Cheetos!
13 Colorful Foods for Healthy Skin
Many foods—especially fruits and dark, deeply colored veggies—are known to help our skin look nourished and glowing. It’s important to eat foods of all colors to keep a good glow going, as the compounds responsible for different colors such as anthocyanin (purple), chlorophyll (green) and beta carotene (orange) are also important nutrients for our skin.
It’s easy to fill your plate with quick, beige meals, but aim for foods that are red, orange, yellow, and green. Not only will it taste great, your plate and skin will look great. And, although we’re here today to talk about food for glowing skin, it’s also incredibly important that you also stay hydrated and drink plenty of water!
Cherries have 17 antioxidant compounds, including anthocyanin, the compound responsible for their deep red colour. They also contain loads of the antioxidant vitamin C, which helps to stimulate collagen production and keep your skin youthful and glowing. Even better, cherries contain melatonin to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation. This recipe combines cherries and berries into delicious popsicles guaranteed to make your skin glow.
Pomegranates certainly have plenty of health benefits, and our skin is included. Pomegranates have very high levels of vitamins and polyphenols including tannins, flavonoids, and anthocyanin, which can help fight fine wrinkles and improve overall health. When we’re feel good all over, it shows. Feeling celebratory? Try a nice pomegranate vodka fizz!
Bright red juicy tomatoes don’t just taste great, but they’re also packed with important nutrients for skin health. First up, selenium! Selenium is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that works together with vitamin E and vitamin C. Several studies have shown selenium to fight against skin cancer, age spots, and sun damage.
Tomatoes also contain high levels of lycopene, which also fights damage from the sun. Furthermore, the lycopene is even stronger in cooked tomatoes—so load up on recipes like our tomato-baked cod!
We love to boast about the many uses and benefits of turmeric, and it’s sure to work for glowing skin. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of antioxidants, which helps to prevent wrinkles and slow the aging process.
Like many other skin-loving ingredients, carrots contain high levels of vitamins A + C, which help protect collagen. Carrots also have anti-inflammatory properties to fight puffiness. Ever try a carrot smoothie? Well, this one is delicious and has added benefits from coconut and strawberries.
Love a good pumpkin pie? Good news! Pumpkins not only taste sweet and delicious, they are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Specifically, pumpkins have loads of potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin E—all amazing for your skin. And, as much as we love pie, here are 25 non-pie pumpkin recipes for you to enjoy just as much.
Papayas are an absolutely delicious tropical fruit, and they also have great benefits for your skin. Topically, it’s a natural exfoliant, which is an essential part of creating a glow effect.
It’s also full of antioxidants! Our vitamin C smoothie with papaya is a wonderful way to get your daily dose of vitamins.
Cucumbers are in plenty of beauty recipes, but it’s important to also eat them! Whether cutting slices for your water or topping your salad, they are full of water, which can reduce puffiness and even your skin tone. Try this delicious cold spaghetti squash salad to get a boost of cucumbers.
This fruit is great for just about anything—hair, nails, health—and it’s also great for glowing skin! Vitamin E fights free radicals and helps prevent premature aging, and vitamin C increases the luminosity of your skin by supporting collagen production. And, full of antioxidants, it works with selenium and fights against free radical damage.
Best of all, there are plenty of amazing ways to use avocados beyond guacamole. Check out 50 recipes that do just that. Plus, the super healthy fats in avocados make your skin supple, your hair shine, and maximize the absorption of other phytonutrients!
10. Dark, leafy greens
Spinach and kale are great sources of beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), which is known to help protect skin against the sun’s harsh rays. Protecting our skin while out in the sun—no matter the season—is crucial in keeping glowing skin.
Vitamin A also promotes new cell growth, which keeps skin looking fresh, while iron aids in circulation. We have the ultimate kale salad that packs other skin glowing ingredients, too!
Purple + Brown foods
Antioxidants are essential for healthy skin, and blueberries have plenty of antioxidants to go around. Antioxidants help fight and neutralize free radicals, which damage collagen and causes wrinkles and dry skin—all which affect the look and feel of your skin. Try our homemade blueberry granola bars to get your extra dose of antioxidants for the day.
I know, right? Cocoa is a good source of flavonoids – a class of phytochemicals that help fight against infection and protect against UV damage from the sun. Flavonoids also fight inflammation, and can also boost circulation, and in particular micro-circulation to the capillaries in your skin.
Even better, the antioxidants in dark chocolate are shown to increase skin hydration. Just make sure that your chocolate has at least 70% cacao and a low sugar content. So, how about this blueberry chocolate vegan ice cream?
Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which improve your skin’s elasticity, and vitamin B, a natural anti-aging tool. Like other nuts, their oil makes a great moisturizer. You can also easily incorporate nuts into your diet, including desserts, salads, muffins, and much more.
Nuts in general include zinc, which helps eliminate blemishes and prevent stretch marks. Try this salmon recipe and trade out the pistachios with walnuts.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Photos by Ana Stanciu37