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Healthy, youthful, radiant skin is something we all want. That’s why there are stores full of skin creams, all claiming to banish wrinkles and make your skin look years younger. Yet while most creams can temporarily smooth skin, you can create long-lasting changes in your skin’s appearance from within.
What you eat has a profound effect on your body, including your skin. Give your skin the nutrients it needs, and you can have radiant skin.
Eat low-quality food that’s devoid of nutrition and your skin will quickly lose its elasticity and youthful appearance, no matter what creams you use.
So here are 6 healthy foods to eat regularly for healthy, supple skin.
As if you needed another reason to eat more chocolate. Evidence suggests that dark chocolate can provide impressive benefits for your skin. All thanks to its high antioxidant content.
One study, for example, found that your skin can become more hydrated and supple after 6-12 weeks of consuming cocoa powder (1). In another study, dark chocolate was shown to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles (2).
But it doesn’t end there.
Other studies found that dark chocolate is protective against the oxidizing effects of sunlight (3). It’s not a sunblock, so you should still wear a natural mineral sunscreen on your face daily.
All these benefits only come from chocolate that’s at least 70% dark. The darker it is, the more beneficial antioxidants it contains.
If you want healthy looking skin, you need healthy fats in your diet. Avocados are a rich source of healthy fats. In addition to being heart healthy, avocados can keep your skin flexible and moisturized.
For example, one study of over 700 women found that a high intake of healthy fats (like those in avocados) was linked to more supple and younger looking skin (4).
Other ways to get more healthy fats include flax seed, pumpkin seeds, chia seed, and tree nuts. These all provide essential fatty acids (EFAs) for moisturized, supple skin.
It turns out that adding spinach or kale to your salads can give your skin a nice boost. That’s because dark leafy greens are full of antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect against the damage caused by free radicals which can break down collagen and reduce your skin’s elasticity.
Kale, for example, contains two carotenoid antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants can protect your skin against the damage caused by UV light.
Dark leafy greens also contain natural folate, one of the B vitamins. Studies have suggested that folate can help repair DNA and reduce the risk of certain skin cancers (5).
Berries are among the healthiest foods on the planet, and not surprisingly they also support skin health.
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are rich sources of antioxidants called anthocyanins that fight inflammation and free radicals. Plus, they are full of natural vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for your skin because it’s needed to create collagen, the primary building block of your skin. Without it, your skin can become thin, frail, and dry.
Make sure to eat food sources of vitamin C, and avoid the “ascorbic acid” commonly listed in supplements. Ascorbic acid is an incomplete form of vitamin C.
Broccoli contains several compounds that are beneficial for your skin, including vitamin C and vitamin A (beta-carotene), which plays an important role in wound healing.
Like dark leafy greens, broccoli also contains the carotenoid and antioxidant called lutein. This antioxidant protects the skin against free radical damage which causes the skin to become dry and wrinkled.
Like all cruciferous veggies, broccoli is a rich source of sulfur, which is an essential building block of collagen. This means broccoli can both repair damaged collagen and help your body produce new collagen. This is a surefire way to get that young and supple skin you’ve always wanted.
And last but not least, broccoli contains a natural compound called sulforaphane. Studies show that this compound protects the skin against the sun’s UV rays (6). Other studies suggest sulforaphane may even reduce the risk of certain types of skin cancer (7).
Sweet potatoes, along with many other naturally orange veggies, contain a nutrient called beta-carotene.
Once in the body, beta-carotene converts into a healthy form of vitamin A (unlike the dangerous forms of synthetic vitamin A).
Natural vitamin A is important to have in your diet if you want to protect your skin. Beta-carotene is considered to be a defender against exposure to UV light, helping to prevent wrinkles and freckles, with several studies validating its sun protective qualities (8).
Never underestimate the importance of your diet. Because if your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, no skincare product will help—no matter how expensive it is.
Your diet is one of the best ways to ensure your skin stays healthy. Fruits and veggies are full of natural skin-protective compounds that give your skin a radiant, youthful look. And over time, these foods may even bring some youth back to your skin.
If you have a hard time getting antioxidant-rich foods into your diet, consider a green juice powder. With 44 organic superfoods inside you’ll feed your skin the nutrients it needs, all in a convenient and tasty juice.