Lifestyle & Human Interest

Feed Your Face: These 13 Foods Can Help Give You Clearer Skin


The skin is the body’s largest organ, the only set we get as we go through life.

The more we learn about food as medicine, the more we are encouraged to eat foods that not only support gut health but also support our skin.

The following 13 foods and drinks are considered to be optimal for boosting our skin health, according to doctors and nutritionists featured on nutrition and wellness publications SELF, Healthline, Delish and Health.

1. Water

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While drinking water seems like a no-brainer for our health, many of us go through our days somewhat dehydrated.

Skin cells are made up mostly of water, meaning cells that are flooded with hydration are better able to produce skin that is dewy and soft.

2. Fatty fish like wild salmon and mackerel

Wild-caught fish like salmon, herring and mackerel are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart and brain health as well as for fighting inflammation in the body.

Fatty fish is also a source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant for our skin and as a high-quality protein source, it helps to maintain strength in the skin.

Moreover, eating fish prevents a zinc deficiency, which can lead to skin inflammation, lesions and slower wound healing.

3. Walnuts

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Walnuts pack another omega-3 fatty acid punch, in addition to providing our skin with important minerals like zinc, as well as vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium, which helps to protect cells from damage.

4. Dark chocolate

Hooray! Chocolate is on the menu, as long as the quality is high and the variety is dark — at least 70 percent cocoa or higher.

Cocoa contains flavonols, an important antioxidant that can fight against wrinkles, protect the skin from UV damage and even improve skin elasticity.

5. Avocados

Avocado advocates have long sung the praises of the delicious green fatty food for its nutrient-dense properties. Considered to be a healthy fat, the avocado helps maintain the skin’s elasticity and moisture. Avocados also provide vitamin E, which wards off oxidative stress from the skin, keeping skin supple.

6. Green tea

A budget-friendly option, a cup of green tea every day can help improve the health of your skin by protecting against sun damage, reducing redness from sun exposure, adding to cell hydration and helping the skin maintain elasticity. Green tea contains catechins, considered a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damage.

7. Dark, leafy greens

Eating greens, like dark spinach, chard, kale and collard greens have a wealth of cancer-fighting and inflammation-reducing benefits. Dark greens can help clear the skin from toxins, relieving acne breakouts or reducing the amount of time it takes the skin to recover from a breakout.

8. Bone broth

Bone broth packs some powerful nutrients, including collagen, gelatin, glucosamine and chondroitin into a warm mug of goodness that boosts joint and skin health.

Rich in amino acids, bone broth has also been linked to reduced inflammation in the body, better sleep and better gut health.

9. Oysters

Oysters are loaded with high levels of minerals including zinc, iron and copper, optimal for maintaining healthy bones, tissues and skin. Oysters are also high in vitamins D, C and B12, aiding in immune system health and bone health. Slurp up!

10. Blueberries

The tiny dark berry boasts anti-aging benefits, containing antioxidants that help protect our skin from sun exposure and slows the aging process of our skin.

“That deep blue/purple color that makes blueberries so gorgeous translates to helping your skin look young too,” registered dietician Stephanie Clarke told SELF in 2011. “This color is a result of compounds called anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that shield the skin against harmful free radicals that can damage the collagen that keeps your skin firm.”

11. Broccoli

Love it or hate it, broccoli is packed with nutrients including zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Broccoli contains lutein and sulforaphane, which help to protect your skin from oxidative damage. Sulforaphane may also help prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sunburn.

12. Dark orange and red vegetables

Make room on your plate for these deep-colored veggies, including sweet potato, carrots, red and orange peppers, and tomatoes.

In addition to a powerful punch of vitamin C, these veggies contain beta-carotene, shown to protect the skin from sun damage and aide in wrinkle reduction. The body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, which regulates cell production and replacement, keeping the skin’s surface smooth.

13. Garlic

Naturally anti-inflammatory, garlic helps boost the body’s immune system while warding off unwanted toxins, including toxins in the skin that cause acne.

Garlic contains allicin, bringing antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties to the body that can reduce swelling and inflammation while improving blood circulation.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Page, Arizona
Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Phoenix, Arizona
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