8 Foods to Eat for the Best Skin of Your Life
During the month of January, I cut out all animal products, including my favorite food of all, cheese, with the hope that doing so would transform my skin into that of a blemish-free, Photoshop-smooth Kardashian sibling — preferably one of the teenaged ones. Sadly, this didn’t happen.
So I got to thinking: Instead of cutting foods out of my diet, I wonder what foods I could add to my diet to make my skin look like that of someone with their own live-in glam squad. I gave Jolene Hart, certified health coach and author of Eat Pretty, a call to get the scoop on what foods I should be eating for glowing reality-starlet skin, and she gave me an arsenal of skin-friendly foods to add to my grocery list.
For starters, Hart says, when it comes to diet, everyone is different. But one rule she tends to live by, and suggests clients adopt, too, is to always eat seasonally. “Whatever is fresh and in-season tends to really target what your skin needs at that time of year,” she says. So store that in your memory bank, people — that’s rule number one when it comes to keeping your skin looking good. Now, below, Hart’s top eight picks for foods that help you get glowing skin from the inside out, no matter the season.
8 Foods to Eat for Glowing Skin
Hart tells all of her clients to start their day with a tall glass of lemon water. Why? Well, many of us have very acidic diets (I mean, who else needs at least two cups of coffee just to get out of bed?), and lemons are an alkaline food, so they help to bring the body into balance. Plus, they’re loaded with collagen-building vitamin C, and they give the liver a cleansing boost. As Hart explains, when your liver is working well, you see it in your skin: It’s brighter, clearer, and closer to being Kardashian-like. So, lemons: keep ‘em in your kitchen at all times.
Greens of any sort
You can pick and choose greens based on the season; in these winter months, kale is probably your best bet, and in the spring you might reach for dandelion greens. The bulk of greens, whatever they are, are super high in beta-carotene, which, Hart explains, is one of the ultimate skin vitamins: It helps to clear and smooth the skin, heals blemishes and balances sebum production, a substance produced by your sebaceous glands that, when out of whack, can cause super-dry or super-oily skin.
Hemp seeds, high in protein and healthy fats, are a beauty superfood. As Hart explains, protein is a building block for beauty, and healthy fats help your skin retain moisture. And side note: In order to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, we need healthy fats in our diets, Hart says. So don’t you dare try to eat a dry salad — you’re not doing yourself any flavors by avoiding good fats like olive oil and avocado.
Fermented foods do the job of a probiotic pill, building up healthy bacteria in your gut, which help your body absorb nutrients and improve the function of your digestive system. When your digestive system isn’t working well, all sorts of toxic sludge builds up in your body, which can lead to breakouts, rashes and a slew of other unwelcome physical reactions. So if you want your skin to look good, you need to keep your digestive system in tip-top shape.
If you can’t stomach a trip on the kimchi train, no worries; there are plenty of other fermented foods to choose from: kombucha, miso, kefir and raw sauerkraut, just to name a few.
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is great for healing skin and preventing acne, plus it helps boost immunity (hellooo, flu season). As Hart explains, we don’t store zinc, so it’s important to get a bit of it into our diets every day.
Fresh ginger root
Fresh ginger root is an anti-inflammatory superhero. Inflammation of the skin is a precursor to wrinkles, blemishes, redness and sensitivity, and who wants that? No one. You can add fresh ginger root to just about everything, but it’s especially delicious in a morning smoothie.
Spices and fresh herbs
The easiest way to make the food that you’re already eating better for your skin, Hart says, is to add spices and fresh herbs to whatever you’re whipping up. Pretty much all spices and herbs work as anti-inflammatories and aid in digestion. “I like turmeric, cinnamon, basil and parsley, but you really can’t go wrong,” Hart says. So take some advice from the all-knowing Spice Girls and spice up your life, people!
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