10 Foods To Add To Your Diet For The Most Beautiful Skin Of Your Life

1. Peppers (Sweet Bell)
Why we picked it: Vitamin C + Hydration
Bell PeppersIt’s a widely over-looked fact that those brightly-colored sweet bell peppers which are such a common sight in our grocery stores and produce markets are actually the most concentrated source of Vitamin C in the plant kingdom. Just 1 ounce of Sweet Yellow Bell Pepper (uncooked) contains over 50 mg (85% DV) of all-natural Vitamin C. (Red and green sweet bell peppers have around 35.8 and 22.5 mg, respectively. Oranges, the current figurehead of all things Vitamin C-related boast only about 12.6 mg per ounce.)

Vitamin C is crucial for repair and growth of healthy tissue throughout the human body, including regeneration of skin cells. Vitamin C also boosts collagen production, provides antioxidant protection, and helps to reverse sun damage. As with most nutrients, our bodies absorb them better if they come from our food, so a potent source of “C” like sweet bell peppers belongs at the top of the list when it comes to foods for healthy skin.

If that weren’t reason enough to write these beautiful vegetables into the top line of your ‘Healthy Skin’ Shopping List, here’s another: Sweet peppers are about 94% water (that’s 3% higher than watermelon!) which will help to moisturize, nourish, and strengthen skin cells from the inside out. So pick up a sweet bell pepper or two the next time you walk past the produce stand. Your skin will thank you.

Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
Why we picked it: Vitamin E + Monounsaturated Fats
olive oilThere may be some controversy over which oils are healthy and which ones are not, but few people will dispute the statement that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is just plain good for you. Olive oil is a potent natural source of Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant which promotes the growth of healthy skin, hair, and nails. Olive oil is also packed full of phytosterols which are known to help jump-start collagen production, slow down the aging process, and restore skin’s youthful elasticity.

While topical olive oil-based beauty products are becoming more and more popular around the globe, remember that you can reap the skin-healing benefits of this incredible oil by putting it inside your body, too. Now of course olive oil has calories and, like everything else, it should be used in moderation. About 2 tablespoons (240 calories) is considered a good amount for cooking or dressing a salad and provides around 40% of your daily recommended calories from fat.

(Nutrition Notes: 1 ounce (2 tbsp) of Extra Virgin Olive Oil also provides 16.9 mcg of Vitamin K or about 21% DV – the highest of any natural oil!)

By now, if you’ve read this article,  you’ve already tried Bragg Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, but have you experienced Bragg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil? It’s certified organic, Kosher, and 100% pure (no olive oil fraud here!)

Salmon (Wild Caught)
Why we picked it: Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids – (EPA) & (DHA)
salmonIn their article, Nutrients for Healthy Skin, WebMD suggests to “…stock your grocery cart with foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids,” while Natural News elaborates that “EFAs are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility…” Omega-3 fatty acids are also well-known for their ability to combat and prevent many chronic skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and keratosis pilaris, as well as to slow or reverse the signs of premature aging. While there are other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is at the top of the list; and wild-caught salmon possess a higher concentration of EFA’s than their farm raised cousins.

(Nutrition Notes: Wild-caught salmon is both a complete protein and an excellent source of B-vitamins!)

Dark Berries (Red, Black, & Blue)
Why we picked it: Antioxidants + Hydration
Dark BerriesDark Berries – Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Cranberries, and other similarly-coloured fruits – are all concentrated sources of antioxidants including Anthocyanins, Quercetin (a natural anti-histamine), and Vitamin C whose praise we just finished singing. These fruits are excellent sources of fiber which means they promote heart health; and thus indirectly, they’re good for your skin as well. Most dark berries are relatively low in sugar (blueberries are highest at 15g per cup while the others range between 7 – 4g per cup) so they’re still fairly safe to eat even if you have a sugar-sensitivity or must adhere to a carb-controlled diet.

Probably the most impressive trait of these colorful fruits, however, is their water content. Believe it or not, most dark berries contain around 85% water which not only helps to keep skin moisturized, but also helps to transport those skin-healthy water-soluble nutrients (like Vitamin C) throughout your entire body.

Chocolate (70% or Darker)
Why we picked it: Antioxidants + Minerals – (Magnesium, Iron, Manganese)
Dark ChocolateYou probably already know that dark chocolate contains antioxidants (and I shamelessly admit that I’ve used this knowledge on more than one occasion to justify “one more piece.”) But did you know that pure cocoa is actually one of the highest-ranking foods on the ORAC scale of antioxidant power? As if that (and the taste) weren’t enough to put dark chocolate on your shopping list, it’s also loaded with trace minerals like Magnesium, Iron, and Manganese which your body uses for things like cellular regeneration, oxygen transport, and stress reduction. (Yes, it really does help.)

Just be sure that the chocolate you buy is at least 70% cocoa to get a good ratio of health benefits versus sugar content. I also recommend choosing certified organic, fair trade chocolate like these Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bars or these Exotic Dark Chocolates from Dagoba (a member of The Rainforest Alliance.)

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