As cliche as it may sound, you are what you eat. Everything you consume not only affects your overall health, it also makes a major impact on your skin. So, let’s say for example, you spend your weekend overindulging in French fries and one two many margaritas, your skin will definitely show it. This is why it’s so important to eat a clean, healthy diet not just for your wellbeing but for your skin too because, let’s be real, we all want glowing, youthful skin, right?
The first thing you need to do to transform your skin is to stay hydrated and be religious about drinking your H20 every day. (Pro tip: A chic water bottle helps keep you motivated!) The second step is to eliminate the bad stuff that will wreak havoc on your skin (we’re looking at you, sugar) and the third thing is to incorporate wholesome, healthy food into your diet.
So what foods exactly should you eat to achieve your best skin ever? One word: Superfoods. The term food superfood has become as trendy as kale and cauliflower these days but there is truth to it. A superfood is a food that is high in nutrients and really good for you and therefore good for your skin.
Here, we tapped a few nutrition experts to break down the best superfoods to nourish your skin from within.
We can’t preach about the importance of antioxidants for your skin enough. “Foods that are high in antioxidants rid the body of free radicals and reverse the damage caused by these toxins at the cellular level even on the skin,” says Lisa Richards, nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet. “Food sources of antioxidants include spinach, yellow peppers, berries, citrus, broccoli, whole grains, nuts, and fish.”
As for how much antioxidants your body needs, Richards recommends 12,000 Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) points per day. Each antioxidant-rich food has a different ORAC value so a quick Google search will help you do the math.
Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, private practice registered dietitian nutritionist, and author of the upcoming book Eat Your Vitamins, adds that evidence has shown that consuming high doses of antioxidants via supplements daily can have harmful effects. So if you do decide to supplement, be sure the dose is ideal for your body.
There’s a reason why your mom always nagged you about taking your vitamins: They are essential not just for your health but your skin too. Vitamins play two important roles in your skin’s health. “First, certain vitamins are essential to cell health and repair,” Richards says. “Second, some vitamins act as antioxidants in the body.” In other words, vitamins equal luminous, healthy skin.
Davis notes that vitamins A, C, and E in particular are great for the skin. You can get your dose of vitamins in through leafy green vegetables, nuts, fruits, eggs, and fortified cereals. “The recommended amount of vitamin C per day is about 45-90 mg per day depending on gender and life stage,” she says. “For vitamin E, it is 11 to 15 milligrams per day and for vitamin A 600-900 micrograms.”
Fiber is a key nutrient that helps your body eliminate toxins and keeps you regular (yes, we’re talking about going number two), Davis says. This is great news for your skin because those toxins might otherwise negatively affect your skin.
Not only that but fiber also helps your body absorb nutrients and antioxidants more effectively, Richards says, which are “essential for collagen production and preventing skin damage.”
Now that we’ve sold you on the importance of incorporating more fiber into your diet, you’re probably wondering what foods will help you move things along (no pun intended). “High fiber foods include whole grains, beans, broccoli, spinach, and carrots,” Richards says. “Fruits high in fiber include blueberries, grapefruit, and pears.” The recommended amount of fiber per day, Davis adds, is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
Don’t let them deter you. Fats are actually good for your skin and contribute to how plump it looks. “The fatty layer of your skin (hypodermis) is made up of fat cells in addition to sweat glands and collagen,” Davis says. “When this layer is reduced, the skin can appear saggy.” This is why she recommends getting at least a third of your daily energy intake from fats.
However, it is important to note that there are good fats and bad fats. “Good sources of unsaturated fatty acids are plant foods such as avocados, olives, peanuts, pumpkin seeds as well as fatty fish,” Davis says. “I always recommend choosing sustainable sources which you can find by looking for labels such as MSC and BAP which indicate the fish was sourced in a way that isn’t harming the environment.”
Also, it is important to focus on feeding your skin with a higher ratio of Omega-3-fatty acids vs Omega-6-fatty acids. Food rich in omega 3 fatty acids include fish oil, cod liver oil, olive oil, chia seeds and walnuts.
5. Fermented foods
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt are ones you definitely want to incorporate into your routine if you don’t already. “These foods are known to improve gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines,” Richards says. “When this area of the body is healthy and balanced all areas of the body are impacted in a positive way, including skin health. Overgrowth of bad bacteria can lead to skin blemishes and signs of aging.”
While there is no recommended daily intake, Davis recommends aiming for one serving of fermented foods every other day. Taking daily probiotics is another option but be sure you do your research and look for a high-quality brand.
6. Superfood from the sea
Foods sourced from the sea such as algae are also known to be beneficial for the skin. “Algae are rich in water which hydrates the skin,” Davis says. “Some species are rich in protein and antioxidants. They are also a good source of B-vitamins and other nutrients depending on the type of algae.” There is no recommended daily intake of superfoods from the sea but Davis suggests adding them into your meals one to two times a week.
Micronutrients is another term you hear a lot in the wellness world but what does it mean? Micronutrients are all the vitamins and minerals your body needs for healthy function.
“Micronutrients may play a role in preventing damage from the sun by fortifying our skin with elements to defend against UV rays,” Richards says. “The typical recommendation for micronutrients is 100 mg per day.”
So where do you get your micronutrients from? “Sources vary depending on which micronutrient we are talking about,” Davis says. “However, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and seafood usually ensures that you are getting everything you need.”
8. Anti-inflammatory foods
“Inflammation causes many health issues in the body that can show through the skin's health as well,” Richards says. So incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, Davis adds, will help reduce inflammation in your body and as a result reduce skin symptoms like rashes and acne.
Davis and Richards share that good anti-inflammatory foods include ginger, turmeric, peanuts, whole grains, fatty fish, avocado, almonds, broccoli, berries, and ginger. So add these to your grocery list asap if you struggle with inflammation.
Although there is no specific recommended daily dose of anti-inflammatory foods, Richards suggests trying to incorporate at least one at every meal to help reduce inflammation and signs of aging. Given how wild everyone is about avocado, for example, and how easily available it is at most restaurants, that shouldn’t be too hard to do. Avocado toast, anyone?
“The skin is made up of three main proteins: collagen, elastin, and keratin,” Davis says. “Getting enough of those can increase elasticity as well as reduce wrinkles and lines.” So protein is something you definitely need to be getting enough of in your diet if you want good-looking skin.
The best protein sources Davis recommends for collagen production and other skin benefits include citrus fruits, leafy greens, seafood, whole grains, beans and legumes. Richards adds that it’s important to incorporate more plant-based proteins versus animal proteins for optimal skin health. “Excess saturated fat from higher fat animal proteins can make the skin oily and prone to breakouts,” she explains.
The ideal amount of protein to consume on a daily basis varies from person to person. A good rule of thumb, Davis shares, is about 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight.
Although eating a healthy diet full of superfoods will do wonders for your skin, taking supplements can help take your skin to that next level and reverse the signs of aging. But we’re not just talking about any supplements. Given that skin is made up of mostly collagen, taking a collagen supplement can help elevate the look of your skin and achieve faster results. The way it works is that consuming collagen supplements triggers your body to produce more of its own collagen and thus plumps and tightens your skin for a more youthful look.
The most important thing is to look for a high-quality collagen supplement from a brand you trust. Taut Collagen Advanced Formula, for example, features 13,000mg of premium grade marine collagen peptides derived from wild red snapper fish that helps stimulate your body’s new collagen production.
The magic behind the formula is not only the premium quality collagen peptides but also the fact that it also features other anti-aging ingredients that supercharge your skin to deliver most visible results. It includes antioxidants which as the experts previously mentioned protects the skin from free radical damage.
There’s also hyaluronic acid which helps plump and hydrate your skin (who doesn’t want that?) as well as elastin to support the skin’s elasticity and fight sagging and grape seed extract to even out skin tone.
The ingredients all work together to create noticeable results in your skin after just three weeks. And did we mention it’s free of preservatives and has a yummy orange taste? Consider it your secret weapon for youthful, radiant skin.
All that said, we know that trying to incorporate all of these superfoods into your diet can be a full-time job in its own right. The most important thing to remember is to do your best and crowd out the bad stuff as much as you can and incorporate more of the good stuff little by little. It is a lifestyle change not a diet. And if you want that extra support to see faster results, supplementing with Taut Collagen Advanced Formula is a good way to go.