7 Foods to Support Skin Health

7 Foods to Support Skin Health

Author Anna Smith, MS, RDN, LD

Temperatures are rising and summer is here, which means sunscreen is likely a staple in your daily routine. Its topical protection against sun damage and skin aging has been widely studied, and this smart habit got us thinking about what else can be done to optimize skin health…after all, skin is the body’s largest organ. Let’s take a deeper look at how nutrition impacts our skin health to see what we should add to our grocery list this summer.

Watermelon is one of the most hydrating fruits, containing over 90% water. Experts recommend consuming at least 2 liters (or 8 cups) of water each day to prevent skin from looking dry and flaky. By eating just 2 cups of watermelon, you’ll gain an extra one cup of water, helping to exceed those hydration goals and keep your skin healthy.

Salmon has received a lot of attention over the past several years, and it’s great for your skin as well. In fact, all lean protein options such as seafood, beans and legumes can help to renew and repair skin tissues. Since skin renewal cycles happen about every 28 days, including these proteins in your daily eating routine can help your skin look fresh, youthful and glowing year-round.

Oats are rich in selenium, a nutrient that provides strength and thickness for your skin’s outermost layer. Oats also have prebiotics, which help maintain a healthy gut and can help lower inflammation levels. A morning bowl of oatmeal may just be the fibrous breakfast you’ve been looking for to combat skin conditions such acne, eczema or rosacea.

Bell peppers are one of the best food sources of vitamin C, another game changer for your skin. Dietary sources of vitamin C are no different. Both forms help to stimulate collagen production, which reduces wrinkles, keeping your complexion smooth and youthful.

Eggs contain lutein, a carotenoid supporting even skin tone and firmness. Fun fact: the bright yellow egg yolk is where most of the antioxidant and vitamin content is concentrated. You can confidently scramble up those whole eggs for breakfast tomorrow knowing you’re doing wonders for your skin.

Almonds are the perfect, portable snack choice for healthy, hydrated skin. Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, these tiny nuts pack a big punch in fighting free radicals and keeping inflammation levels at bay. In addition, vitamin E has been known for its moisturizing properties at the skin level.

Leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard are loaded with copper, another sought-after nutrient that helps with fine lines, wrinkles and skin elasticity. In addition, copper-rich food sources are helpful in wound healing, so they’re doubly beneficial to keep your skin looking its best. Don’t hesitate to toss a handful of leafy greens into your smoothie or onto your sandwich for those prized skin benefits.

A grocery list full of color is a sure way to optimize skin health. While aging and skin changes are inevitable, intentional food choices full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, seafood, nuts, legumes and whole grains will keep your summer skin looking its best.

Explore more healthy living advice from our team of experts.