Foods to Eat & Avoid for Healthy Skin

20 Best Foods to Eat for Healthy Skin

Who doesn’t desire radiant and clear skin? Unfortunately, only a few lucky souls can enjoy such bliss. Nothing can be more painful than sighting a pimple on your face, which is also likely to leave a mark. Several factors like sun radiation and pollution are responsible for skin issues such as acne, pigmentation, dark spots, and wrinkles. But did you know that healthy lifestyle habits and consuming certain foods can not only help protect your skin but can also leave it glowing from within? Choc-o-block with nutrients, some foods possess wonderful healing properties that can work wonders for your skin.

Foods to Eat for Healthy Skin

Here is a list of foods for healthy skin that you can include in your diet:

1. Green Tea

Green tea offers a host of advantages for the skin. It has EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) which safeguards the skin against damaging UV radiation, and neutralises the harmful oxygen radicals that can help prevent the occurrence of sunburn, skin rashes, photoaging, and skin cancer. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties will keep your skin glowing and problem-free.

green tea

2. Tomato

Tomato is rich in lycopene, a carotene which is a potent antioxidant that can aid in protecting against skin-ageing free radicals. Lycopene’s anti-inflammatory qualities can help avert photo damage caused by exposure to sunlight. The adverse effects of environmental agents that lead to toxic build-up which can trigger clogged pores and acne can be nullified by regularly consuming tomatoes.

3. Salmon 

Salmon is full of omega-3-fatty acids (healthy fats) and astaxanthin, a carotenoid pigment which renders salmon its pink coloured skin. Regularly consuming salmon can stop occurance of certain kinds of skin cancer such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Astaxanthin can shield the skin from damaging sun radiation and enhance skin elasticity, thus slowing down the ageing process.


4. Papaya 

One of the foods for healthy skin glow is papaya. Papayas contain enzymes like chymopapain and papain, dietary fibre, vitamin A, C, and B which make them a powerful aid for supporting healthy skin. Eating papaya regularly can regulate bowel movement, improve digestion, maintain normal blood pressure which in turn can foster infection-free skin. Better digestion may facilitate flushing out of toxins from the body that generate pigmentation and acne. Papaya’s antimicrobial activity can slow down ageing and encourage glowing skin.

5. Carrot

Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a photochemical that infuses them with their orange or red colour and vitamin C. The antioxidant properties of beta-carotene can thwart DNA and cell damage. The inclusion of carrot juice in your diet can help combat skin troubles like psoriasis or rashes, and boost the skin appearance.


6. Avocado

Avocado can be an excellent remedy for skin problems as it is rich in folate, vitamins A, B-6, C, E, K, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, lutein, magnesium, sodium, potassium, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Consuming avocado can preserve cell integrity and stop early ageing. Its healing qualities can reverse sun damage and rejuvenate the skin, making it soft and supple.

7. Olive Oil

The real skin benefit of consuming olive oil lies in its good fats (monounsaturated fats) potential as they back cells to resist photoaging which usually manifests in the form of wrinkles. Olive oil also has antioxidants like vitamin E, phytosterols, and polyphenols which help reinstate skin smoothness and defend against ultraviolet light. It contains hydroxytyrosol which can destroy skin-damaging free radicals.

olive oil

8. Almonds

Adding almonds to your regular diet can be a blessing for your skin as it has alpha-tocopherol, a nutrient of the vitamin E group which can buffer skin from the destructive effects of UV radiation. Almonds also contain flavonoids which can strengthen the skin by diminishing oxidative stress levels.

9. Milk

Milk holds numerous merits for the skin because it is a powerhouse of nutrients like vitamin A, B 12 C, D, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, protein and alpha hydroxy acids that can promote skin health. The nutrients in milk can stimulate the skin’s collagen and elasticity. It can also prompt epidermolysis, which involves the removal of the skin’s uppermost dead layer. Cleopatra famously used milk as part of her beauty regime for glowing skin.


10. Garlic

Chemicals like ajoene, allicin present in garlic help stop free oxygen radicals from attacking healthy skin cells, thus preventing skin damage. It also offers antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory antioxidant benefits for the skin. It also provides natural relief from the development of acne, blemishes and lessens skin rashes and swelling.

11. Strawberry

The rewards of eating strawberries for the skin are many, as it enjoys a good measure of vitamin C, flavonoids, dietary fibre, phenolic compounds which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin. The existing nutrients help eradicate the harmful free radicals along with battling the development of skin rashes, inflammation and acne.


12. Spinach

This leafy green vegetable is a versatile component with myriad skin benefits as it is jam-packed with essential nutrients required to counter the skin’s ageing process and to build healthy skin cells. The vitamin A and C in spinach perform antioxidant activity by repairing skin cells and manufacturing new ones. Spinach also has iron whose deficiency can cause the skin to look pale and dull.

13. Orange

This citrus fruit can be very useful in preventing skin infections and diseases. It has vitamin C, dietary fibre, minerals in good amounts that play a role in boosting immunity. Improved immunity can avert the occurrence of skin rashes and breakouts. Drinking orange juice can augment skin carotenoids which can defend the skin from pigmentation, early ageing and effects of harmful radiation.


14. Black pepper

This popular spice, apart from making food tasty, also boasts of usefulness for improving the skin. It has loads of antioxidants which protect the skin against signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. You can save money by avoiding costly cosmetics and merely having black pepper every day to enhance your skin’s well-being.

15. Broccoli

The goodness of eating this cruciferous vegetable is not just restricted to the health of the body, but it also extends to the skin. Broccoli has vitamins A, C, E, K, iron, zinc, selenium, glucosinolates, and polyphenols. All the nutrients together hold forth antioxidant, gastroprotective, and antimicrobial benefits which aid in delaying premature ageing, preventing oxidative damage of free radicals to skin cells and facilitating collagen production, thus revamping skin elasticity and smoothness.


16. Sunflower Seeds 

Sunflower seeds have vitamins A, D, E, linoleic acid, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, healthy fats which may not only help in providing nourishment to the skin but can also effectively deal with dry, inflamed, and flaky skin. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of sunflower seeds can prevent oxidative cellular damage and help heal skin inflammation.

17. Eggs

Eggs own the goodness of vitamins like A, D, E, K, protein, minerals which make them an ideal food for nurturing good skin. The antioxidant abilities of eggs help in removing toxins from the body, thereby decreasing the chances of any skin infections, rash and acne. Vitamin A helps body cells regulate gene activity which is vital for new skin cell formation and healing of the skin.


18. Tuna

Tuna fish owes its wonderful skin benefits to the content of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins A, B 6, B 12, D, niacin, minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium. The wealth of nutrients helps in shielding the skin from unfavourable UV radiation and also in relieving and soothing irritable skin.

19. Kiwi

This tangy fruit has incredible advantages for the skin as it contains a considerable amount of fibre, potassium, carotenoids, vitamins C, E, K, all of which contribute in enhancing immunity, reducing inflammation and preventing microbial infections. Its laxative properties help in cleansing the body of wastes and toxins thus rejuvenating the skin and encouraging its overall health.


20. Yoghurt

You are bound to enjoy glowing and clear skin if you consume yoghurt regularly. Nutrient-packed yoghurt is a multi-tasker when it comes to benefiting the skin. Its high lactic acid and zinc content can help revitalise skin by promoting its smoothness and controlling ageing. It can also assist in fighting pimples and reducing pigmentation. Plain yoghurt supports the growth of good bacteria which can restrict the toxic accumulation in the body thus implying fewer breakouts.

Foods to Avoid If You Want Healthy Skin

What we eat can impact the health of our skin. Thus, a good diet can deliver nutrients which can nourish the skin. In the same manner, a poor quality diet will also reflect on the skin. Some of the foods you may want to avoid include:

1. Salt

Too much consumption of salt can result in dry-looking, puffy skin as salt triggers water retention, giving way to bloatedness and an unhealthy appearance. Be sure to limit your daily salt intake to enjoy good skin.


2. Sugar

Refined sugar may not only lead to unwarranted weight gain but can also prompt skin breakouts and acne. Eating excess refined sugar can adversely impact collagen formation and skin elasticity, thus snowballing the chances of premature ageing. You may want to cut down your consumption of ice creams, candies, salad dressings, frozen yoghurt, bottled smoothies, jams as these food items contain lots of sugar which can negatively affect the skin.

3. High-glycemic Foods

Binging on processed foods like bread, pasta, cakes and other baked goods can rob the skin of its lustre and good health. Such food items are teeming with empty carbs which can spike blood sugar levels, causing acne and skin inflammation. They can worsen skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and rosacea.

high glycemic foods

4. Dairy

Overindulging in dairy products may not be favourable for your skin, especially in times where milk is hormone-laden – this can affect the sabaceous glands and insulin levels, sparking off acne, skin irritation and swelling. It may be sensible to opt for almond or organic milk instead of the skimmed variety.

5. Caffeine

Drinking caffeinated beverages excessively excessive  can dehydrate the body, which may interfere with the goodness of the skin. It can impair the skin’s collagen production and elasticity, thus leaving it prone to sagging, wrinkles and eruptions. Having enough plain water every day can ensure adequate hydration and healthy skin.


6. Shellfish

Lobsters, crabs, and shrimps possess high iodine content. The presence of excessive iodine in your body can initiate clogged pores and pimples. Switching to fish which has omega-3 fatty acids is a healthier option for acquiring beautiful and radiant skin.

7. Spicy Foods

Gorging too much on spicy food can take a toll on the well-being of your skin. Your digestive system may react badly to overeating spicy foods. The blood vessels may dilate, giving your skin a swollen and blotchy look. People with sensitive skin particularly should take care and stay clear of spicy foods.

spicy food

8. Chocolates

Chocolates with a double jinx of dairy and sugars can mess your skin’s health by creating conditions for the incidence and growth of pimples. They can also intensify rosacea symptoms. Selecting low sugar dairy-free chocolates like dark chocolates may be a wiser option.

9. Alcohol

Consuming alcohol can dry out the skin and lower nutrient absorption by the body which may aggravate skin troubles and hasten premature ageing. Liquor is also high in sugar, which can cause blood sugar levels to shoot up resulting in collagen depletion. Long-term drinking of alcohol is linked to nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances which can flare up conditions like dermatitis.


10. Fried Foods

Deep fried foods like French fries are high in fats and calories, therefore, splurging on them can lead to increased cholesterol levels and unnecessary weight gain which can be damaging for the skin. Moreover, during the process of frying, harmful substances like carcinogenic components and acrylamides are produced, which can be chaotic for the wellness of the skin.

Your skin is the best indicator of your state of health. Skin issues may indicate that all is not well with the body. Clear and radiant skin signifies overall good health. Therefore, be aware of the foods that suit your skin. Make suitable variations in your diet accordingly. Correct any nutrient deficiency and follow a good skin care regime to get a glow in no time!

Also Read: Best Essential Oils for Aging Skin and How to Use Them

Previous article «
Next article »