Fruits & Vegetables for Great Skin

by Carmen Kubista

Fruits & Vegetables for Great Skin

You've heard it before – great skin comes from within. And it's true. What you put into your body directly affects the health of your skin. This includes drinking lots of water each day, and eating clean, whole foods.

One of our favorite times of the year is fresh fruits and veggie season. Hello, farmer's market! For me, nothing beats the taste of homegrown tomatoes, zucchini, berries and watermelon. Fresh fruits and vegetables are wonderful for your skin AND your overall health in general. Food that doubles as skin care?! That's my kind of win-win.

For radiant, clear skin, pop by your local markets for some of these skin-friendly, colorful foods. Let's take a walk through the rainbow of options:

RED

Here at Story, we are really big fans of red foods that contain lycopene, a red-colored carotenoid that’s also an antioxidant. Lycopene is an incredible phytonutrient that's equally good for your skin, hair, heart, vision and bones. Lycopene helps boost collagen and protects from free radicals (sun damage), leaving your skin more smooth and youthful. You can find this super-ingredient in tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papayas, red peppers, guava and red cabbage.

In addition to lycopene, red fruits and vegetables are packed with all kinds of powerful antioxidants that help with everything from clearing skin to fighting cancer and heart disease. Other red foods that are particularly great for healthy skin: radishes, beets, red grapes, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, cranberries, and red apples.

ORANGE & YELLOW

Some of the best skin-friendly foods are hued orange and yellow, including carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes and yams. These fruits and veggies contain beta carotene, another antioxidant, which is a natural sun protectant and a source of provitamin A (your body converts this to retinol, which in turn restores damaged collagen). Beta carotene and vitamin A are great for clearing up breakouts because they help prevent clogged pores. And – you already know this – they are great for your eyes. Vitamin A also helps reduce the development of skin cancer cells.

Oranges, lemons, grapefruits and others are super-rich in the almighty antioxidant, Vitamin C, which not only boosts your overall immunity, but is responsible for skin's elasticity, and boosts collagen, brightens, and helps to reduce and prevent hyperpigmentation (sun spots or age spots). Vitamin C also improves your skin's ability to retain moisture by preventing water loss. Citrus fruits have antibacterial properties, as well as the ability to combat excessive oiliness, both of which help prevent acne breakouts.

GREEN

Green is always in for skin – green leafy vegetables, asparagus, limes, broccoli, artichokes, beans, peas, avocado, okra, brussels sprouts, celery, and zucchini are packed full of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that help fight disease and improve skin health.

Of particular note are high levels of Vitamin K and lutein. Both of these antioxidants help prevent the harmful effects of free radicals from sun damage. Vitamin K has healing and anti-inflammatory properties for the skin and body. Lutein is amazing for eye health and improves skin's overall tone, lightening, and elasticity.

BLUE & PURPLE

Last but not least are blue and purple fruits and veggies. Foods such as eggplant, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, plums, raisins, and figs are all fabulous for skin health, as well as work to help prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer. These fruits and vegetables help boost memory and promote healthy aging.

By fighting free radicals, the antioxidants in these inky foods protect against cellular damage and promote a youthful appearance. Blue and purple foods also help reduce inflammation and assist in detoxification.

The moral of the story (pun intended) is to add eating clean, colorful fruits and vegetables to your daily skin care routine for optimal skin health. Eat the rainbow or choose your favorite color – you really can't go wrong.

Side note: There are some types foods that are associated with skin damage and premature aging, such as foods that are highly processed or contain sugars, other carbs, unhealthy fats and alcohol. A diet high in these far-from-nature foods can wreak havoc on even the best skin, leaving you to deal with puffiness, parched skin, early wrinkles and breakouts.

But let's be real... We all enjoy some of these naughty nibbles and libations from time to time. Try to enjoy minimally and strategically (ie. not right before a big event when you need your skin to be on point).

So does this mean that we only get to have great skin during fresh fruit and veggie season? Of course not. In the off-season, get your servings via sauces, soups, or steamed side dishes. You can find nearly every fruit or vegetable frozen or canned. (Maybe THAT'S why Grandma worked so hard to can her garden fare!)

Be well!

Foods for Great Skin



Carmen Kubista
Carmen Kubista

Author

founder of story skin care, wife & mom



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