By Brandi Black, RHN
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Updated October 19, 2021
Achieving clear, glowing skin may be easier than you think, as long as you have the right nutrients in your diet. Our society puts an emphasis on using anti-aging skin products and other topical treatments, but there’s simply no over-the-counter remedy that’s as powerful as eating nutrient dense foods for beautiful skin.
As the largest organ of detoxification and elimination, your skin is a reflection of the health of your internal organs, especially your liver and digestive system. A bright, clear, acne -free complexion is a sign that your body is eliminating toxins efficiently, and you’re eating a diet rich in essential nutrients, such as antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
It’s true that certain uncontrollable factors can influence our skin’s health, such as genetics. For example, our genetics may leave us predisposed to premature aging, acne, or other hormonal imbalances that affect our skin’s appearance and texture. While we can’t change our biochemical make-up, the good news is that we do have control over our diets. Several natural foods and supplements contain a plethora of nutrients that bring support to your body and may benefit skin health.
Why a (Predominantly) Plant Based Diet is So Good For Your Skin
In addition to antioxidant vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, plant foods are rich in fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient that may help you achieve beautiful-looking skin because it supports natural body purification, healthy digestion, hormonal balance and healthy liver function — here’s how.
Improved Digestive Health and Body Purification
Not only does fiber help “feed” the healthy bacteria in your digestive system, but it also supports body purification by supporting the removal of accumulated waste. This waste contains toxins that encourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria in your colon.
The fiber found in plants also promote hormonal balance, and regulates hormones that can trigger acne breakouts, such as insulin.
Insulin is the blood sugar regulating hormone that’s been shown to cause excess sebum (oil) production when it’s being overproduced, which may be caused by eating a diet high in refined sugar and processed foods. As you may already know, when excess oil on the skin combines with bacteria, it can lead to skin imperfections such as blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.
Improved Liver Function
Lastly, fiber supports healthy liver function.
Since the liver’s primary function is to purify the body, supporting your liver with essential nutrients, such as fiber, is not only essential for healthier looking skin— but for the health of your entire body as well.
Some whole, unprocessed foods are rich in fiber, such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and raw fruit and veggies. One of the easiest ways to add more fiber to your diet is by having a smoothie each day. Blending fruit and veggies into a smoothie may provide you with the daily recommended servings in one sitting, which can also provide you with a good amount of fiber.
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
In the US, the recommended amount of fiber you should take each day is 14 grams per 1,000 calories in your diet. For example, person who consumes 2,000 calories each day would need approximately 28 grams of fiber for optimal health.
As you can see, the plant foods you eat can promote beautiful skin. In addition to fiber, other nutrients found in superfoods can make a big difference in your skin health.
Here are 7 foods for beautiful skin.
1. Coconut Water
Coconut water is more of a “superdrink” than a superfood, but it deserves a mention because it keeps your skin hydrated and contains electrolytes, such as potassium and magnesium. When your skin is hydrated, it can look younger, smoother and more supple.
Coconut water makes a refreshing drink on its own, or you can add a squeeze of lime for extra flavor. It makes it a great addition to green smoothies. As a rich source of electrolytes, it’s also the perfect post workout drink.
2. Wild Salmon
Wild salmon is a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids (also known as healthy fats), which are needed to build healthy skin cells and moisturize your skin from the inside out.
Wild salmon and other fatty fish are the richest sources of omega-3’s, but if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you can get omega-3’s from hemp hearts, chia seeds, walnuts, algae and flaxseed.
Note: it’s always recommended to choose wild salmon whenever possible, as farmed salmon may contain lower amounts of fatty acids.
3. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard and arugula contain plenty of phytonutrients.
Dark leafy greens also contain a nutrient called chlorophyll, which is the pigment that gives plant-based foods their green color. Chlorophyll is known as a powerful nutrient, as it supports liver function.
Blending dark leafy greens into your smoothies is one of the easiest ways to increase the antioxidants in your diet, but you can also add greens to your favorite smoothies, juices, soups and healthy dessert recipes.
If you’re in the search of healthy recipe inspiration, my go-to raw food recipe book is Chlorella in the Kitchen. With recipes such as Chlorella Lime Pie, Lettuce Tacos and Rad Thai, adding more greens to your diet can become seriously delicious.
Speaking of the amazing green superfood chlorella, this single-celled green algae is grown in freshwater and is another superfood that promotes beautiful skin from the inside out.
Not only does chlorella contain high levels of chlorophyll, but it’s also rich in a unique nutrient called Chlorella Growth Factor, or CGF. CGF is entirely unique to chlorella and cannot be found in any other food.
Chlorella Growth Factor is beneficial for the skin because it contains nucleic acids, which may be beneficial for cellular health.
Our bodies naturally produce nucleic acids, but as we get older we produce less. This is why receiving nucleic acids from dietary sources, such as chlorella, may be beneficial for our skin.
The benefits that this green algae brings to your body are immense. Many people choose to add chlorella into their daily health supplements routine. I guess the secret’s out, chlorella supports clean, healthy skin.
How to Add Chlorella to Your Diet:
You can add chlorella to your diet by taking Sun Chlorella supplements or adding Sun Chlorella to your smoothies, drinks or favorite recipes.
Sun Wakasa Gold Plus® is a concentrated chlorella extract, and of course, the raw food recipes found in Chlorella in the Kitchen also makes it easy (and delicious) to add chlorella to your smoothies, soups, raw noodle dishes and desserts.
For more information on how to add chlorella to your diet, view all of our chlorella products.
5. Raw Cacao
Chocolate lovers, rejoice: raw cacao is the type of chocolate you want to be eating for your skin.
Raw cacao contains antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, which help protect the skin against UV damage and premature aging. One class of polyphenols found in raw cacao, called flavonoids, can also help reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne.
Raw cacao has a slightly bitter taste, but blends well in smoothies and recipes, such as this Chocolate Vegan Pancake Recipe.
You can also make healthy chocolate at home using raw cacao and natural sweeteners, such as coconut sugar.
Avocados are rich in fiber, healthy fats and antioxidant vitamins and minerals that help support overall skin healthAvocado oil may even support collagen production.
With their mild flavor and smooth, creamy texture, avocados can be used to enhance the nutritional content of any healthy recipe, including soups, smoothies and dessert recipes.
You can use avocado oil in your salad dressing recipes, and with a high smoke point, avocado oil is safe to cook with on medium-high temperatures. Don’t forget to use avocado oil in your favorite DIY natural skincare recipes, such as moisturizers and face cleansers.
Vegan Chlorella Avocado Toast Recipe here!
7. Matcha (Green Tea)
Matcha (green tea) is a skin-supportive superfood because it contains high levels of an antioxidant called epigallocatechin, or EGCG. In fact, one cup of matcha (green tea) is said to contain nearly 10 times the amount of antioxidants in one cup of regular green tea.
You can find pure matcha powder at any local health food store— just be sure to choose a variety that doesn’t contain added sweeteners or refined sugar. Replacing your morning coffee with matcha is a great way to improve the appearance of your skin. Matcha tastes great on its own, blended with smoothies, or sweetened with a touch of almond milk and Sun Wakasa Gold Plus®.
In addition to eating superfoods for your skin, it’s also important to avoid foods that may overburden your liver. Refined sugar and fried foods are common foods in the Western diet, which may contribute to worsening your skin.
|Coconut water||Antioxidants and electrolytes|
|Wild salmon||Rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids|
|Leafy greens||Contain plenty of phytonutrients|
|Raw cacao||Contains antioxidant compounds called polyphenols|
|Chlorella||High levels of chlorophyll and chlorella growth factor|
|Avocado||Rich in fiber, healthy fats and antioxidant vitamins and minerals|
|Matcha||Contains high levels of an antioxidant called epigallocatechin, or EGCG|
Author: Brandi Black, RHN