What’s the trick to beautiful, healthy skin?
Well, one of them is getting proper nutrition. A great way to get started is incorporating what’s known as superfoods into your diet.
So what are superfoods?
Superfoods are usually plant-based, with the exception of some fish and dairy products, that are nutritionally dense and have multiple benefits for your health. Typically, they have a higher amount of vitamins and minerals in them.
According to the American Heart Association, many superfoods are good for your heart and overall health when incorporated into a heart-healthy diet that is balanced with lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk and dairy products.
However, “There are no standard criteria or an approved list of super foods,” said Kris-Etherton, also Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.
“Eating superfoods won’t hurt you. Most are very healthy,” Kris-Etherton said. “As a registered dietician, I’d like to see people eat more of the super foods like whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, fatty fish and all fruits and veggies.”
The American Heart Association mentions that it’s important not to have unrealistic expectations about superfoods. Looking at your diet as a whole and incorporating a mix of different superfoods into it is the best way to get all the nutrients your body needs and see the health benefits of them.
How can superfoods potentially benefit your skin?
Having beautiful skin starts from the inside, so making sure to eat a nutrient-dense, balanced diet can be key to keeping your skin fresh!
Share this Image On Your Site
Avocado is a very popular fruit, and for good reason! They have many nutrients in them and contain around 15g of healthy fat. In one serving (150g), avocados contain 4% DV of vitamin A, 25% DV of vitamin C, 16% DV of vitamin E, 39% DV of vitamin K, 7% DV of Thiamin, 11% DV of Riboflavin, 13% DV of Niacin, 19% DV of vitamin B6, and 30% DV of Folate, it’s no wonder they’re often found on the superfood list. Having the proper nutrition and taking care of your body from the inside can help your skin stay healthy as well. Another way to use avocado is to make a DIY face mask from it. Try out this Honey Avocado face mask by Nutrition Stripped!
Goji Berries are a small, red shrub fruit which is native to China. These berries have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years to help with general wellness and to relieve anxiety and other mood disorders. This high-antioxidant food contains rich beta-carotene and phytonutrients, which can promote healthy skin. They have many different vitamins and minerals. Just ¼ cup of dried goji berries contains three grams of fiber, four grams of protein, 140% daily value vitamin A, 35-163% daily value vitamin C, and rich selenium, potassium, iron, calcium, amino acids, and phytochemicals. In Chinese cuisine, dried goji berry is commonly cooked with vegetables and meat to make a nutritious broth. It’s also a fiber-rich, high-protein and fat-free snack with a sweet and sour taste. So try some goji berries today with yogurt or add them to soups or porridge.
Red dates or Ziziphus jujubes are regarded as “the king of nuts” in Chinese traditional medicine for their outstanding nutritional values. Dates contain vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, over 20 distinct amino acids, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron. Vitamin C supports healthy skin tissue, helps resist oxidation for skin cells, and helps to decrease the appearance of wrinkles. Dried red dates were usually cooked the same way as goji berries—in a porridge (like Eight-Treasure Porridge). How about starting with some red date and goji berry tea?
Chia seeds contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. They are an unprocessed, whole-grain that is absorbed by the body as seeds. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 139 calories, four grams of protein, nine grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 11 grams of fiber. Try making some chia seed pudding for breakfast, or throw them into smoothies, yogurt, or baked goods like muffins.
Blueberries are rich in vitamins and soluble fiber. Oftentimes this food is cited as a superfood because of its antioxidant content. According to Medical News Today, blueberries can help fight the appearance of wrinkles because of collagen. Collagen is the skin’s support system that relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient. It works in your bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C also supports collagen’s ability to improve overall skin texture. Just one cup of blueberries provides 24% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C.
Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a more youthful skin appearance. The omega-3s also provide photoprotection which may reduce visible signs of aging.
Carrots contain a high amount of beta-carotene, which is converted (as needed) into vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals. It can also prevent conditions like pigmentation, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.
Nuts contain higher levels of minerals and healthy fats but are high in calories, so it’s important to eat these in moderation. Eating more foods like almonds can help keep your skin glowing and smooth because of the essential fatty acids, vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium that they contain.
Matcha is a powder made from green tea. It has been in Japanese culture for centuries. The most amazing thing about matcha is that it has rich catechins in its powder form, making it one of the highest concentrated and most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants can help your skin fight the damaging effects of UV light to support younger-looking skin. Matcha can be taken in the form of Matcha Green Tea, Matcha cookies, Matcha cakes, or Matcha scrub or mask. Seriously, the bright green color makes every Matcha product look so tasty and healthy!
Aloe Vera has been a well-known ingredient for skin care products such as moisturizers and masks. It’s also known for its skin promoting effects. It contains vitamins A, C and E, essential minerals, and 20 amino acids. Aloe Vera is commonly used in topical gels, but you can still take it internally as Aloe Vera juice. I find Korean aloe vera juices to be very tasty!
Coconut oil is great to not only cook with but also to apply to your skin. According to Authority Nutrition, coconut oil benefits may include weight loss, better brain function, better skin, and more. What’s not to love? But since we’re talking about skincare and superfoods, let’s focus on what it can do for your skin. Many people use coconut oil topically to improve moisture. It can even help somewhat with protecting against the sun’s UV rays. Make sure you still apply regular sunscreen, though, as it only protects from about 20% of the sun’s rays.
Mushrooms are also a great superfood for your skin considering their ability to help balance natural inflammatory effects. Some mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, antioxidants, and selenium which provide your skin rich nutrition. You may find mushrooms as a common ingredient in creams, serums, moisturizers, etc. But don’t forget, they’re also delicious!
Seaweed helps keep your gut healthy and helps maintain healthy skin and hair. According to Organic Facts, seaweed is a good source of essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, copper, potassium, selenium, zinc, iodine, and iron. It contains a multitude of antioxidants and fiber, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. You can use seaweed topically in a wrap to help detoxify and cleanse the skin.
Soybeans are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, but the main benefit is that it helps to reduce the appearance of aging effects like wrinkles, fine lines, and discoloration. The rich phytoestrogens in soybeans support your skin’s own antioxidant capabilities. Soybeans come in many forms including soybean milk, tofu, soybean masks, and moisturizers.
Apply this knowledge
Now that you know all about superfoods, you can start incorporating them into your diet or skincare routine. They will benefit not only your skin health but your overall health as well!
Which one are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This post was written in collaboration with Yulin Yin.
Learn what USANA is doing to make the world a better place.
The future of personalized health and nutrition is now available with USANA’s True Health Assessment.