Despite all the beauty products lining the shelves, your skin needs essential nutrients from food to help restore and rebuild itself. Today you’ll discover how to defend your skin against toxins and nurture it with the best foods for healthy skin. I’ll share what I taught patients in my clinic about the right foods for healthy skin. I’ll also cover dietary supplements such as Collagen Protein to help you support your skin health from the inside out.
We all love to see and feel our skin in the best condition possible — clear, smooth, and radiating health. It’s your largest organ, and it protects your body from the sun, bad weather, infections, toxins, and dehydration. No matter what your skin type, it’s an amazing and beautiful part of your body!
What are the Best Nutrients for Your Skin?
You can promote skin health with nutrients that will help balance blood sugar levels and support a healthy inflammatory response. The right foods can fight oxidation and hydrate your skin. They can also provide nutrients including antioxidants such as beta carotene, tocopherols, and flavonoids. In addition, foods with vitamins, essential fatty acids, proteins, and probiotics are also essential for skin health. 1
This is how these nutrients will help you get glowing skin:
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s responsible for structure, stability, and strength especially in connective tissues and in the skin.2 There are many different types of collagen, yet types I and III are known to promote hair, skin, and nail strength.
When collagen is digested, it is broken up into amino acids. Your body then uses them to create new proteins and support other body processes.3
This is an antioxidant naturally made by the body that helps fight free radicals. Yet as you age, CoQ10 production decreases,4 making your skin more vulnerable to damage from free radicals. Adding more CoQ10 to your diet can inhibit the deterioration of skin elasticity and reduce visible signs of aging.5
- Fatty Acids/Omega-3s
There’s a reason Omega-3 rich fish oil supplements have become so popular — healthy fats are essential to many body processes! Omega-3 fatty acids are known to promote a healthy inflammatory response. This includes inflammation associated with skin health and appearance.6 Omega-3 fatty acids also form the basis of healthy cell membranes.
Your skin is its own microbiome with hundreds of thousands of microorganisms working together in a symbiotic relationship. This relationship preserves the health of your skin by keeping bad bacteria from overgrowing. Probiotics support your microbiome and your immune system in promoting skin health.7
- Protein/Amino Acids
Protein and amino acids help build all cells in your body. A lack of them can lead to reduced protein synthesis, collagen density, and collagen production.8 This impacts the proteins needed to produce and maintain strong, healthy skin.
When selenium levels in the body are out of balance, it can show on your skin. Your body needs optimal amounts of selenium to support antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione. Increasing levels of these antioxidant proteins with selenium before UV exposure may help protect your skin from UV damage.9
- Vitamin A
Also known as retinol, vitamin A is converted into retinoic acid in the body. Retinoic acid can influence cells in layers of the skin10 and regulate skin condition. Vitamin A is also considered an antioxidant that can help protect against sun damage.
- Vitamin C
Your skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C. It supports collagen synthesis and antioxidant protection against UV damage.11 Including more vitamin C in your diet will also help stabilize collagen’s cell structure12 to help maintain skin elasticity.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant naturally present in the oil your skin produces to prevent dryness. Vitamin E can help prevent the breakdown of skin cells. Fewer dead skin cells result in healthier-looking skin. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from everyday damage caused by free radicals.13
The 10 Best Foods for Healthy Skin
You can help maintain clear skin, reduce the risk of cell damage, and support skin elasticity when you eat these foods.
Because of their vitamin A and C content, avocados are one of the best foods for clear, healthy skin. They also contain monounsaturated fatty acids that may reduce oxidative stress and protect from skin sun damage. Avocados may also decrease insulin resistance and related inflammatory processes.14
2. Beef Liver
In terms of skin health, beef liver can support protein production. The large dose of essential amino acids and vitamin A in it also supports a healthy inflammatory response.
3. Blueberries & Strawberries
Blueberries have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and glucose-regulating effects. This means the little fruit can support multiple aspects of healthy aging,15 including healthy skin! And just 100 grams of strawberries contains nearly 60 mg of collagen-supporting vitamin C.16
4. Bone Broth
The collagen in bone broth contributes amino acids to body processes and protein synthesis for stronger skin cell structure. The water content of bone broth is also beneficial for skin health. Despite higher sodium levels, water in bone broth can help your body and your skin stay healthy and hydrated.
The flavanols in dark chocolate, cocoa solids, and cocoa powder can help hydrate your skin and improve blood circulation. Healthy circulation draws more oxygen and nutrients to the skin.17 If you can eat chocolate, avoid milk chocolate and white chocolate. These are full of sugar and may lead to high blood sugar levels.
6. Leafy Greens
Fibrous, dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale offer you prebiotics to promote probiotic production and gut health. They also contain vitamins A, C, and E which support skin cell regeneration and lipid metabolism.
7. Olives & Olive Oil
Olives are full of polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E, and antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols from olives and extra-virgin olive oil have potent antioxidant activities.18 This can help fight free radicals associated with skin damage and aging.
Both chicken and turkey contain tryptophan, which works together with carbohydrates to trigger serotonin and melatonin production in the body.19 Balanced levels of serotonin and melatonin can promote quality beauty sleep for glowing skin.
Poultry is also full of protein, essential amino acids, and selenium. The protein is broken up into amino acids to support body processes and build more proteins and enzymes. Additionally, the selenium content in poultry is ideal for maintaining optimal levels of this micronutrient.
9. Tree Nuts
After following The Myers Way®, you can reintroduce tree nuts. Which is great for your skin health! Many tree nuts are high in vitamin E and selenium. Diets without these nutrients may result in poor skin health associated with a higher risk of acne.20 If you tolerate them, eating a variety of nuts may even improve metabolic control, insulin sensitivity, and oxidative stress.21 All of these impact the health of your skin.
10. Wild-Caught Salmon
Salmon is a solid source of protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and CoQ10 — all of which your skin needs. A 3 oz serving of salmon contains about 17g of protein, or ⅓ the daily recommended value for an adult.22 Salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3s with over 1,000 mg per 3 oz serving. For those who don’t like fish, Omega-3 supplements are a good alternative.
How to Supplement Your Diet for Amazing, Healthy Skin
An essential ingredient to supplement these foods for good skin is water — lots of it! When more water is available in your body, it improves skin condition from the inside out.23 For a change of pace from plain water, drink green tea. Caffeine-free green tea has antioxidant qualities that may help protect the skin from UV rays.
Additionally, I’ve found one of the easiest ways to optimize my skin is with collagen protein. The Myers Way® Collagen Protein dissolves instantly in hot or cold water. That means you get the double benefit of hydration and collagen.
The amino acid concentrations in food sources of collagen are significantly lower than what can be absorbed from collagen supplements.24 My Collagen Protein is custom-formulated to provide your body with optimal amounts of this critical building block. It’s made with pure collagen types I and III for flexibility and strength at the cellular level. It offers a full range of amino acids and peptides to support and optimize the health of your skin.