Seasonal Super Foods That Boost Skin's Radiance
We’ve all heard about the powers of superfoods — but how do they impact your skin? We asked nutrition guru, nationally recognized registered dietitian, women’s health expert and author of “The Better Period Food Solution,” Tracy Lockwood Beckerman for her expert take on which foods to reach for for glowing skin.
Sophia Chabbott: How does what we eat — good or bad — have an impact on our skin?
Tracy Lockwood Beckerman: The skin is a so-called window into the foods and nutrients we fuel our body with. By providing the body with an array of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants, our skin has the ability to positively reflect these good choices by looking radiant, hydrated and healthy!
S.C.: What are some key ingredients we should be on the lookout for in the spring and summer and why?
T.L.B.: As we enter the spring and summer, take advantage of seasonal produce that comes during this time of the year. By going to the farmer’s market or participating in a CSA, you’ll be introduced to an array of colorful fruits and veggies like strawberries, heirloom tomatoes, peaches, corn and watermelon, fresh baked breads, pasture raised eggs, jams and honey that are all chock full of different nutrients and different health benefits. Not only will you have a kitchen stocked with delicious and local items, but you'll also introduce your body to a variety of gut bacteria that is helpful not just for digestion but for skin health too.
S.C.: What are some superfoods that we can add to our diet to improve skin?
T.L.B.: Avocado, pomegranates, grapefruit, beets, walnuts, blueberries and probiotic rich yogurt should all be on your list when it comes to improving your skin health. These superfoods are all overflowing with supportive nutrients that keep the skin looking fresh, bountiful and bright.
S.C.: What are a few key foods/categories that we should add to our diets to get the most radiant skin from the inside out?
- Citrus fruits, like grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes all have vitamin C which help to both brighten the skin and increase collagen synthesis, keeping skin looking firm and youthful.
- Watermelon and tomatoes have lycopene which is a vibrant antioxidant that can reverse skin damage caused by aging and stress.
- Probiotic rich foods like yogurt, pickled foods and kefir help maintain the skin’s balance by delivering a healthy balance of probiotics.
- Healthy fats like walnuts and avocados help to keep inflammation at bay and redness under control.
S.C.: How much of a superfood do you need to consume before seeing its impact in your skin?
T.L.B.: The amount is different for everyone but it’s a good goal to consume the superfood at least two times per day.
S.C.: How does hydrating from the inside out (i.e. getting those 8 glasses of water in) boost skin’s radiance?
T.L.B.: Water not only helps with keeping the skin looking full and buoyant, but it also helps to combat any dryness and dullness brought on by cold weather, stress, lack of sleep or even pollution.
S.C.: Is there something we should be drinking that isn’t water?
T.L.B.: Water reigns supreme when it comes to skin health. Although there is a lot of talk about collagen beverages enhancing skin texture, appearance and elasticity, the science isn’t there yet to totally support this notion. If you want to take your plain water intake up one notch, add some sliced lemon, grapefruit or orange to your glass. That way you can get both a bright and refreshing infusion of flavor from the citrus but also a pop of antioxidants that keep the skin looking radiant and bright.
S.C.: Is there anything on your no, no, no, never reach for that list when aiming to get your most glowing skin?
T.L.B.: Unfortunately, caffeine isn’t on your side when it comes to keeping your skin radiant. That’s because not only is caffeine dehydrating but it constricts blood vessels which make lines and blemishes more pronounced.
Foods laden with sugar like cookies, cakes, doughnuts and pies, can hinder skin recovery by adding more inflammation into the body. I would steer clear of these types of foods before a photoshoot or a night out to keep your skin looking its absolute best.
Greasy food, like fries and pizza, may also impede your skin's ability to look its best because these foods put excessive oils into the body which can ultimately make their way out through pores and glands. This can lead to unwanted pimples and flare ups in the skin.
Tracy Lockwood Beckerman is a nationally recognized registered dietitian, women’s health expert, author of “The Better Period Food Solution.” Her website is www.tracynutrition.com and follow her at @thehappiestnutritionist on Instagram.