Approximately one in four Americans (84.5 million people) struggle with poor skin health. Conditions like acne, psoriasis, and melanoma are frequent issues that can wreak havoc on all aspects of your physical and mental health.
Because skin problems are so common, you can choose from a wide range of products and supplements that claim to improve your skin’s health and appearance. Sometimes, though, the simplest solution is to change your diet.
Eating more fruits and vegetables can provide you with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support your skin. Learn more about the benefits of fruits and vegetables for skin health below.
The Link Between Diet and Skin Health
The foods you consume don’t just influence your body internally. They can also have a significant impact on your external appearance.
Remember that the skin is the largest organ of the body. It would be naive to assume that your diet has no impact on it.
Research shows that several factors link diet and skin health, including the following:
- Hormones: Naturally occurring growth hormones and steroids in milk may worsen acne
- Glycemic load: High-glycemic foods (such as sugar and white bread) can influence insulin levels, which also impact oil production and the risk of acne. High-glycemic foods may also affect collagen fibers and increase the chances of developing wrinkles.
- Antioxidants: Consumption of antioxidants may reduce your risk of developing melanoma (skin cancer). Antioxidants can also influence your chances of developing inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis.
Diet is, of course, not the only contributor to one’s chances of developing skin conditions like acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and skin cancer. However, it is one of the more easily controlled elements of one’s life, so it makes sense to focus on dietary changes when looking for ways to improve skin health.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Healthy Skin
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants, as well as other compounds that support healthy skin.
Most fruits and vegetables contain some vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are good for the skin. However, certain fruits and vegetables are more potent sources.
Here are some of the best ones to start including in your diet:
Avocados are fruits (although many people mistake them for vegetables) that are loaded with healthy fats. A high intake of healthy fats is associated with more moisturized and supple skin — in other words, skin that is less wrinkle-prone.
Avocados also contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that reduces cell damage caused by free radicals. It’s especially beneficial when combined with vitamin C (found in many of the foods on this list).
Many people associate carrots with better vision. They’re also good for the skin, though.
Carrots contain carotenoids, specifically beta-carotene, that have strong antioxidant properties.
Beta-carotene acts as a natural form of sunblock and converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A supports healthy skin by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as reducing acne.
Carrots are also a good source of vitamin C, which is another antioxidant. Vitamin C also supports the synthesis of collagen, a major component of the skin, as well as cartilage, tendons, bones, and muscles.
Sweet potatoes are another good source of beta-carotene. They contain vitamin C, which offers additional antioxidant properties and supports collagen production.
Bell peppers — especially red and yellow bell peppers — are loaded with the antioxidant vitamin C. They also contain beta-carotene, making them an excellent choice for those looking to reduce wrinkles and fine lines or combat acne.
In addition to being a good source of vitamins A and C, broccoli also contains zinc and lutein.
Zinc has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It supports the skin’s natural repair functions and can reduce redness and inflammation. Increased zinc consumption may help to reduce symptoms of several skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and dermatitis.
Lutein is a carotenoid that functions similarly to beta-carotene by protecting the skin from damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.
Tomatoes contain vitamin C and a carotenoid called lycopene. Like lutein and beta-carotene, lycopene protects the skin from sun damage and wrinkles.
Foods like tomatoes are especially good for the skin when combined with a healthy fat source. Fat improves the absorption of carotenoids, as well as vitamins A and E.
Blueberries are one of the best fruits for people concerned about their skin health. They are packed with antioxidant compounds, including anthocyanins, which give them their distinct color.
Anthocyanins combat free radical damage and can reduce the chances of UV damage and wrinkles. They also increase collagen production and reduce inflammation.
Apples are a good source of antioxidant vitamin E.
They also contain phenolic acids, which have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties. Phenolic acids have even been shown to protect the skin from free radical damage caused by air pollution.
Garlic has many acne-fighting properties. It contains allicin, which kills acne-causing bacteria and reduces swelling and inflammation. It’s also a good source of vitamin C and zinc and contains thiosulfate, which has antimicrobial properties.
Ginger is another spice that is good for the skin. It’s rich in antioxidants, which prevent free radical damage and reduce the risk of developing wrinkles and fine lines.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties may also benefit those who struggle with acne, and it promotes healthy blood flow, which supports faster wound healing and scar-fading. It supports collagen production, too.
Support Your Skin with Substance
Are you ready to enhance your skin health, boost your confidence, and feel your best? If so, consuming more fruits and vegetables can help.
If you want to enjoy the skin health benefits of increased fruit and veggie intake but need a more efficient solution, Substance Health’s fruit and veggie supplement — Nature’s Sustenance — is a perfect choice.
Nature’s Sustenance provides over 20 fruits, vegetables, and greens that you need to look and feel your best.
Are you ready to get a day’s worth of nutrients in just four capsules? Purchase your first bottle today.