The food choices that people make are literally as varied as the number of people that there are on this earth.
However, for those who are concerned about their skin health, it only makes sense to learn more about which foods are the most helpful for the goal of clear skin.
So then it makes sense to eat vegetables that get high grades when it comes to avoiding those dreaded days when a bad break out is all you think about.
Here are 5 vegetables that pass that test and that make you confident you are eating what’s right to get or keep your skin clear:
Most people associate eating carrots with good eye health but they contain nutrients that are great for skin!
Carrots are high in beta carotene which is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals which damage cells through oxidation.
This damage can reduce skin elasticity which reduces how well your skin can protect you.
Beta carotene can also aid in reduced oil production.
Of course, we want some oil on our skin as it helps for protection but too much oil can cause clogged pores which can exacerbate acne. It’s also worth noting that antioxidants support the treatment of psoriasis (2).
Avocados are well known for being packed with healthy vitamins and minerals.
But, they also contain phytonutrients which are associated with the unusual fat quality of avocados. Phytonutrients contain carotenoids which are a type of phytonutrient.
Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant that is good for skin health. So why not eat carrots instead of avocados since they contain carotenoids and are less fatty than avocados?
The answer is that the higher fat content of avocados aids in carotenoid absorption!
In fact, the combination of low-fat carotenoids from carrots with higher fat carotenoids from avocados can result in an absorption rate of 2 to 6 times higher than from just eating a low-fat carotenoid like carrots (4).
Bell peppers are a great source of beta carotene which your body converts into vitamin A which is important for your body’s immune system. But bell peppers also contain vitamin C which is necessary for creating the protein collagen.
Collagen keeps skin firm and strong (1).
Anyone familiar with procedures to help your skin look younger is familiar with collagen as a staple of plastic surgeons to make you look younger!
Vitamin C is well known as a vitamin that prevents scurvy, a condition where wounds open up on your skin making you susceptible to infection.
In modern society, thankfully, that condition is rare but ample vitamin C does contribute to giving your skin that bounce you’re looking for.
Many people swear that if they could only eat one vegetable… then let it be broccoli.
It contains vitamins A and C. But it also contains vitamin K which can speed up the healing of bruises and even help with dark under eye circles. Vitamin K is a group of compounds.
The most important compound for skin health is vitamin K1. This is because vitamin K1 helps with clotting. Bruises are caused by excessive bleeding. Dark under-eye circles are caused by broken capillaries (3).
Ample consumption of vitamin K helps to prevent the excessive bleeding that is the result of both skin trauma, in the case of a bruise or skin fatigue and in the case of tired agitated skin under the eyes (bye-bye dark circles!).
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and vitamin K but they are also a good source of lycopene.
Lycopene is linked to protection against sunburns and some cancers. Lycopene can be taken as a supplement but is much more effective when consumed in natural foods such as tomatoes.
Lycopene is actually a plant nutrient that gives tomatoes their red pigment. While lycopene helps to prevent UV damage which can result in dangerous skin cancers it is not a substitute for sunscreen.
However, it does contribute to reducing skin redness from exposure to the sun. (5)
“Eat more vegetables!” We all hear that. What’s good to know is that this is straight facts.
We know that vegetables help with health problems associated with issues like high blood pressure or cholesterol but they also play a vital role in keeping our skin healthy and clear.
Our skin is under constant assault from factors like excessive oil and sun — not to mention the stress and strain caused by the pace of life affecting our sleep.
We all feel like we don’t eat enough vegetables so let’s make sure we eat vegetables that make a real contribution to helping keep our skin looking young and clear.
If you can eat only these 5 vegetables you can be confident that you are doing a great job of helping your skin look great!
- Choi, Franchesca D., et al. “Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: JDD, vol. 18, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 9–16.
- Lee, Hye-Jin, et al. “The Effect of Carrot Juice, β-Carotene Supplementation on Lymphocyte DNA Damage, Erythrocyte Antioxidant Enzymes and Plasma Lipid Profiles in Korean Smoker.” Nutrition Research and Practice, vol. 5, no. 6, Dec. 2011, pp. 540–47. PubMed Central, doi:10.4162/nrp.2011.5.6.540.
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin K. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.
- Slide Show: 10 Great Health Foods – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/health-foods/sls-20076653?s=4. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.
- Story, Erica N., et al. “An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene.” Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, vol. 1, 2010. PubMed Central, doi:10.1146/annurev.food.102308.124120.