We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” It’s a cliché, but consistently eating healthfully can really get you that radiant look.
One of vitamin C‘s most powerful roles is producing collagen, a protein that gives your skin its elasticity. Collagen breaks down as you age and causes wrinkle formation, but a vitamin C-packed kiwi can provide 141% of your daily value and help counteract this effect, says Lauren Ploch, M.D., M.Ed., FAAD, a New Orleans-based dermatologist.
“The fish’s high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, which can affect how skin looks,” explains Tamara Melton, M.S., R.D.N., L.D. Nutrients like vitamin D and antioxidants can also reduce the risk of skin cancer and help with acne and rosacea, Ploch adds.
4. Bell Peppers
Regularly eating these vitamin C-rich veggies naturally boosts your body’s collagen, which helps keep your skin firm and youthful-looking. Bonus: Vitamin C also strengthens your immune system, so adding sliced peppers to salads and sandwiches can also keep that winter cold away.
Zinc is another immune-boosting mineral that can help protect skin cells from long-term damage. Luckily, it’s found in all kinds of shellfish like shrimp, oysters and mussels. Even better, they’re lower in calories as sources of lean protein.
These bright berries are full of good-for-you vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which maintain and promote skin health. The best part? Even though they’re seasonal, they retain their nutrients when frozen, so you can enjoy the skin-soothing benefits all year round.
Mangoes are loaded with beta-carotene, which helps your skin repair itself, stay smooth and even delay the appearance of wrinkles. And — yes, there’s more! — they’re packed with vitamin A, which protects cells and helps them regenerate. When they’re out of season, you can get the same effects from winter squash and sweet potatoes (both SuperCarbs!), as well as carrots, cantaloupe and apricots.
Eggs are a source of lutein, which helps keep skin hydrated and firm. It also promotes the natural oils that help keep you looking radiant, so feel free to start your day with a veggie omelet. Or, in place of higher-fat proteins, try adding it to sandwiches.