You are what you eat” may be more accurate than you think. There are many factors that contribute to the clear, glowing, blemish-free skin everyone strives for (including genetics). Some foods—depending on their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content—can actually help promote healthy skin. We searched the web for meals that contain two or more foods with properties known to protect or repair skin. (But keep in mind, though studies suggest certain foods can protect our skin or repair damage, they're not a substitute for preventative measures like sunscreen.) From quinoa for breakfast to lots of dark chocolate for dessert, here are some ways to eat your way to better skin.
Blueberry and Walnut Smoothie
Blueberries, one of nature’s most potent antioxidant-containing fruits, provide the color for this simple, healthy smoothie. If you don’t have walnuts on hand to whip up homemade walnut milk, choose your favorite variety of milk (but keep in mind that some studies link whey-protein-based dairy to skin conditions, including acne, thanks to its insulin-boosting abilities) . If you can’t make walnut milk, try throwing a few whole walnuts in there anyways—they contain a healthy dose of magnesium, which is important for healthy blood flow in the skin.
Quinoa Breakfast Cereal with Almonds and Berries
Your typical morning breakfast may feature oatmeal, but switch things up with quinoa for an extra dose of protein. Whole grains, including quinoa, are a rich source of selenium, which can improve skin elasticity . Blueberries are high in anthocyanins (one of many antioxidants, which fight off the damage in our bodies caused by free radicals). Almonds are a high source of vitamin E, known to protect our skin from the sun’s rays .
Kale with Pomegranate Seeds and lemon vinaigrette
Perfect for a light lunch or side salad, this healthy skin medley features kale, avocado, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, pecans, goat cheese, and a homemade Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Leafy greens, especially kale, are high in antioxidants and vitamin K—both of which help the skin look young (antioxidants because they help slow down the process of aging, and vitamin K because it protects the skin’s elasticity). Pomegranate seeds boast super high levels of polyphenols (an antioxidant also found in cranberries) .