Whoever said that beauty’s only skin deep? What you put into your body shows on the outside and all the cosmetic highlighters in the world can’t fake a true natural glow. Clean up your diet and you’ll look so good, people will start asking if you took a vacation or if you just got a great night of sleep. But the secret to great skin is what you put into your body—here’s a cheat sheet to tell you which foods will give you that beautiful, natural glow.
Even though it’s not technically a food, you need lots of water to get glowing skin. Water will plump out your skin and smooth over fine lines. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day at a minimum—some people swear by a gallon a day as the magical amount of water for maximum results.
Avocado is a great source of natural oils and antioxidants like lutein and beta carotene. Add more avocado to your diet to make your skin look more radiant and supple. Don’t think you’re limited only to guacamole for using avocado, either: add it to smoothies or even just put a couple slices on a sandwich.
Make walnuts a staple in your diet and you’ll benefit in lots of ways. Not only is the protein in a handful of walnuts a great way to fight hunger, but the B vitamins in walnuts will also improve your skin tone and contribute to a gorgeous natural glow. Bonus: walnut oil is a great moisturizer when applied to your skin, too.
Pumpkins aren’t just amazing in your fall lattes. This vegetable is a powerhouse of ingredients that are great for your skin, like potassium, vitamins A and E. Increase your intake of pumpkin and you’ll see some amazing results in your skin.
Good news: cocoa is actually good for you! Cocoa powder contains antioxidants called flavanols that reduce sun damage and improve skin texture. If you want skin that isn’t as rough and can stand up to the sun’s damaging UV rays, add a couple teaspoons of cocoa powder to a daily smoothie.
Healthy, glowing skin is supple and pink. You can credit a steady diet of tomatoes for some of those rosy skin tones, thanks to an antioxidant in tomatoes called lycopene. This antioxidant also eliminates skin-damaging free radicals from sun exposure. The trick to keep in mind: unlike many other fruits and vegetables, which must be eaten raw, you actually get more benefits from tomatoes when you cook them. Marinara sauce, anyone?
These tiny little seeds are packed with tons of healthy benefits. Full of omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds will help to smooth fine lines and erase spots. According to a 2009 study, just a half-teaspoon of flax seeds every day will reduce irritation and redness and make your skin look better hydrated. Flax seeds encourage your skin to retain water, which reduces the aging effects of being dehydrated. These little seeds are virtually flavorless, so you can easily add them to a smoothie or baked goods without noticing them.