It’s said that beauty is only skin deep … but it is actually possible to influence your external beauty from the inside out. So put down your makeup case (or Dopp kit) and pick up your fork. Here are the top vegetables to make your natural beauty glow …
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard and collards are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. One such antioxidant is lutein, which is beneficial for your skin and may even help prevent wrinkles.[i]
5. Sweet Potatoes
One study found that college students who eat more fruits and vegetables had an increase in facial skin redness and yellowness, which was perceived as more attractive and healthy.[ii] While eating any vegetables was beneficial, the researchers attributed the benefit to carotenoids, which are a group of antioxidants including beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein. Sweet potatoes are a top source of carotenoids.
One cup of bell pepper contains 157 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C,[iii] which is a superstar for skin health (and as a bonus, they also contain carotenoids). Vitamin C is found in high levels in both the dermis and epidermis layers of your skin.
Its antioxidant activity protects your skin against UV-induced damage caused by free radicals, and it also plays a role in increasing collagen protein synthesis to help repair damaged skin.
Vitamin C also stimulates DNA repair and research has shown that higher intakes of dietary vitamin C are associated with better skin appearance and notable decreases in skin wrinkling.[iv]
Cabbage is rich in sulfur, which is sometimes referred to as the “beauty mineral” because it’s found in high quantities in your skin, hair and nails. (Have you ever accidentally burnt a few strands of your hair? The pungent smell it creates is due to the sulfur!). Sulfur is necessary to produce keratin, which are fibrous structural proteins essential for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Broccoli makes you beautiful in multiple ways. It’s rich in vitamin C for healthy collagen production. It also contains vitamin E, which protects against UV-induced damage and helps protect cell membranes. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, which is known for helping to repair skin damage. It’s also about 89 percent water,[v] and staying hydrated is always good for a glowing complexion.
Beets are rich in a unique combination of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants. They’re known for helping your body to detoxify (they’re especially supportive of phase 2 detoxification) while also promoting skin rejuvenation. According to Dr. Mark Rosenberg, president of the Institute for Healthy Aging:[vi]
“As a dermatologist, in addition to the general health boosting properties of beets, I’m particularly impressed by their anti-aging skin benefits. In studies, it was shown that the high levels of folates and antioxidants can decrease the depth and severity of skin wrinkles by 60%! This is best accomplished by eating beets (or drinking beet juice) as well as by applying beet juice topically, directly to skin.”
Dr. Rosenberg recommends the following beet juice cocktail for younger-looking skin:[vii]
“1 cup filtered water (or ice cubes if you want more of a shake consistency)
1 whole beet, peeled. Also cut off stems, leaves and roots where environmental toxins gather.
1 Red Delicious or other sweeter apple, cored, but I recommend leaving the skin on for its vitamins and fiber.
1-2 tablespoons granulated Stevia Extract
One-half lemon or lime.
- If you have a blender, you’ll want to chop up the beets, apples, lemon/lime into smaller pieces first. Add a little water, grate the ingredients first, then puree, adding extra water to liquefy to a drinkable consistency.”