What foods can I eat to make my skin more beautiful?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Here's a surprising way to get smoother, younger-looking skin: Eat plenty of beans. For more tasty ways to improve your skin, watch this video from RealAge's Dr. Mike Roizen.

The following is an example of what a plate should look like for beautiful skin:

  • First pile on the fruits and veggies
  • Second, garnish your fruits and veggies with nuts, seeds, or a bit of olive-oil-based dressing
  • Third, fill a quarter of your plate with lean protein
  • Fourth, fill that last quarter of your plate with whole grains

Grab enough fruits and vegetables to fill fully half your plate, not a measly corner or two (the daily goal: nine -- yes, nine -- half-cup servings). Fruits and veggies are brimming with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which are other protective plant substances known to help humans, too. All of these act like the dietary highway patrol, pulling over speeding free radicals and suspending their licenses to create havoc. How? Eating lots of veggies and fruits helps replenish our natural antioxidant stores, protecting sun-exposed skin against wrinkling and even skin cancer.

The abundant vitamin C in these foods may be particularly beneficial. Vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen, and the skin of women whose diets are rich in C is the least likely to have signs of aging, like thinning, dryness, and wrinkles. The benefits don’t happen overnight. You need to keep topping up the tank with these superfuels. So be sure to eat your greens and reds, purples, orange/yellows. In fact, go for the whole rainbow; mixing colors throughout the week will ensure you get the variety you need.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

A Mediterranean diet has been considered by most to be the most beneficial to your skin. Plenty of fish and green leafy vegetables will give you omega 3 fatty acids, which keep your skin healthy. In addition, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which help promote skin health as well.

First off, any time you participate on deprivation diets (any restrictive eating) it takes a toll on your skin. Skin glows when it is fed a balanced diet and not deprived of nutrients.

Start by adding plenty of leafy greens to your diet. Feel free to think outside the box a bit instead of always turning to bland salads. Spinach, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, celery, parsley, cilantro; all of these are great additions. Parsley and cilantro have a cleansing effect on the body, especially the skin. So add them to soups, stews, and salads for extra flavor and benefit.

Fruits are also good for the complexion as they provide hydration. During the warm summer months keep watermelon and peaches on hand to invigorate. Start each morning with a cup of warm water and the juice of 1/2 a lemon to detoxify the liver and clear up blemished skin.

Carrots and tomatoes have natural vitamin A in abundance to keep the skin radiant and youthful looking. Juice them or add them into daily dishes.

Fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids help to keep the skin looking and feeling tighter and more resilient. Think about adding tuna and wild caught salmon to your meals a few times per week.

Blemished skin can worsen if carbohydrates are in low supply. Add in whole grains from oats, whole breads, whole grain pastas and cereals, to round out your diet.

My favorite trick is to drink my greens. This drink is easy to prepare and gives you a great glow. In a high quality blender, blend

8 oz water, romaine lettuce, spinach, juice of 1 lemon, 1 pear, 1 small apple, 1 banana, 2-3 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, handful of parsley and a handful of cilantro. You can even add garlic and mint. Drink 4-8 ounces 1-2 times per day for a glowing skin!

My best skin clearing mask: Take the juice of 2 lemon and whisk it with 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon full fat yogurt. Spread evenly onto face and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with tepid water and follow with a light moisturizer.

Enjoy your beautiful skin and remember a smile is your best asset!

Carol Cottrill
Nutrition & Dietetics

Dark Leafy Greens: Full of antioxidants and a great source of iron. Dark circles under your eyes? You’re probably not getting enough iron. The same goes for acne. 

Olive Oil: For dry, flaky skin eat more high-quality fats like those found in olive oil as well as foods containing healthy fats, such as avocados and walnuts. 

Water: Is your skin ashen and gray?  That's what dehydration looks like. Water is the first line of defense for dull, droopy skin. 

Tomatoes: Contain high levels of Vit A and C and chemicals that fight skin cancer. Vit A aids in healing acne by boosting the immune system and helping to resist infection. Vit C keeps skin elastic and prevents bruising.  

Berries: Berries are a great source of polyphenols- antioxidants that are touted for their anti-aging capabilities. All berries have been shown to protect short-term memory and balance. A handful of strawberries yields all the antioxidant Vit C your body requires each day to reconstruct your collagen.

Salmon: Packed with face-friendly omega-3 fatty acids salmon moisturizes parched areas of your skin and help shrink pimples. So does mackerel, bass, and trout, as the essential fatty acids in these foods also combat collagen-damaging free radicals and help smooth out fine lines. 

Cantaloupe: Full of compounds like lycopene which reduce the collagen damage blamed for wrinkles. The light flesh just underneath the skin is a great source of beta-carotene. 

Soybeans: Contain nutrients that act like estrogen. Loaded with Vit E responsible for enhancing new cell growth and keeping skin hydrated. 

Carrots: Contain beta-carotene that your body turns into Vit A, this vitamin says bye-bye to dry, flaky skin. Not only carrots that deliver this benefit; other orange fruits and vegetables—apricots, papaya, pumpkin, mango, and sweet potatoes—are great skin savers. 

Oatmeal: Go for the slow-cooked kind. You’ll get a hefty dose of fiber that, once converted, helps filter toxins and guarantee a clearer complexion. Oatmeal is also rich in the B vitamins, which aid new skin-cell growth.

Eating a balanced diet helps your body stay healthy overall, including your skin. Choose a combination of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains -- all sources of necessary vitamins and minerals. Consume products fortified with vitamin D, such as skim milk, so you can get enough of this vitamin without having to expose your skin to excessive sunlight.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
What you eat can affect the health and beauty of your skin. Watch the video for tips on food for radiant skin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.