Eat These 5 Foods for Radiant Skin

By: Bulletproof Staff
November 6, 2017

Eat These 5 Foods for Radiant Skin

  • Turns out, the secret to anti-aging isn’t in fancy lotions and potions, but what’s on your plate.
  • Specifically, eating a healthful diet keeps skin healthy and young. Nutrient-dense foods give your skin plenty of micronutrients, carotenoids and polyphenols to help turn back the clock.
  • Read on to learn the best food for skin and delicious recipes to get more of these foods in your diet.

Who doesn’t want a youthful, radiant complexion? While it’s tempting to seek a golden hue by way of the sun’s rays, it’s not the best approach to beauty. The real secret to glowing skin is not under a sun lamp, but at the farmer’s market with the best food for skin.

A nutrient-dense diet with plenty of micronutrients, carotenoids and polyphenols will give your skin that healthy, rosy radiance (and other full-body benefits, too). Find out how to support a glowing, vibrant complexion with our comprehensive guide to the best food for skin.

5 best foods for healthy, glowing skin

Collagen protein

Woman pouring collagen protein powder into cup

How to get it:

Collagen is in every cell in your body — from your tendons and membranes to your fingernails and hair. Collagen hydrates your skin and makes it more plump and firm. That’s why getting more collagen in your diet helps keep sagging skin and wrinkles at bay, especially as you age. Not only does collagen production drop as you get older, but daily environmental aggressors like UV light and pollution also interfere with collagen production.

If that sounds like an uphill battle, don’t fret. Collagen supplements provide all the building blocks your body needs to make more collagen, naturally. Bulletproof Collagen Protein powder is unflavored, so it mixes well with your favorite drinks — or try Berry Lemonade Collagen Beauty Boost for targeted support for hair, skin and nails. Collagen protein is easy to mix, and it adds a healthy dose of all of the skin-friendly amino acids that you might not get enough of in your everyday diet.

You can also get collagen in bone broth and organ meats, but there’s no consistency in the amount of collagen you get from your ingredients. Beauty products that boost collagen production can help, but supplementing your diet ensures your body has what it needs for collagen production and repair. Your body prioritizes which cells get fed first, and since hair, skin and nails are lowest on the totem pole, they get the short end of the stick when your body isn’t getting enough collagen.

And science says it works. In animal studies, supplementing with collagen thickened collagen fibrils (basically the scaffolding that plumps up skin).[1] [2] Humans experienced the same benefits. Researchers measured significant increases in collagen and elastin (the stuff that keeps skin bouncy) after two months of collagen supplementation.[3]

The best part: you can add collagen protein powder to pretty much anything, like coffee, smoothies and even water. Try these collagen peptide recipes to make your skin glow.

Vitamin C

Slices of oranges and lemons

How to get it:

  • Deeply colored vegetables
  • Lemons, limes and other low-fructose citrus fruits
  • L-ascorbic acid supplements

Among the many benefits of vitamin C, this powerful vitamin helps you make new collagen when it has the right amino acids from your diet or a collagen supplement. Vitamin C is so important that you can’t make collagen without it.[4] [5]

Certain foods that are rich in vitamin C, like leafy greens, citrus, red pepper and cruciferous vegetables, protect your cells from sun overexposure and cut down on inflammation in the skin.[6] Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals you encounter just by going about your day.[7] Free radicals, FYI, are major skin-agers, so guarding against them is key.


Pile of carrots on wooden cutting board

How to get them:

  • Bright yellow-orange vegetables (like sweet potatoes, carrots and squash)
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Carotenoid complex supplements

A nutrient-dense diet goes a long way in perking up your skin.[8] Among the many skin-happy nutrients in vegetables are carotenoids, the plant pigments in bright yellow, orange and red vegetables. They protect the plant by neutralizing free radicals, and they do the same for people who eat them.

We can’t see what carotenoid-rich vegetables are doing on the inside, but we can see what getting more of them does to our complexion. Eating more foods rich in carotenoids gives skin a rosy hue that people perceive as more healthful and attractive.[9]

Lycopene, found in asparagus and red cabbage, is a red-hued carotene that protects your skin from sun damage and promotes healthy mitochondria in your skin.[10] Mitochondria keep cells functioning as they should, and tired mitochondria make tired-looking skin.


Many brussels sprouts

How to get it:

  • Whey protein gives your body the building blocks to make glutathione
  • Glutathione supplements

We get antioxidants in our diets by eating them, but your body also makes some naturally. Glutathione is your body’s master antioxidant, which means it’s your body’s natural detox agent — it’s responsible for defending against damaging molecules called free radicals. It also recharges other antioxidants like vitamin C and protects against the effects of toxins in your environment and diet.

So, what does that have to do with skin? Like the rest of your body, your skin is made of cells. Free radicals (damaging molecules caused by factors like stress, smoke and pollution) can damage skin cells, breaking down collagen and accelerating the effects of aging. What’s more, glutathione production declines with age, so you have less detox protection over time. No thanks.

Up your body’s master antioxidant with glutathione-rich foods for skin health. Undenatured, grass-fed whey protein provides the building blocks your body needs to make glutathione naturally. It’s also found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts.

Or, you can take a glutathione supplement like Glutathione Force, which ensures you’re getting enough glutathione to curb the damage from everyday life. Easy.


Rasberries and blackberries in containers

How to get them:

Polyphenols are compounds in highly pigmented plants. Polyphenols scavenge free radicals and prevent them from damaging your cells. They also protect against the signs of photoaging (i.e. sun spots and wrinkles).[11] [12]

Resveratrol is the polyphenol that gets all the press because it’s in wine. Because of this, doctors started saying red wine is good for you. Red wine has some resveratrol, but it doesn’t have the highest polyphenol dose you can get.

The best polyphenol-rich food for your skin:

  • Dark green and purple veggies[13]
  • Herbs[14]
  • High-quality, high-cacao chocolate

To fill in the gaps in your diet and get a convenient daily dose of antioxidants, try Polyphenomenal — it contains a blend of broad-spectrum polyphenols from sources like pomegranate, turmeric, blueberries and green tea.

All of the best foods for skin are healthful for other reasons, too. This list is packed with nutrient-dense vegetables, proteins and fruits because these foods support your entire body. To up your daily greens, learn how to eat more vegetables with every meal with delicious recipes and easy tips.

Read next: 13 Anti-Aging Supplements to Turn You Into Benjamin Button

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