Which foods for beautiful skin complement your daily skincare optimally? We'll tell you! In this article, we roll out the green carpet - and show you which effective skin foods deserve a real beauty Oscar. Plus: Easy-to-implement cheat tips with which you can optimally integrate regional superfoods for skin and health into your everyday life. Let's Glow!
Your guide to the best foods for beautiful skin: Top 10 list & glow food tips for a fresh, radiant complexion
Beauty food: How important are foods for beautiful skin?
True beauty comes from within. Science now confirms that this phrase has a kernel of truth 1 . The connection between a plant-based diet and beautiful skin has long been ignored - but there are now numerous studies on it 1,2 .
They show: In addition to love, the way to beauty is obviously through the stomach! Vegan foods are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals. This concentrated plant power keeps the skin young and healthy 2 . In addition, the nutrients it contains optimally support the skin in its functions.
However, good nutrition is only one side of the skincare coin: high-quality skin care and nutrient-rich foods for beautiful skin complement each other. That's why both should have a permanent place on your daily care menu . We'll now break down for you how easy it works.
Small but mighty! This is how micronutrients influence the appearance of your skin
Providing yourself with essential micro-nutrients is (proven!) the most effective way to improve your skin condition from within 3 . In other words: pale skin, brittle nails and weak hair are the result of a lack of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. So here we are at the level of micronutrients . In today's Western world we get more than enough of macros (carbohydrates, proteins, fat).
At the same time, an optimal supply of nutrients is important for our overall health. If you eat healthily (our tips and top 10 of the best foods for beautiful skin follow below), not only will your beauty benefit, but you will also give your entire body a well-deserved vitality boost .
Vitamin A is involved in cell renewal, is one of the antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative stress and supports an even skin tone 3 .
We know vitamin C as a guarantee of radiance. It is essential for the skin's own production of collagen, relieves skin discoloration and has a regenerating and wound-healing effect 3 .
Vitamin E Very powerful antioxidant and helps protect the skin from UV damage 3 .
Minerals and trace elements
Selenium has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects by protecting cells from UV-induced skin aging 3,4 .
Zinc has an antioxidant effect that counteracts the harmful effects of free radicals. It also influences the immune functions of the skin and plays a role in collagen metabolism 3 .
Copper is important for wound healing, supports hair pigmentation and protects cells from oxidative stress 5 .
Silicon supports a firm, elastic skin structure by stimulating the formation of supporting proteins. The trace element also plays an important role in strong nails and strong hair 3 .
Omega-3 fatty acids
If your skin is well supplied with polyunsaturated fatty acids , slow aging will run like clockwork. Why is that?Omega-3 fatty acids keep your skin young by promoting new cell formation, thereby strengthening the stratum corneum barrier and so your skin loses its moisture less quickly. They also have regenerating and anti-inflammatory properties. The omega-3 all-rounders include alpha-linolenic acid, as well as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Secondary plant substances
Polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, lycopene & Co. are among the most effective beauty aids that the plant world has to offer our skin. Flavonoids are phenolic compounds. Lutein, lycopene and astaxanthin are part of the carotenoids. What they have in common?
They provide you with a whole bouquet of benefits for beautiful skin:
Carotenoids counteract the skin aging process. As antioxidants, they protect collagen and elastins from oxidative stress and thereby slow down their premature breakdown. They also have a positive effect on the immune system.
Polyphenols are a group of bioactive plant substances with a wide spectrum of effects. They provide an antioxidant protective shield against free radicals, have an anti-inflammatory effect and inhibit the breakdown of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in the skin. They also stimulate skin regeneration and have soothing effects 3 .
They are the stuff that proteins like collagen and elastin are made of. If your diet is rich in essential amino acids (those that your body cannot produce itself), you are laying the foundation for supple, youthful skin.
Amino acids can do that: They support the moisture balance and antioxidant protection of your skin. Its effect as a collagen booster and its cell-regenerating properties make it the perfect glow food for radiant skin.
You can now read which foods for beautiful skin contain these beauty nutrients.
Snacking for Beauty: The Top 10 List of Foods for Beautiful Skin
Let's dispel a myth first. To put tasty beauty food on your plate every day, you don't need truckloads of avocados and goji berries. Local superfoods are at the top of our list. Not just because they provide you with a large amount of skin nutrients . But also because they are grown regionally. Win-win for health, skin and the environment, then.
1. Walnuts (tree nuts)
They are in pole position for good reason. Domestic walnuts are the nuts with the highest content of alpha-linolenic acid - a valuable omega-3 fatty acid . Just 5 freshly cracked walnuts will cover your daily requirement 6 ! Because they also contain biotin and vitamin E, they are threefold good for your skin.
2. Dried wheat germ
With 18 milligrams of zinc per 100 grams, wheat germ is the absolute frontrunner among vegan zinc suppliers . Soak them overnight to neutralize the phytic acid they contain. Its nutty aroma goes well in the morning smoothie or as a topping in the muesli bowl. By the way : poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds and walnuts are also good sources of zinc.
3. Seeds and kernels
Brown flaxseeds are nutrient-rich powerhouses that are good for your digestion, detoxify and, with their oil, ensure a good skin protective barrier 7 . One of the reasons for this is the alpha-linolenic acid it contains.
Tip : Always soak flax seeds. And: It's best to buy whole linseed and freshly grind it yourself (you can easily do it in a mortar) to make the fiber, minerals and vitamins optimally available. Hemp seeds are also rich in omega-3 acids and amino acids.
4. Oatmeal/oat bran
They are the basis for a wake-up breakfast with a glow effect . Oat flakes and/or oat bran provide your skin with a nutrient cocktail of essential amino acids, trace elements and minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium. They also contain the beauty vitamin biotin.
Tip: With a topping of nuts, seeds and local fruits, the old-school breakfast becomes a real nutritional surprise.
5. Local superfood berries
Berries, with their high content of phytochemicals, are high on my personal hit list of foods for beautiful skin.
Blackcurrants provide an extra dose of radiance (100 grams of them provide you with a whopping 175 milligrams of vitamin C - three times your daily requirement! 8 ).
Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are a real slow-aging insider tip. They contain a lot of phytochemicals and are among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity 9 .
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, zinc, copper, and polyphenols like ellagic acid, which has wrinkle-reducing properties (10) . It's best to choose organically grown strawberries - they contain around 20 percent more of the valuable beauty substances 11 .
Less well-known, but just as great for your skin health, are sea buckthorn berries and rose hips. They also score points with a high vitamin C content and antioxidant superpower in the form of secondary plant substances. Rose hips are among the best local sources of vitamin C 12 . Rosehip powder contains 1250 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams.
Tip: Use frozen berries in winter and use them for smoothies, in soy yogurt or as a topping for porridge. This means you can enjoy the berry beauty benefits all year round.
6. Local vegetables
The following applies here: the more colorful your plate, the happier your skin. The following local foods for beautiful skin should be added to your menu more often - ideally from organic farming.
Tomatoes are rich in the carotenoids lycopene and lutein, which have an antioxidant, i.e. cell-protecting, effect. Bonus: Their high water content hydrates from within.
Cucumbers contain folic acid, vitamin C and silicon 13 . Here too, I prefer to choose the organic version from organic farming.
All variations of cabbage vegetables are characterized by their high vitamin C content. This vitamin is important for the formation of collagen and protects your skin from premature aging caused by UV radiation thanks to its antioxidant effect.
With 194 micrograms of selenium per 100 grams, porcini mushrooms are among the best plant sources of the trace element and also score points for their high vitamin D content.
Other regional superfoods for healthy skin include peppers and carrots (rich in carotenoids), beetroot (contain folic acid and iron), and chicory (a good source of potassium and zinc 14 ).
7. Insider tip: nettle
Not a weed, but a great source of nutrients from your home garden or forest: the nettle is rich in minerals such as silicon, potassium, magnesium and iron. The herb also provides you with vitamins A, C and E. Make sure to wear gloves when collecting. You can then easily render the stinging hairs on the leaves harmless by chopping or blanching them.
Nettle tastes great as a pesto, in soups and quiches, but also as an ingredient in a morning green smoothie.
Grapes have a lot to contribute to the term 'ageing backwards'. Why a list of the best foods for beautiful skin wouldn't be complete without them? Because they support your skin health with two particularly effective, antioxidant power substances: resveratrol and ellagic acid .
In one study, researchers found that grape consumption was associated with increased UV protection in the skin and less cell damage after sun exposure 15 .
Soybeans contain isoflavones , whose structure is similar to that of the hormone estrogen, hence their name phytoestrogens. Reduced estrogen levels are associated with many changes in mature skin (such as dryness, reduced ability to regenerate and wrinkles). Studies have shown the skin-improving and skin-moisturizing effects of soybeans 1 . Another advantage: Soybeans are a good vegan source of copper and protein.
We stick with legumes (which, by the way, are also grown in Germany and Austria). If you follow a vegan diet, you probably know lentils, chickpeas, etc. as an excellent and tasty source of protein .
Beauty food in everyday life: With these tips it's guaranteed to work!
Vegan is not automatically healthier. Try to keep your consumption of vegan junk food like frozen pizza, potato chips, and highly processed foods low.
Avoid hidden additives and empty calories. Replace fruit yogurt from the supermarket with natural yogurt made with freshly chopped, delicious fruit. Rediscover seasonal vegetables – and try your hand at baking bread.
Get healthy alternatives. A tasty salad dressing made from high-quality vegetable oils can be mixed together in no time. The same applies to “own creation” muesli – with nuts, flakes, seeds and spices according to your taste.
Go through the afternoon hunger hole with gusto. Nuts are very filling and at the same time rich in health-promoting beauty nutrients. Put together your own nut mix and treat yourself to a handful every day when the craving strikes.
Tasty and quick to make: vegetable sticks with protein-rich chickpea dip. Always fits.
Conclusion: You can easily integrate foods for beautiful skin into your everyday life with our tips!
Even though I have presented you with my regional top 10 list of the best foods for beautiful skin in this article - if you want to do yourself good with a healthy diet, it depends on the overall package. My heartfelt advice: 14-day radical cures that are dogmatically based on a small selection of foods do not bring long-term success.
Instead, pay attention to a colorful, varied diet that will make you happy in the long run - and let my tips inspire you. This is how you lay the best foundation for radiant beauty that comes from within .
Are you still looking for high-quality, vegan natural cosmetics for your daily care? Discover the FIVE skincare now with a maximum of 5 ingredients!
Wishing you all the best!
1. Vivien W. Fam, et. al Plant-Based Foods for Skin Health: A Narrative Review,Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume 122, Issue 3, 2022.
2. Schagen, Silke K et al. “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.” Dermato-endocrinology vol. 4.3 (2012): 298-307. doi:10.4161/derm.22876
3. Michalak, Monika et al. “Bioactive Compounds for Skin Health: A Review.” Nutrients vol. 13.1 203. 12 Jan 2021, doi:10.3390/nu13010203
4. Cao, Changwei et al. “Diet and Skin Aging-From the Perspective of Food Nutrition.” Nutrients vol. 12.3 870. 24 Mar 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12030870
5. Borkow, Gadi. “Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin.” Current chemical biology vol. 8.2 (2014): 89-102. doi:10.2174/2212796809666150227223857
6. Stiftung Warentest, 2019. Nuts: The walnut is the Omega-3 star, see https://www.test.de/Nuesse-Die-Walnuss-ist-der-Omega-3-Star-5540540-0/
7. Parikh, Mihir et al. “Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health.” Nutrients vol. 11.5 1171. May 25, 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11051171
8. Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture, 2019. Blackcurrant: Three times as much vitamin C as a lemon, see https://www.lwk-niedersachsen.de/lwk/news/40605_Schwarze_Johannisbeere_Dreimal_so_viel_Vitamin_C_wie_eine_Zitrone
9. Wolfe, Kelly L et al. “Cellular antioxidant activity of common fruits.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry vol. 56.18 (2008): 8418-26. doi:10.1021/jf801381y
10. Bae, Ji-Young et al. “Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation.” Experimental dermatology vol. 19.8 (2010): e182-90. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0625.2009.01044.x
11. Federal Center for Nutrition, 2023. Strawberries: Eating healthily. The strawberry - a healthy fruit, see https://www.bzfe.de/lebensmittel/vom-acker-bis-zum-teller/erdbeeren/erdbeeren-gesund-essen/
12. Eat Smarter, 2021. Rose hips, see https://eatsmarter.de/lexikon/warenkunde/obst/hagebutten
13. Tripathi, Deepika et al. “Silicon bioavailability in exocarp of Cucumis sativus Linn.” 3 Biotech vol. 7.6 (2017): 386. doi:10.1007/s13205-017-0960-x
14. Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture. Why is bitter chicory so healthy? see https://www.lwk-niedersachsen.de/lwk/news/40149_Why_ist_der_bittere_Chicor%C3%A9e_so_gesund
15. Oak, Allen SW et al. “Dietary table grape protects against ultraviolet photodamage in humans: 1. clinical evaluation.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology vol. 85.4 (2021): 1030-1032. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2021.01.035