7 Foods for Flawless Skin

Entrepreneur in Residence Maria Marlowe weighs in with an unconventional addition to your beauty routine—food.

From Maria: Who doesn’t want a glowing, radiant complexion? While most people think that gorgeous skin is the result of a special beauty routine, the truth is that our dietary habits can have an even greater impact on our skin than our products. Skin, after all, is our largest organ, and while it does need some TLC on the outside, it also needs the right nourishment from the inside. Certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals—that come from our food—are necessary for clear, blemish-free and even wrinkle-resistant skin. When you add the foods that contain them into your diet regularly, you’ll likely be rewarded with a flawless complexion.

Here are my top 7 picks:


1. Avocados

Avocado is a great source of biotin, which keeps skin supple, and healthy fats that are highly anti-inflammatory to prevent blemishes and keep wrinkles at bay.
Enjoy avocado as guacamole, sliced over a salad, or mashed onto toast.
Pumpkin Seeds

2. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds get their power from the beauty mineral, zinc, and essential fatty acids including omegas 3, 6 and 9. Like hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds help reduce inflammation in the body. Try them sprinkled on salads or oatmeal, or simply eat them by the handful.

3. Flaxseeds

Flax is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3, which can help bring down a blemish quickly, reduce redness, and speed the rate at which wounds heal.
Sprinkle milled or crushed flaxseed on salads or oatmeal for a nutty flavor.

4. Radishes

Radishes contain a number of minerals and compounds that benefit the skin, including sulfur, silicon, and Vitamin C. These nutrients work together to create glowing skin by boosting collagen, strengthening the skin and stimulating the circulatory system.
Slice radishes into salads or pair them with a healthy dip like guacamole or olive tapenade as a snack.

Arugula5. Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens are nature’s multivitamin, and so it’s no surprise that they contain the very nutrients your skin needs. They are off-the-charts in Vitamin A, which is needed for blemish-free skin, and Vitamin C, which is needed for wrinkle-free skin. Greens are also a good source of sulfur, which plays a key role in a gorgeous, clear complexion.

When it comes to greens, the darker, the better. My favorite picks are kale and arugula, but any green will do. Some other examples include: Swiss chard, collard greens, watercress and spinach. Try greens raw in salads or sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil.

Hemp Seeds

6. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds may be tiny, but they contain a massive amount of protein, including the sulfur-bearing amino acids: methionine, cysteine and cystine, which are used to build strong hair, nails, muscle and skin. They are also high in omega 3, an anti-inflammatory essential nutrient that can help bring down the redness and swelling of blemishes and even prevent the formation of lines. Enjoy them sprinkled on salads or oatmeal, or blended in smoothies.

7. Melon

Any type of melon, like cantaloupe, honeydew, cucumber or watermelon is water-rich and very hydrating, which helps keep your skin supple from the inside. Plus, melon is typically high in Vitamin C, needed for firm, wrinkle-resistant skin. The summertime is the perfect time to dig into some juicy, refreshing melon. Try it on its own or blended into smoothies.

For more healthy tips from Maria, check out her posts on grocery shopping for packaged goods and how to pick produce. Scoop up a copy of Maria’s new book, The Ultimate Grocery Store Guide, and visit her online at mariamarlowe.com.