It's simple: Better gut health equals clearer skin, and nourishing foods help you shine from the inside out. You have to imagine your body as a car: You want to use the best quality fuel so it can work at its best.
Before I start on what you should eat, let's go over what not to eat. Try to stay away from sugar and dairy as much as possible. If you have to eat it, go for the best quality. Keep clear of processed foods like potato chips, cookies, microwavable meals, soda, and breakfast cereals. Bread and pizza are also major culprits for bad skin. Instead, choose low-glycemic-index foods like green, leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and fruit.
Ultimately, clear skin starts from within. Keep reading to see my favorite foods to have you not only looking but feeling your best.
Beetroot is a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins, as well as a rich source of iron. Drinking a glass of beet juice helps rid the body of toxins, and the end result is healthy, glowing skin. It also maintains the elasticity of your skin, meaning you'll look younger for longer and keep wrinkles at bay. Not only are beets amazing for your skin, but they also promote hair growth. Beets also promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract, which also leads to clearer skin.
Seeds and Nuts
Chia seeds have essential omega-3 fatty acids. These protect your skin and keep moisture locked in. Sunflower seeds help with damage caused by pollution, so if you live in the city, consume them daily. Sunflower seeds, along with almonds, provide an excellent source of vitamin E that protect the skin from sun damage. Walnuts are another favorite, as they are packed with B vitamins, which keep stress levels down and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Root vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin have beta-carotene that naturally reduces oil in the skin and are anti-inflammatory. The beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body and gives a nice golden tone to the skin. Eating just one carrot a day, or another beta-carotene–rich food, can improve skin color and reduce signs of aging.
Full of healthy fats and phytonutrients, avocados are one of my favorite foods for healthy skin—not to mention I love the taste. In fact, avocados have 20 different types of vitamins and minerals. You can add some to boost your morning smoothie, to your salad, or—everyone's favorite—make avocado toast! Just be sure you don't use processed bread. My favorite is spelt bread with lots of seeds.
Probiotics have been known to reduce acne breakouts. My favorite food probiotics are sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha tea. Sauerkraut is usually made out of cabbage and is full of healthy live cultures that clean the gut, plus it's rich in vitamins A, B, C, and K—perfect for dewy skin. Beware with yogurt, as many popular supermarket brands are packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners, or, worse, high fructose corn syrup. The best type is live cultured yogurt—handmade, if possible. Kefir is a fermented combination of goat's milk. Kefir grains are high in antioxidants that build healthy skin. Kombucha is a fermented tea containing healthy gut bacteria that promotes detoxification.
Last but not least, stay hydrated. Drinking water is one of the most important things you can do for your body, which leads to beautiful, healthy skin. I also recommend keeping a food diary to write down what you eat and tracking how your skin looks and feels from day to day.
Keep Track of Your Skin:
Keep reading for Rountree's five tips on how to make healthy eating a habit.