Seasonal changes often mean dry, flaky, and dehydrated skin. Finding great skin care products to protect your moisture barrier is vital, but properly hydrating your skin from the inside is as important.
Hydration isn't only about drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of water. It's also about consuming electrolyte-charged foods to keep your mineral balance in check. Tomatoes, berries, lemons, and avocados are foods that hydrate you on a cellular level–ensuring you get essential nutrients for beautiful skin inside and out.
Before you go spending a fortune on the next best serum or moisturizer that promises plump, youthful skin, here are some hydrating foods you can incorporate to achieve naturally glowing skin.
But First, Why Hydrate Your Skin With Water-Rich Food?
About ⅔ of your body's water resides in the cells. Most water-rich foods contain electrolytes–potassium, sodium, magnesium–which help transport water to vital organs, eliminate toxins, and regulate your mineral count. If your mineral balance is off, the water you drink gets eliminated almost immediately. The cells remain dehydrated and intoxicated, which leads to a dull complexion and wrinkles, and potentially, poor health. By consuming electrolyte-rich foods, you can ensure you achieve optimum health.
6 Hydrating Foods For Glowing Skin
Here are 6 fruits and vegetables you can include in your diet for radiant skin.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene–pigment responsible for the fruit's red color–and potassium. Lycopene can reduce skin cancer risk and protect the skin from ultraviolet damage.
Potassium regulates fluid balance, maintains proper nerve and muscle function, and supports healthy heart function.
Where skin care is concerned, potassium can help maintain healthy skin by regulating the water balance in skin cells. It helps attract water and hydrate skin cells, which can help plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Here are some ways you can add more tomatoes to your diet:
- Tomato and mozzarella skewers: Cut cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into bite-sized pieces and skewer them on toothpicks. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh basil and a pinch of salt.
- Tomato and vegetable kebabs: Thread cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and onions onto skewers and grill or roast in the oven.
- Tomato, feta, and chicken salad: Combine cooked, diced chicken, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, sliced red onion, chopped parsley, and sliced cucumber. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
There's a reason why people put cucumber slices on their eyes. Not only is it a refreshing snack, but it's also high in caffeic acid, a compound that helps soothe irritated skin and decrease swelling. Caffeic acid also has collagen-producing abilities to help reduce wrinkles and give you that youthful appearance.
To reap the benefits of cucumber, it's best to eat cucumber unpeeled because the fiber, vitamins, and minerals are found on the skin.
Here are some creative and fun ways to eat cucumber:
- Cucumber boats: Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and fill the hollowed-out center with your favorite dip.
- Smoothie: Blend cucumbers with other fruits and vegetables, like pineapple and spinach, for a refreshing and hydrating smoothie.
- Pickles: Slice cucumbers and pickle them in a brine made with vinegar, sugar, and spices for a tangy and crunchy snack.
Avocados are rich in Vitamin E and lutein. This duo is essential for tissue repair and protects against free radicals, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The fruit also comprises monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help moisturize the skin and act as a skin barrier to help retain moisture.
Here are a few ideas to incorporate more avocados into your diet.
- Avocado toast: Mash avocado on top of a piece of toast and add some salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste. You can also add toppings like sliced tomatoes, feta cheese, or a poached egg.
- Super-food smoothie: Blend avocado with other fruits and vegetables to make a nutritious and delicious smoothie. Try blending avocado with spinach, pineapple, and coconut water for a super-food-packed treat.
- Avocado salad dressing: Blend avocado with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and herbs to make a creamy and flavorful salad dressing.
Dynamite truly does come in small packages. These small, sweet and nutritious berries not only contain a healthy dose of fiber but are also packed with nutrients. Blueberries contain anthocyanins–antioxidants–that boost collagen production and safeguard your skin from UVB rays.
They also contain potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all essential nutrients that protect against environmental conditions.
Here are some tips for consuming more of this superfood.
- Smoothie Bowl: Blend frozen blueberries with some yogurt and milk to make a smoothie bowl. Top it with your favorite fruits and nuts.
- Pancakes: Add fresh blueberries to your pancake batter for a delicious breakfast treat.
- Blueberry Salsa: Combine blueberries, chopped jalapeno, red onion, and cilantro to make a delicious sweet, and savory salsa.
5. Lemons and Limes
Lemons have a bounty of minerals and vitamins. They contain calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, but the most vital compounds they comprise are bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are part of the Vitamin C complex and have anticancer, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. They help fight oxidative stress to reduce inflammation and signs of aging.
Vitamin C synthesizes collagen to prevent skin from sagging. These beneficial compounds aren't only found in the pulp, they're present in the fruit as a whole. If you choose to consume the whole fruit, ensure you get your hands on organically grown harvest.
Here are creative ways to incorporate more lemons and limes into your diet!
- Squeeze over your meals: Add a squeeze of lemon or lime over your salads, grilled vegetables, meats, or fish to add a citrusy flavor.
- Make lemonade or limeade: Squeeze fresh lemons or limes, and mix with water and a little sugar or honey for a refreshing and healthy beverage.
- Make lemon or lime popsicles: Mix fresh lemon or lime juice with water and honey or sugar, and pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for a few hours, and enjoy.
Turns out the celery juice trend wasn't just a fad. Celery is vitamin and electrolyte-rich. It contains vitamins C and K, folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and beta-carotene. The compounds combined improve skin elasticity, combat dryness, and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
While it might be convenient to drink celery juice, it's best to chew on a couple of (organic) celery stalks. Juicing strips away some of the beneficial compounds, like fiber. If the thought of eating plain celery stalks doesn't excite you, here are tips to add some flare to your snack.
- Make celery chips: Thinly slice celery stalks and bake them in the oven until they are crispy, then sprinkle them with your favorite seasoning.
- Add to soups and stews: Celery adds a nice subtle crunch and flavor to soups and stews, and it's a great way to bulk up the dish without adding too many calories.
- Prepare celery boats: Fill celery stalks with peanut butter, cream cheese, or any other spread you enjoy, and top with raisins or nuts.
- Whip up a salad: Chop celery stalks into small pieces and mix with diced apple, walnuts, and a simple dressing for a nutritious salad.
Water-rich foods are the next best thing after premium serums. They contain electrolytes–sodium, magnesium, potassium–that help balance the minerals in your system. Eating electrolyte-rich food is a fantastic way to detox your skin. They contain a decent amount of water to flush out toxins and are packed with antioxidants to protect your skin from harsh weather conditions. Also, these foods are delicious and refreshing, making them a fun way to eat your way to overall health and well-being.
There are various ways to incorporate these foods into your diet. You can whip up a refreshing salad by marrying a few of your favorite fruits and vegetables or blend avocado, celery, and cucumber for a creamy smoothie. The only limitation is your imagination. After frequent use, you should experience a grown-up glow and a spike in your energy levels.
What are your go-to hydrating foods for radiant skin? Share them in the comments below.
- Lecturio: Body Fluid Compartments
- National Library of Medicine: A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery (Apium graveolens L)
- Science Direct: Structure and function of blueberry anthocyanins: A review of recent advances
- National Library of Medicine: Avocado Seeds Relieve Oxidative Stress-Dependent Nephrotoxicity but Enhance Immunosuppression Induced by Cyclosporine in Rats
- Frontiers in Nutrition: The Forgotten Fruit: A Case for Consuming Avocado Within the Traditional Mediterranean Diet
- National Library of Medicine: An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene
- National Library of Medicine: Caffeic Acid in Dermatological Formulations: In Vitro Release Profile and Skin Absorption