These Are the Key Foods That Will Save Your Skin

foods for beauty
Photo: Stocksy/Jill Chen
Long before plant-based eating was the major lifestyle trend it is today, David Wolfe was touting the benefits of a vegan diet, using food to heal and detox. Recently, the natural-foods expert released The Beauty Diet, a guide to looking your best by consuming the most nutritionally amped-up superfoods and vitamin supplements, removing toxins, avoiding inflammatory foods, balancing your hormones, and de-stressing. (Spoiler alert: you'll be downward-dogging)

The globe-trotting expert says he was inspired to write his new book after "twenty-plus years of being in the beauty field helping actors, actresses, and models to look more beautiful naturally and seeing that my suggestions worked," says Wolfe.

But what exactly does a beauty diet entail? The one-week beauty "jump start" includes lots of avocado, cocoa, chia, and quinoa. (So, actually pretty yummy.) Wolfe strongly advocates for so-called superherbs (schizandra, tulsi, and white peony root), hot and cold therapy, and outdoor adventuring "to cultivate natural beauty."

To stay glow-y, Wolfe says we should consume plenty of olive, coconut, and sea buckthorn oil, plus aloe vera, pearl powder, avocado, and turmeric. (Yes, he really loves avocado.) "These contain superior oils and antioxidants that protect our skin from premature aging," he says.

While antioxidant-rich foods usually get all the attention when it comes to skin-boosting benefits, Wolfe says we shouldn't forget the importance of consuming certain minerals to maintain optimum health. "Magnesium is an important mineral because it controls processes of detoxification and promotes healthy alkaline tissues," says Wolfe.

Another important beauty mineral: silica. "It's an underrated anti-fungal mineral that promotes shiny skin, hair and nails, and healthy blood vessels," Wolfe explains, adding that cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes are all good silica sources.

The third mineral he calls out is sulfur, which he says promotes flexible tissue, reduces scar tissue, and has anti-aging qualities. Beauty foodie pro tip: eggs, spirulina, and hemp seeds are all high in the nutrient.

To prove that his beauty diet is actually delish, Wolfe's book is full of recipes—including the marinated mushroom salad below. Keep reading to check it out.

Marinated Mushroom Beauty Salad

To get enough vitamin D—which Wolfe says is "essential for absorbing beauty nutrients" and supports a healthy immune system—try to get 20 minutes of direct sun exposure a day and consume vitamin D-rich foods including sardines, salmon, and vegetarian sources like the portobello mushrooms in this salad.

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  • Prep Time
    15 minutes
  • Cook Time
  • Servings


For the marinade

For the salad

  • 3 large portobello mushrooms sliced
  • mixed greens
  • cherry tomatoes to taste
  • avocado cut in chunks, to taste
  • pine nuts to taste


Excerpted from The Beauty Diet by David Wolfe. Reprinted with permission by
HarperOne/HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2018.

For more good-skin foods, check out the nine summer beauty foods an Ayurvedic practitioner recommends to all her clients or these beauty-boosting breakfast recipes from chef Candice Kumai. 

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