Daily Resolutions Tip of the Day: Take something you might already have, like lemons or avocados, and add it to something you’re eating or drinking today for an extra beauty-boost to your skin.
What you put on your skin obviously has a huge impact on your pores and complexion. But beauty is a two-way street, meaning what you’re putting into your body is reflected on the outside, too.
“I definitely think that when I’m eating really green and clean, I look and feel better,” says celebrity chef and cookbook author Candice Kumai.
So what nutrient-packed foods can really deliver a beauty boost when you eat them?
Keep reading for seven superfoods that Kumai loves to incorporate into her diet and for tips for how to add them to yours. Your moisturizer is totally going to understand.
You may have seen this ingredient in your green juice or smoothie before and wondered what the heck it is. “Spirulina tablets and powder are blue-green algae derived from the big blue sea and some freshwater lakes,” Kumai says. And it’s anecdotally known to help clear up skin and give it a healthy glow. She loves it as a beauty food for its protein, vitamins A, K, and B-12, iron, magnesium, and as a probiotic, which is essential for great skin. Sprinkle the powdered form of spirulina into your smoothie, or even into pancakes, a stir-fry, scrambled eggs, or pesto for a beauty boost.
Take your water to the next level by keeping some lemons on hand. “Lemons are rich in powerful antioxidants that may stimulate liver enzymes to help flush toxins from your beautiful body,” Kumai explains. When toxins are flushed out, she reasons, they’ll be less likely to show up on your skin. Enzymes in lemons have also been shown to boost collagen, the building blocks of healthy skin. Kumai squeezes the slices and then plops them into her water to drink throughout the day. Easy.
Kumai eats at least one every day and puts them in everything from smoothies to salads to face masks. “Avocados contain a boatload of benefits, like anti-inflammatories, vitamins E, C, K and B6, and fiber, in addition to being a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat,” Kumai says. Its antioxidants help fight free radical damage, while the fatty acids really help nourish, hydrate, and plump the skin by protecting the health of the cell membrane.
Sprinkling this “natural multivitamin loved by natural health advocates” into your smoothies or on top of your granola or yogurt is a great for your skin, says Kumai. “Bee pollen naturally contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and more,” she says, likening it to a beauty-boosting super cocktail. Be sure to keep it in your fridge so it stays fresh. (And skip it if you’re allergic to bees.)
“Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and is fabulous for healthy skin, particularly to help alleviate psoriasis and acne,” Kumai says. (Possibly because fatty acids have been shown to reduce the body’s production of inflammatory compounds.) While you can get it by eating fish, of course, if you’re taking it as a supplement Kumai highly recommends doing it with food to increase absorption.
Kumai suggests eating flaxseeds after they’re ground, “when your body can easily digest the antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and alpha linoleic acid versus whole flax seeds,” she explains. Kumai adds it into her oatmeal, or even into her tomato sauce when making pasta.
Miso paste is an amazing fermented food, which is “incredible for your digestion and complexion,” says Kumai, since good gut health is the foundation of great skin. Bonus kitchen tip it’s really easy to eat: You make make a miso soup simply by mixing a tablespoon into hot water. Toss in a few veggies, and voila!