We love spoiling ourselves with masks and lotions that promise to deliver new levels of skin amazingness, but there's only so much they can do if we don't take care of our bodies from the inside out. That means making sure our meals include as many naturally skin-boosting ingredients as possible. Here are the top 12 foods to incorporate into your daily diet for radiant, glowing — and most importantly — healthy skin.
Consuming yogurt does more than just provide calcium for strong bones. Also rich in riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and protein, a daily serving of the plain, unflavored variety will help to detoxify your skin. "You need to be consuming greek yogurt to see the benefits," says Great Neck, N.Y.-based dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D. "Milk dairy yogurt can enhance breakouts, but greek yogurt contains probiotics that assists our colon in eliminating waste, putting less stress on our skin to do the same." If you are an acne sufferer, consider adding anti-bacterial Manuka Honey to your yogurt, since it's high in hydrogen peroxide, a key ingredient in acne-fighting formulations, and beneficial for wound healing. "The mix can be a really good treatment because the honey is stable and doesn't get eaten away by the acids in your stomach."
Rich in vitamins A, D and E, avocados are one of those wonder foods that do everything. "The avocado is rich in good fats, phytonutrients and full of Vitamin E for hydration. It gets to the skin cells in the basal (deepest) layer of the skin," says Dr. Graf. Avocado oil has also been proven to increase collagen levels in rat studies. We're not rats, and no word on whether it has the same effect on humans, but it's worth noting. "Avocado oil is close in composition to the natural oils in our skin and the essential fatty acids contained are great for sunburn or to soothe skin," explains Graf. Guacamole anyone?
This particular leafy green isn't a regular go-to for most of us, but watercress is mineral- and antioxidant-rich (packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and K) and can beautify the complexion. "It's an aquatic plant and full of antioxidants, iron, calcium and minerals like iodine that are great for the skin." Studies have associated a daily consumption of watercress with an increase in antioxidant levels that assist with overall body and skin health.