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Real Food For Good Skin


Real Food For Good Skin

While there are several factors that can impact your skin (like habits and hormones), eating real food can help contribute to good, clear skin. Today I’m sharing six nutrients that are superstars when it comes to maintaining a glowing complexion.

Kath at bathroom sink applying facial cleanser.

Do you find your skin to be lackluster and dull when you aren’t eating your best? Do you correlate breakouts with eating certain foods? If so, you’re not crazy.

Skin issues (think acne and eczema) can be a result of what’s going on inside in your body and directly related to what you are eating. (Read more about sugar + skin here or vitamin A and E + acne here.)

Allergies and other medical issues aside, eating a diverse diet full of nutrient-dense foods will give you the proper nutrients to support your largest organ.

Overhead shot of measured smoothie ingredients: milk, oats, peanut butter, chia seeds, banana, and spinach.

Real Food For Good Skin

Real food is powerful medicine. I mean, it’s what I’ve been preaching here on KERF for over a decade!

What is real food: whole, single-ingredient foods that are free of chemical additives and rich in nutrients. 

While topical products can most certainly support beautiful skin (I’m looking at you, Beautycounter – my favorite safer skincare products), if you are struggling with your skin, you may want to double check you are supporting your skin from the inside out.

Kath blending a purple smoothie in a Vitamix.

6 Nutrients For Glowing Skin

Vitamin C

What is it? Vitamin C is an antioxidant that acts as a defense system to fight against harmful free radicals. It also helps you synthesize collagen, a key building block to give your skin structure. Vitamin C also works together with vitamin E, greatly extending the antioxidant activity of both.

Where to find it: cauliflower, citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, papaya

Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Vitamin A

What is it? In addition to supporting good vision and the immune system, vitamin A is another powerful antioxidant that supports cell growth – it is needed for epithelial tissue maintenance and repair. Low vitamin A (along with vitamin E and zinc) has been linked to acne.

Where to find it: dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, whole eggs, raw cow’s milk and yogurt

Recipe: Perfect Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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What are they? Essential fatty acids that support almost every system in our bodies! DHA is a structural component of your cell membranes, the gatekeeper of our cells (skin cells included!) Omega-3s may help reduce your risk for acne.

Where to find it: fatty fish, grass-fed beef, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds

Recipe: 7 Easy Chia Pudding Recipes

Foodblog (10 of 11)


What is it? Zinc is an essential mineral with many roles in the body, including the immune system and reproductive health. Recent research suggests zinc has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that it may decrease sebum (oil) production and help with acne. Along with vitamin C, zinc also supports collagen synthesis.

Where to find it: shellfish, grass-fed beef and lamb, sesame and pumpkin seeds, garbanzo beans, quinoa 

Recipe: Lemon Cream Hummus


What is it? Yet another antioxidant, selenium also helps to clean up those annoying free radicals, preventing them from treating your skin like a college party gone wild.

Where to find it: oysters, brazil nuts, wild tuna, shrimp, sardines, salmon, grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, grains and seeds

Recipe: The Very Best Sardine Salad


What are they? Probiotics are harmless “good” bacteria that live in our digestive tract. They have been linked to improvements in many skin conditions including eczema, dermatitis, acne and UV skin damage.

Where to find them: raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt

Recipe: Savory Yogurt 3 Ways

Overhead shot of a tropical smoothie bowl in a turquoise bowl

Have you ever linked a dietary change to better skin?

More posts on nutrition + skin:

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