10 Foods That Work Harder Than Makeup To Make Your Skin Glow

Beautiful skin is a not just a sign of good genetics – it also shows she eats healthy, clean food. Check out our picks for food great for skin.


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foods for great skin, a woman eating soup
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Food great for skin is, simply put, clean foods

Remember when you were a teenager and junk food immediately shows up on your face as pimples and zits. Just because you’re older now, doesn’t mean that your skin doesn’t get affected by your diet. We just see it in a different way. “When we are healthy […] from the inside out, we glow with radiance that does not come from makeup,” says Tosca Reno, a spokesperson for canfitpro, a Canadian association for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals.

Reno, also author of The Eat-Clean Diet book series, says a diet with nutritious clean foods support skin’s function, because they give your body vitamins, minerals and nutrients, like fibre and protein. “Clean foods are defined as whole, nutrient-dense, well-sourced and properly prepared.”

Here are her top 10 clean foods that make your skin glow from the inside out.

How do you know if your diet is clean? Here are four simple rules.

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foods for great skin, bone broth in mugs
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Bone broth & bone marrow

Whatever you do, do not toss these foods away. They are good for your skin

The clean-eating expert says: The reason Reno recommends bone broth and bone marrow as food great for skin is because of the minerals they offer. “Adding one bone broth based meal to your daily diet makes a world of difference to health, inner glow and outer radiance.”

Check out this other healthy benefit of bone broth.

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foods for great skin, fish and veggies on a plate
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Fish is an excellent source of protein, which your skin will appreciate.

The clean-eating expert says: The 22 amino acids in animal protein, like fish, are “the building blocks” of your body, says Reno. They can have positive effects on hormones, cells, organs, muscle and skin. “Fish is an ideal source of protein, offering easily digestible protein along with heart healthy fats.”

Not sure which fish is best for you? You will want to read our ranked list.

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foods for great skin, edible flowers
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Surprised to see this on our list of food great for skin? Flowers have become a trendy food in fine dining, but there’s no reason not to add them to your lunch!

The clean-eating expert says: “Flowers are fun to eat, providing a showiness to salads and other dishes,” says Reno. She adds that the colour signals their nutrients, and their ability to “deliver essential fatty acids, minerals and enzymes.” Plus, it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re eating something so pretty.

Not quite a salad, this indulgent recipe is a sweet way to eat flowers.

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foods for great skin, soaked grains
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Soaked grains

You know you need fibre, but get the most effective source of this waist- and skin-friendly nutrient.

The clean-eating expert says: It’s important to soak grains, says Reno. This will neutralize phytic acid, which Reno says may affect how your body absorbs minerals. Plus, “grains soaked and soured in a water and whey or kefir mixture, offer more minerals, B vitamins, enzymes and fibre,” says Reno.

Clean-eating tip: “Do not place [soaked grains] in the fridge. When you prepare it, let it then sit on the counter overnight or for another 24 hours to maximize the fermentation process. More glow for you.”

Not sure how to cook with grains: This will help.

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foods for great skin, a variety of greens
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Greens, greens, greens and more greens

And make sure you eat a variety of leafy greens, too!

The clean-eating expert says: “Kale has upstaged many of its leafy green cousins, as of late,” says Reno. “Yet there are plenty of greens that have higher nutrient and particularly ORAC values.” ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, which measures how quickly the body absorbs antioxidants. But not a greens are green. Red leaf lettuce, for instance, has more antioxidants, she adds. “The lesson is to eat a wide and plentiful array of greens to capture all the phytonutrients, micronutrients and macronutrients available to us via greens.  It stands to reason that when we eat this array of greens, the body becomes more highly nourished and thus the skin gleams with health and brilliance, too.”

Cleaning-eating tip: “Eat greens as many times per day as you can, including at breakfast,” says Reno.

Salads are not just for the hot summer months. We rounded up the best winter salad recipes.

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foods for great skin, fermented foods including pickles yogurt and kimchi
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Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are pretty buzzy right now. And for good reason.

The clean-eating expert says: “Through the process of fermentation, foods often become more nutritious while also providing more pre- and probiotics, increasing gut microbiome health,” says Reno. Fermented foods include kimchi, chile, relish, chutney, kefir and yogurt and more. “If you don’t like [any of] that, enjoy a good craft IPA or a biodynamic red wine,” says Reno.

If your concern is wrinkles and aging, then these five foods will help.

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foods for great skin soup
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Soup isn’t just good for the soul, it’s also good for your skin.

The clean-eating expert says: Soup seems to be the perfect food, suggests Reno, adding it to our list of food great for skin. “There is no food more likely to satisfy, satiate and nourish [you] as soup,” she says. “If your goal is to lose weight, for example, one of the best ways to do this is to eat soup.” She recommends bone-broth minestrone soup because it contains lots of skin-friendly nutrients. “Essentially, eat more soup, glow more, weigh less.”

Get inspired by our favourite comfort-food soup recipes.

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foods for great skin brussels sprouts
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Stinky Vegetables

Don’t get caught up in the smell of these foods. That is part of their power.

The clean-eating expert says: Cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are loaded with phytochemicals which are good for your glow. “You may be surprised to know that these vegetables are the classic long standing health food,” says Reno. “They offer cheap, nutrient-dense, belly-filling nourishment.”

Not a fan of Brussels sprouts? Try them roasted instead of boiling them. The taste is more subtle.

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foods for great skin water
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It’s no surprise that water is on our list of food great for skin.

The clean-eating expert says: We need “a minimum of three litres of water daily,” says Reno. That’s because it helps with going to the bathroom and delivering nutrients to our cells. So those skin-friendly foods work harder and better in your body.

Drinking this many glasses of water a day will burn 490 calories!

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