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I am sure you have heard it many times. “You are what you eat”. I heard that phrase for the first time during my visit to an aesthetician I admired years ago. Years later, I have read many books and online resources that have confirmed it to be the case. So, what would you want to eat to have flawless skin? Here is my brief list of vegan products and foods for glowing skin.
First of all, let’s start with the simplest sources of food that are easily available almost year round 😉
Fruit and Vegetables for Healthy Skin
- green leafy vegetables: kale, spinach, alfa-alfa – increase collagen production;
- red vegetables: tomatoes, bell peppers, beets – contain lycopene, an oxidant which helps to prevent free radical damage and cell ageing. They also improve collagen formation;
- orange vegetables: carrots, yams, sweet potatoes – contain vitamin A which encourages healthy skin production. It is also good for your eyes 😉
- citrus, bell peppers, and tropical fruit – contain vitamin C and antioxidants which protect cells from free radicals.
- berries: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries – also improve collagen production;
- cucumbers, watermelon, radishes – contain 90 % water – hydrate your body and skin.
Eating seasonal vegetables and fruit can get the most vitamins and minerals for you and help your wallet 😉
Plant-based Protein for Beautiful Skin
Hemp seeds, almond seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds – all are a perfect source of protein for beautiful skin. They also contain omega 3 and vitamin E which moisturize and soften skin.
Add them to your morning oatmeal or smoothie to make it even better 😉
Plant-based Fat for Glowing Skin
Avocado and all the seeds mentioned above – help repair, hydrate, and sooth the skin.
Pumpkin seeds – these seeds are a wonderful treat for your skin and your body. Besides healthy fats, they contain Zinc, which is extremely important for skin, hair, and nails. I add them daily to my oatmeal breakfast or spread over a salad for dinner.
Fermented foods for healthy skin
Kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha – all are a great source of probiotics that improve digestion. Good digestion is very important not only for your body in general. Fermented foods promote clear skin as well.
Fighting acne? Add sauerkraut to your menu 😉 (grab a recipe here)
Other products that can come under this category are apple cider vinegar and fermented yogurt. Unfortunately, vegan fermented yogurt can be expensive. I have tried to make some at home but am still to perfect the recipe.
Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, is so versatile. Add it to your morning glass of water and you technically have your daily boost of vitamins and minerals in a glass.
Vitamin B Group foods for gorgeous skin
This group consists of 8 vitamins which have their own name:
- Vitamin B1 – Thiamin – can be found in sesame seeds and spinach; Looking for a recipe with both of these?
- Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin – can be found in almonds, avocado, beets and mushrooms;
- Vitamin B3 – Niacin – oatmeal and mushrooms are a good source of this important vitamin; I love my morning oatmeal!
- Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid – avocadoes, tomatoes and mushrooms are a great source;
- Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine – like bananas? they don’t only contain potassium! Garbanzo beans and sunflower seeds are also a great source of B6;
- Vitamin B7 – Biotin – almonds, asparagus, garbanzo beans, lentils, oats, and walnuts – a diverse list of great foods for your healthy skin;
- Vitamin B9 – Folate or Folic Acid – this vitamin needs to be taken in moderation. But the good source of the vitamin B9 are chickpeas, lentils and spinach;
- Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin – this is the only vitamin in this group that I take in a supplement form. The nutritional yeast is believed to have a small amount of it, but the source of B12 is mainly the animal-derived foods that I don’t consume. If you are in Canada, I would recommend this product. It can also be found on Amazon.
The main benefits of this group vitamins are the growth and repair of the skin cells, skin inflammation reduction, treatment of acne and rosacea, and anti-ageing.
Other important vitamins and minerals for healthy skin
Vitamin K – broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale and spinach.
Potassium – avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard and beet greens.
Zinc – kidney beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds. Zinc is also a very important mineral for hair and nails’ health.
Do you need to take supplements?
The answer is – it depends.
As I’ve mentioned above, I take B12, as it is the only vitamin, I believe, vegans can’t obtain from plants, or can’t obtain the recommended quantities.
Depending on your lifestyle and eating habits, sometimes it is easier to just get that “magic” pill. (I am Not talking the “magic slimming pill” now!)
But it doesn’t mean you need to spend hundreds of dollars on supplements.
Review your meals.
What are some of your favourite dishes? Do you eat a lot of bananas but not enough of avocados?
Are you allergic to nuts and need to make up for the macro- and micronutrients they contain?
What are other whole food products for healthy skin you can substitute for the ones you can’t have?
We are all different.
But we can live better.
Do you have any comments or questions that I haven’t answered?
Please comment below. I am always happy to have a good discussion 😉
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