Eating your way to a flawless complexion is surprisingly easy.
There are a few milestone accomplishments in life that many of us strive for, such as buying our dream home, securing a well-paying job with benefits, and accomplishing ageless, radiant skin. While you are working on those first two goals (or if you’ve already accomplished them—hey, congrats), you can easily eat your way to a clear, glowing complexion by incorporating nutrient-rich ingredients into your daily diet. Beauty comes from the inside out, right? This is especially true when it comes to foods that are packed with vitamin E. Consider this fat-soluble vitamin your new fountain-of-youth remedy.
I first learned this essential truth at the obvious mecca of beauty wisdom: the hair salon. My hairdresser suggested to me years ago that I start eating more vitamin E rich foods to help heal my dry scalp. I took her advice and upped my consumption of fruits and veggies laced with this magical micronutrient. I started to see and feel results within a week; my scalp was hydrated and irritation-free, and I also began to notice a new, luminous look to my skin. I'd unintentionally hit the natural skin-care jackpot.
Vitamin E is essential to the body’s overall functioning and its antioxidant properties protect the body from free radicals. In turn, the vitamin safeguards and slows down the rate of your cells from becoming damaged, particularly when it comes to maintaining vibrant skin. Beauty routine aside, vitamin E offers a myriad of health benefits that include reducing the risk of certain cancers, treating diabetes, balancing cholesterol, reducing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, and treating nervous system-related diseases.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there are eight different chemical forms of vitamin E, but the body only uses the alpha-tocopherol compound, which is commonly found in your food. By eating certain ingredients, you can easily reach the recommended daily intake of vitamin E of 20 mg for adults and children over the age of four.
Not sure where to start? Add the following vitamin E rich ingredients to your grocery list to and begin your journey to flawless, hydrated skin.
Wheat Germ Oil
About 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil will give you 100% of your recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin E. The oil is extracted from the germ of wheat berries and it is additionally packed with magnesium, potassium folic acid, vitamin D, and vitamin B. It’s also great to take as a supplement if you are looking to up your activity levels because it promotes efficient use of oxygen throughout the body (including improving oxygen supply in the skin) giving you an overall energy boost, and can help increase weight loss results. The specialty oil offers both culinary and therapeutic benefits. It can be used an as a replacement for olive oil in common recipes for baking, sauteing and emulsifying, but beware, it’s not great for frying. Topically, it strengthens hair and can be used as a base for massage oils to boost collagen in the skin.
About one ounce of dry roasted sunflower seeds will give you about 37% DV. Sunflower seeds are the ultimate road trip snack and they are easy to incorporate into a daily routine. Toss the shelled seeds into a salad or sprinkle them over plain Greek yogurt for a salty crunch. Eat them as a light midday snack or mix with an array of other nuts and dried fruit to make a nutrient-dense trail mix.
Almond-based alternatives are ubiquitous in the supermarket and easy to incorporate into your daily meals. This means that if you prefer products like almond butter, almond flour, almond milk, etc., you are getting small doses of vitamin E into your system. One ounce of dry roasted almonds gives you 34% DV. Therefore, just a handful of the protein and fiber-rich nuts will help load your daily diet with vitamin E, as well as manganese and magnesium. Plus, increasing your almond intake can be more enticing than you might think. Some of our favorite ways to use almonds are in sweet treats like these Apple-Oat Energy Balls or a Blueberry-Lavender Pie With Almond Streusel. Of course, you can also use them is in your morning oatmeal, in a hearty cabbage bowl, or try blending into pesto.
WATCH: How to Make Apple-Oat Energy Bites
Whether you eat it raw or cooked, this super-green can aid in improving your skin, but it’s also great for your vision and regulates your blood pressure. You can easily purchase a bag of spinach leaves to make a simple salad or saute in butter or olive oil to serve as an easy side for dinner. It’s fantastic in a quiche or served with poached eggs for breakfast or you can add the nutritious green onto pizza for lunch and layer it in a pan of lasagna for dinner. How about a green post-workout smoothie? There are countless tasty ways to work more spinach into your life, making it an approachable ingredient to use for your daily dose of vitamin E.
Broccoli is a solid go-to green veggie to grab from the grocery store given its versatility and quick cook time. Broccoli can be delicious raw or cooked, just be sure to overcooking it into a mushy mess.Keep it simple by steaming or roasting broccoli for a side dish to take advantage its skin rejuvenating perks, or you can add it to an array of dishes such as stir-fries, casseroles, or slaws.
An avocado a day keeps the breakouts away. If you are already a fan of the superfood, you won’t have a problem incorporating it into your everyday diet (and when in doubt, here are 73 ways to get your avocado on). So when you are digging into a bowl of guac, take joy in the knowledge that you’re helping your skin, and the rest of your body, out. A whole raw avocado, on average, contains about 4 milligrams of vitamin E fulfilling 20% DV. Who knew your path to naturally beautiful skin was right in front of you all along?