Have you noticed how a lot of vegans have a healthy, clear complexion? I personally know some vegan friends who just exude that enviable glow! Now it’s no secret that a plant-based diet offers so much goodness to our skin, but with all the healthy food options around, where exactly do we start?
We’ve done the digging and picking, and here are our “best of the best” vegan foods for healthy glowing skin:
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark chocolate
- Broccoli sprouts
Why these foods? Because they offer the best vitamins and minerals to the deepest layers of our skin -- and in excellent amounts! Let’s take a closer look.
Vegan Diet Nutrients For Healthy Skin
First, a bit of science (because we’re not just basing this on hearsay!).
There are certain nutrients that are good for skin health, and they mainly work in three ways. One, they help build the essential components of our skin, particularly collagen and elastin, so we get a complexion that’s plump and less prone to sagging. Two, they are terrific antioxidants, protecting the skin from free-radical damage. And three, they are natural moisturizers, locking in that smooth, supple look and feel.
These are the top skincare nutrients that do just that:
- Omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) -- These plant-based “good fats” reinforce the skin cell membrane, making it a stronger barrier against damaging elements and a better holder of moisture. A good daily amount of ALAs is about 1.1 grams for the ladies and 1.6 g for men.
- Protein -- Our skin is basically made of this nutrient. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for daily protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your body weight. But according to Harvard Health, that’s the minimum, and you can eat beyond that for more nourishment.
- Vitamin A - This vitamin is an antioxidant, a stimulator of cell production, and a defense against infections. The RDA for vitamin A is 700 micrograms for women and 900 mcg for men. You can take more than that, especially because vit. A from plants is half the potency of that from animals. However, keep it well below 3,000 mcg daily to avoid side effects. More about vitamin A here.
- Vitamin C - Here’s another multitasker: a potent antioxidant and a collagen stimulator. Take a daily minimum of 90 milligrams of vitamin C, but not more than 2,000 mg -- an overdose of this vitamin also causes adverse reactions.
- Vitamin E - This well-known skincare nutrient is also an antioxidant and collagen builder (so now we have a power trio of skincare vitamins, with the convenient acronym “ACE”). The RDA for vitamin E is 15 milligrams for adults; keep your intake near this amount as high doses have side effects.
You’re likely already familiar with these nutrients because they are featured heavily in skincare products and research. But more importantly, you can easily find them in any vegan diet, with foods that are readily available in your local market!
So without further ado, let’s get to our ultimate vegan grocery list for skincare.
The Best Vegan Foods for the Skin