• Rajani Katta MD

Ten Great Skin-Saving Vegetables

Updated: Jun 5

If there’s one thing every health expert agrees upon, it’s the power of vegetables.

When it comes to your skin health, vegetables pack a powerful punch. First of all, almost all vegetables are a great source of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect your skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. These unstable compounds are produced by activities in our daily lives, as well as exposure to UV radiation and pollution.

Multiple studies have shown that vegetables are also powerful anti-inflammatory agents. They're also a great source of fiber, which has its own powers. Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which protects your skin's collagen and elasticity. That same fiber also helps feed our good gut microbes, which are so instrumental in preserving our health, supporting our immune system, and helping to maintain our gut lining and skin barrier.

Study after study have shown the benefits of a diet rich in vegetables. With their rich supply of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and thousands of other phytonutrients, vegetables are one of the most powerful skin saving foods available.

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#1: Arugula Vitamin K: The Blood Clotter

Vitamin K is a necessary factor in blood clotting, and it helps wounds heal.

#2: Cabbage Glucosinolates: The Detox

Glucosinolates activate enzymes in the liver that work to eliminate toxins.

Cabbage cleanses the body.

#3: Corn Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Carotenoid: Protection from UV radiation

The antioxidants found in corn have been shown to protect the skin from damage by UV radiation.

#4: Green Beans Fiber: Fibrous and Anti-inflammatory

Green beans are nutrient-dense vegetables with high amounts of fiber but low in calories. Fiber has been shown, in multiple studies, to have strong anti-inflammatory effects.

#5: Kale Carotenoids: Powerful Antioxidant

This leafy green vegetable provides a high concentration of antioxidant carotenoids, especially beta-carotene and lutein.

In additional, greens such as kale are very positive for the skin.

#6: Onion Quercetin: Collagenase Blocker

Quercetin is a strong inhibitor or the collagen degrading enzyme, collagenase.

#7: Pumpkin Beta-Cryptoxanthin: Helps Repair DNA

The carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin has been shown to stimulate the repair of DNA damage.

Less commonly known, pumpkins can help repair DNA.

#8: Red Kidney Beans Zinc: Reduces inflammation

Zinc deficiency can lead to skin inflammation by increasing the levels of inflammatory chemical messengers.

#9: Sweet Potatoes Beta carotene: Changes the Skin for the Better

The carotenoid pigments found in sweet potatoes have been shown to be related to healthier skin changes.

Sweet potatoes are not only tasty, but also good for the skin.

#10: Zucchini Vitamin C: High doses of Vitamins and Minerals

One serving of this nutrient-dense vegetable provides high levels of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals.

Dr. Rajani Katta is the author of Glow: The Dermatologist's Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. To receive future updates on preventive dermatology and the role of diet, sign up here.


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