The foods you nourish your body with can affect everything from your energy levels and mood to the appearance of your skin. According to integrative medicine doctor Amy Shah, MD, there is such a thing as "beauty food." She's referring to the foods that affect your gut health, which can give you glowing skin by promoting hormone balance in the body.
"When we eat beauty foods, we're truly amplifying beauty from the inside out," Shah writes in an article for MindBodyGreen. Take a break from serums, creams, and traditional acne treatments, and try a more holistic approach starting with your gut. The best pore-shrinking, skin-clearing foods are cruciferous vegetables, fermented foods, ashwagandha, berries, and any foods containing vitamin D, according to Shah.
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, kale, broccoli, and arugula contain a hormone-balancing property that acts as an anti-inflammatory and agent for balancing gut flora. Shah suggests three to five servings of these veggies each week. She also cites apple cider vinegar and other fermented foods like yogurt and kombucha for a healthy and balanced gut. In addition to these foods, you can turn to ashwagandha, a medicinal herb known to boost thyroid function, lower cortisol levels for stress relief, and improve mood.
Shah recommends one to two small capsules daily.
For a healthy complexion, Shah says to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich berries, specifically brightly colored ones. These can reduce the breakdown of collagen, keeping skin strong and youthful. Lastly, she says to get your fill of vitamin D–rich foods, which are "the key to skin cell renewal." Think eggs, sardines, salmon, tuna, and mushrooms.
Up next: This is what a celebrity esthetician eats for glowing skin.