The autumn harvest is overflowing with nutrient-dense food to help support the health of your skin from within.
As we trade our wide-brimmed summer hats for cozy autumn scarves, we may find ourselves dreaming of warm, nourishing food - and for good reason! Autumn is all about gathering to support our bodies and souls with the season’s best produce. But did you know that a bountiful autumn harvest does just as much to support your outer glow as it does your inner glow?
A balanced diet plays an important role in keeping the skin radiant and healthy, and it just so happens that autumn ingredients are packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, antioxidants, minerals like zinc and manganese, and healthy fats that work to keep your skin healthy and soothed.
At Iremia Skincare, we believe that skin health is holistic health - it’s not just about what you put on your skin, but that healthy skin also depends on how we nourish our bodies. Whether you’re slowing down with quiet meals for one, or leaning into the season by feeding your loved ones, try incorporating the following nutrient-packed autumnal foods to help you feel - and look - your best.
Autumn foods for glowing skin
Once you've tasted an autumn apple picked straight from the tree, it’s hard to go back to off-season imported fruits. Apples contain two powerful antioxidants - polyphenols and flavonoids - which help prevent skin cell damage. Be sure to eat the peel, though: apple skin contains the flavonoid quercetin, which helps to reduce inflammation, including skin inflammation. Apples are also full of vitamin C, which works wonders for cell and collagen production.
Further, apples contain malic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that helps boost immunity, detoxify metals from the body, and assist with mineral absorption - all of which aids in skin health.
Pomegranates are one of nature’s antioxidant powerhouses, which is great news for your skin: it has 3 times the amount of antioxidants as green tea, which can help reduce acne, and smooth sun damage and fine lines. Research also suggests that different parts of the pomegranate may work together to repair damaged skin and increase collagen production.
Punicic acid, a fatty acid found in pomegranate seed oil, also helps to prevent moisture loss, which is great news as our skin begins to feel drier in those crisp autumn breezes.
For those looking for nourishing skin benefits, it’s hard to beat the beetroot. Beets have amazing anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants like vitamin C, making them a great option to help naturally fight both acne and the ageing process. Beets also reverse dull skin by stimulating the lymphatic system, removing waste from our cells.
Research also shows that beetroot components, such as betaine and dietary nitrates, offer powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vascular-protective effectsthat can help manage cardiovascular disease, lower inflammation and blood pressure, and prevent oxidative stress.
One of the most nutrient-dense foods available, kale is loaded with vitamins: a single cup of raw kale contains 206% of your daily vitamin A, 134% of your daily vitamin C, and 684% of your daily vitamin K.
Kale is also high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene as well as flavonoids and polyphenols - these keep the skin moisturized and protects from free radical oxidative damage, which means it can prevent wrinkles (as well as cancer).
Red or yellow bell peppers
Like kale, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. Peppers are also one of the best sources of vitamin C, which is necessary for creating collagen to keep skin firm and strong.
Research has linked vitamin C in yellow bell peppers to a reduced risk of wrinkles and dry skin with age, even when controlling for smoking and sun exposure, and another study found that those who consumed four milligrams of vitamin C (the amount in a single bite of yellow pepper) daily for three years decreased the appearance of wrinkles by 11%.
Walnuts may be the best skin solution hiding in your pantry - they’re a great source of essential fatty acids, which are fats your body cannot make for itself. Walnuts are richer than most other nuts in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and because they contain a good ratio of these fatty acids, walnuts may help fight the potential (and common) inflammatory response to excessive omega-6.
Further, walnuts are a source of zinc, which not only helps your skin to function properly as a barrier but is also fantastic for wound healing and inflammation.
It turns out that the star of the autumn bounty is also fantastic for your skin - pumpkin. High in carotenoids, pumpkin is loaded with the potential to help us deal with sun damage, which is particularly helpful in the autumn when we are recovering from a summer in the sun. Studies show that carotenoids like beta-carotene can act as a natural sunblock, and once ingested, they protect skin cells against damage from harmful UV rays.
Finally, pumpkins contain lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E and plenty more antioxidants which have been shown to boost skin’s defences against UV rays. And when you’re cooking with pumpkin, don’t you dare toss out the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are a source of manganese, which helps with collagen formation and skin elasticity, as well as being a potent (and portable) source of zinc.
Autumn ingredients are packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, antioxidants, minerals like zinc and manganese, and healthy fats that work to keep your skin healthy and soothed. Taking advantage of all that your local farmers market has to offer this season can pay off not only in how you feel on the inside but will be reflected in the radiant glow of healthy skin. Make some time this fall to nourish yourself from the inside out - your skin will thank you.
And for extra skin support for those dry autumn days, our Soothing Lotion is there to help: with calming ingredients like aloe vera, calendula and manuka honey, the Soothing Lotion keeps your skin moisturized and comfortable while also helping to boost elasticity, stimulate collagen production, and smooth the appearance of fine lines. A true autumnal multitasker!