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8 Fall Foods for Beautiful, Healthy Skin

Apr 23 2021
5 min read
A close-up of pumpkin soup.

Autumn offers a bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables that bring your meals to life with their color and flavor.

While they all offer nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy and strong, we often don’t think of them as part of our efforts to protect and nourish our skin. Yet these popular picks of the crop do just that. Serve them up in a variety of ways for a radiant, resilient complexion.

1. Carrots

This classic root vegetable is a top dietary source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A inside your body and helps protect your skin from the sun’s rays by foiling free radical damage*. If you’re already sunburned—or have any cuts on your skin—vitamin A can help your complexion heal faster too.

Eat raw carrots with your favorite dip or enjoy them cooked (which actually provides more beta-carotene) as a savory side dish or in Creamy Carrot Soup.

*Continue sunscreen use for total protection.

2. Pomegranate

Any way you enjoy this powerhouse fruit, your skin gets a bonus from its antioxidant, photoprotective, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects on the skin. By aiding in the production of collagen (your skin’s support structure), it can staves off signs of aging. Thanks to its phenolic compounds, such as ellagic acid, pomegranate also inhibits enzymes that break down collagen. Pomegranate also provides a rich source of antioxidant vitamin E to protect from free radical damage.

Enjoy these ruby-colored “pearls” as a simple snack, on a salad, or use their juice in a dish, like this Pomegranate Couscous.

3. Pumpkin Seeds

Nothing conjures up cozy autumn memories like pumpkin. But it does a lot more than make a traditional end to Thanksgiving dinner. Its seeds are loaded with zinc, which encourages cell renewal and protects skin against infection, and beta carotene, which along with sun protection, gives skin a beautiful glow.

Try them roasted with a little salt or in our famous Canyon Ranch Pumpkin Crunch recipe.

4. Beets

This vibrant, tasty veggie may not have been your favorite as a kid, but it’s time to give it a chance, if you haven’t already. Beets contain several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, fiber, iron, vitamins A, B and C, as well as magnesium, which wards off free radicals that lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Magnesium also helps prevent skin allergies and eczema flare-ups, for those who experience those conditions.

Try them as a simple salad with this recipe, Carpaccio of Roasted Beets.

5. Cranberries

This sweet-yet-tart fruit is a fall staple, and that’s good news for your complexion. The phytochemicals in cranberries and their juice have potent anti-inflammatory properties, helping to keep pimples and even longer-lasting cystic acne at bay.

Put an extra spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce over your turkey or bake some Cranberry Pecan Bread as a special treat for you and your skin.

6. Apples

Pick your own Granny Smith, or grab a big bag of Gala from the market—just keep this family favorite in plentiful supply. Apples are in the top 20 list of foods with the most antioxidants (two-thirds of which are in the peel), helping to prevent skin cell damage. The superfruit also contains B vitamins, which aid in combating acne and other skin irritations.

Eat them in their natural state, bake them or make them more of a treat (see: Walnut Stuffed Apple).

7. Brussels Sprouts

Also known as “baby cabbages,” this popular autumnal cruciferous vegetable is in season from now through late winter. Packed with vitamin C, Brussels sprouts help skin look firmer and smoother while lessening the appearance of sun spots and dryness. Equally yummy

Equally yummy roasted, stir-fried or steamed, they’re a great addition to your menu—and skin care efforts.

8. Cauliflower

Another cruciferous vegetable often eaten this time of year, cauliflower, which is full of folate, helps skin retain moisture and encourages cells to grow and divide. A great substitute for potatoes or rice, roasted or

A great substitute for potatoes or rice, roasted or mashed cauliflower may just become one of your favorite fall comfort foods—and skincare secrets.