Eat your way to smooth, hydrated and youthful-looking skin
A thoughtfully made salad has all the nutrients you need for great skin: antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, essential minerals and more. Considering the growing body of evidence linking gut health to skin health, packing your diet with superfood salads may be the answer to your skin probs: acne, wrinkles, inflammation, dryness, uneven tone, and more.
Here are five delicious superfood salad recipes to try for better-looking skin.
1. Moroccan Watermelon Salad With Pistachio
Do you suffer from dry skin? Then pack this light, glow-inducing salad for lunch. Watermelon and cucumber have water content of over 91 and 96 percent, respectively, which quenches your skin cells. Pistachios are super-healthy nuts with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and antioxidant vitamin E, all of which support hydration in skin.
4-5 cups watermelon cut into 3/4-1 inch cubes
4 Turkish cucumbers (or one English) cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4-1/2 Cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1/4 cup toasted pistachios
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine or white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Cracked pepper to taste
Pinch ground clove to taste
Place watermelon, cucumber and onion in a large bowl. Add herbs, feta and pistachios, and gently mix. Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir to incorporate.
2. Ahi Poke and Mango Salad
Wrinkles and dullness got you down? This tropical salad will leave your skin smooth and glowing, like you've been on a Hawaiian vacation. Seaweed is one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world, with potent antioxidants and B vitamins that fight the signs of aging. Ahi has plentiful omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for making skin look youthful. Mango is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and folic acid, which are all essential building blocks of a bright, healthy complexion.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ponzu sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared wasabi
4 ounces sushi-grade tuna, diced in large chunks
1/2 mango, diced in large chunks
1/2 cup store-bought seaweed salad
1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
2-3 cups loosely packed spring lettuce mix
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 teaspoon pink Hawaiian sea salt
In a small bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, ponzu sauce and wasabi until well blended. Add the tuna, mango and seaweed salad to a bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon or so of the dressing. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and stir to coat. In a different bowl, add the lettuce and avocado, and top with the tuna mixture. Drizzle with more dressing as desired, and sprinkle with Hawaiian sea salt and more sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
3. Chicken Kale Waldorf Salad
For more beautiful skin overall, this healthy alternative to a classic Waldorf salad has a great balance of glow-inducing fats, skin-smoothing protein, anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating veggies. Kale is one of the most vitamin C-rich foods on the planet; one cup of chopped kale supplies 130 percent of your daily recommended intake of this antioxidant. Chicken and walnuts provide a big dose of protein and healthy fats. Apples and grapes are high in water, collagen-boosting flavonoids and skin-smoothing polyphenols.
1 bag baby kale (about 6-8 cups)
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1/2 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 medium ripe avocado, diced or sliced
2 leftover grilled chicken breasts (8 ounces), diced into cubes
1/4 cup walnuts halves (1 ounce)
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread walnuts on baking sheet, and toast in oven for 8 minutes until fragrant and golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool, then chop into small pieces.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together until smooth and well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss kale, apples, grapes and cranberries together. Pour dressing over the fruit and lettuce. Toss again to combine. Top the salad with goat cheese, avocado, chicken and toasted walnuts.
4. Yellow Pepper and Corn Salad With Turmeric Dressing
If you have an inflammatory skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, this inflammation-fighting superfood salad may be just what the doctor ordered. Turmeric, ginger and garlic are well known for their anti-inflammatory powers. Arugula provides 50 percent of your daily recommended of intake for vitamin K, which aids in skin healing. And bell peppers and corn are both excellent sources of skin-calming antioxidants. Corn's high antioxidant levels actually increase when it's cooked -- and processed sweet corn (i.e. the canned kind) is even more antioxidant-rich than fresh corn.
3 ears of corn, husked
2 yellow bell peppers
4 ounces cherry tomatoes
2 endive, leaves separated, halved if large, or 1 large head of frisée, torn into bite-size pieces
2 cups dandelion greens or arugula
Kosher salt, to taste
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
1 (4-inch) piece turmeric, peeled, chopped, or 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Pulse dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and season with salt. Grill the corn on high heat for 6 to 8 minutes until charred and cooked through. Let cool. Cut kernels off the cobs, and place in a large bowl.
Grill the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet, turning occasionally, until blackened in spots and nearly cooked through, 12 to 18 minutes. Let cool; cut into one-inch strips, retaining as much charred skin as possible; add to corn.
Grill the tomatoes, tossing once, until blackened in spots and starting to burst, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Add tomatoes, endive and greens to corn; toss to combine. Drizzle dressing over, and toss to coat. Season with salt.
5. Grilled Salmon Salad With Miso Vinaigrette
This dish is deceptively simple, but it's chock-full of satisfying superfoods for clear skin. Miso is full of zinc and probiotics, both of which help clarify acne-prone skin. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a natural anti-inflammatory that can reduce the symptoms of skin conditions including acne. (It's also high in protein, which is important to skin elasticity.) Spinach is rich in antioxidant vitamin A and vitamin C, which also reduce inflammation.
Four 8-ounce salmon fillets, with skin
1-1/2 tablespoons white miso
5-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1-1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons snipped chives
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound baby spinach
Rub the salmon with 1/2 tablespoon of miso. In a bowl, mix 1-1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1-1/2 tablespoons of ginger and the sesame oil. Add the salmon and turn to coat; let stand for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the remaining tablespoon of miso with the remaining tablespoon of ginger. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of lemon juice and the soy, then whisk in the olive oil. Add the chives and season with pepper.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Add the salmon, skin side down. Cover the grill and cook the salmon over a medium-hot fire for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Flip the salmon and grill for 2 to 4 minutes longer, or until the salmon is just cooked through. Arrange the spinach on a serving platter and top with the fillets. Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette, and serve immediately.