In the eternal pursuit of younger, brighter, glowing skin, many of us often find ourselves rifling through drugstore shelves or scrolling online to find the best skincare products for the job. Of course, there are benefits to doing this; these products have been specifically designed to treat acne, plump skin cells, fight sun damage, or help brighten the skin’s surface. But the best skin treatments aren’t always, well, skin deep. It’s what we put inside our bodies that can make an even greater impact on our skin. Berries, in particular, contain vitamins and antioxidants that your skin loves.
When you think “berry,” you may think of strawberries and raspberries, but actually, these are not berries. According to Judy Jernstedt, a professor of plant sciences at the University of California, Davis, these fruits were given their titles thousands of years ago, before science had a definition for the word berry.
According to Live Science, in order to be classified as a true berry in the botanical sense, the fruit must have an outer skin, called the exocarp, a fleshy middle, called the mesocarp, and an inner seed-holding part called the endocarp. It must also have two or more seeds and come from a flower that has one ovary. This is why strawberries and raspberries aren’t classified as true berries; they come from a flower with more than one ovary.
With that in mind, you may be surprised by some of the fruits on this list, like bananas and watermelon, which are actually classified as berries (is your mind blown?). Each of these nutrient-packed fruits is linked with skincare benefits.
Eat These 9 Berries Every Day for Glowing Skin
Perhaps one of the most well-known berries, blueberries are one of the best fruits you can eat for your skin. This is because they are high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants combat cell damage left by free radicals. Essentially unstable atoms, free radicals have been linked with the development of chronic diseases, as well as speeding up the aging process.
According to registered dietician Katey Davison MScFN, RD, blueberries are particularly high in anthocyanins. These plant compounds “have strong antioxidant properties and give blueberries their natural purple-blue hue.”
Blueberries may also help to improve circulation, notes Davison, as well as reduce acne-related inflammation and boost collagen. The latter helps to strengthen the skin and plays a key role in maintaining elasticity, which reduces wrinkles.
Yes, watermelon is, in fact, a berry. Scientifically called pepos, these fruits fall into a specific category of berry—one with a tough rind, multiple flat seeds, and a pulpy flesh—and they’re great for your skin too. While the inside of a watermelon is delightfully juicy, sweet, and nutritious, the rind is particularly good for the skin, because it’s high in vitamins B6 and C.
B vitamins are good for the skin because they help with both cell renewal and stress relief. A vitamin B deficiency may cause skin-impacting symptoms like acne, dryness, rashes, and wrinkles. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help to repair and protect against free-radical cell damage.
If you don’t fancy actually eating watermelon rind, you can juice it up and add it to a smoothie, or you could just rub it directly onto your skin.
According to dermatologist Anna Guanche, people in Korea have been using watermelon rind on the skin for decades. She told Business Insider: “Reportedly, Korean grandmothers used to rub watermelon rinds on sunburn, rashes, or irritated skin to soothe it and help it recover faster. Cooling masks where watermelon rind is combined with avocado or banana can help with healing.”
Not only are grapes berries, they are classified as “true berries” because the wall of the fruit, known as pericarp, is fleshy all the way through. Just like blueberries, grapes are high in antioxidants. They also contain vitamin K, which helps to support healthy bones and muscles.
As well as their nutrition value, grapes are also good for hydration, because they’re made up of around 82 percent water. Keeping hydrated is key for good skin health; if you’re not getting enough water, your skin may become tight and dry. It could become less resilient and more prone to wrinkling.
Most of us know by now that avocados are considered a fruit, but they are also, in fact, a berry, given their fleshy pulp and seed. Avocados have risen in popularity over the last few years, partly because they’re so tasty and they’re great on toast, but also because they’re nutritious. They’re good for your insides, and for your skin too. They’re high in vitamins C and E, and they contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all of which help to combat free-radical cell damage.
Not only are they one of the best dessert foods, great with crumble, pie, or just plain dairy-free yogurt, blackberries have skin benefits too. This is because they’re bursting with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and vitamin K. In fact, just one cup of blackberries has 30 milligrams of vitamin C, which is half of your recommended daily intake. They’re also high in manganese, which helps with the formation of collagen.
Bananas come from plants with one ovary and they have several seeds, so scientifically, they’re berries. They’re good for your skin health because they’re high in vitamins C, B6, and A. The latter, an antioxidant, helps to hydrate the skin, as well as speed up the healing process, helping to prevent breakouts.
According to Zara Risoldi Cochrane, Pharm.D., M.S., FASCP, vitamin A may help those who suffer from acne. “It all depends on the source and how you use it,” they said. “Eating vitamin A-rich foods can promote better skin health from the inside out, while topical formulas may target acne directly.”
Cranberries are a popular fruit, often consumed in juice or jam form. They’re also a tasty snack on their own, or can be added to crumbles, pies, and smoothies. They’re also extremely good for the body and the skin, as they’re high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
If you’re not a fan of eating or drinking cranberries, you could apply cranberry juice directly to your face to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Kiwi (perhaps another unexpected fruit that is classified as a berry) is great for your skin, thanks to its vitamin C and vitamin E content. The latter, an antioxidant, is known for its skin health benefits and is included in many moisturizers and other skincare products. This is because some studies have shown that applying vitamin E to the skin may help to reverse UV damage, caused by the sun.
9. Açai Berries
Popular in smoothie bowls, açai berries look similar to blueberries or grapes. And just like those two fruits, they’re packed with free-radical-fighting antioxidants. According to writer and vitamin expert Amy Brawn, they help to fight cell damage, support collagen production, and they also help to maintain pigmentation.
She notes: “Açai berries contain copper, which is responsible for maintaining normal pigmentation of our skin. It can also help to prevent hyperpigmentation, which is a common, usually harmless condition, in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin.”
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