Breakfast is a great opportunity to boost other factors of your health, besides just fill your belly. It’s a great way to enjoy foods that improve your mood, energize you, and also the health of your skin, hair, and nails. Skin-boosting nutrients include: Vitamin A, B vitamins, selenium, iron, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, along with alkaline proteins. Once eaten, they work magic on your skin, all by just adding them to your meals. Why not get a jump start early on in the day?

What Nutrients Actually Do for the Skin

Vitamin A is important for reducing breakouts, improving the immunity (which also affects the look of your skin), and it enhances a natural glow to the skin. B vitamins can improve the overall quality and contribute to reducing breakouts (these vitamins can also help improve your energy as well). Selenium and zinc contribute to a healthier thyroid and immune system and zinc helps to fight breakouts. Iron helps enhance blood flow and in turn helps even out the color of your skin. Vitamin E and protein enhances collagen in the body, which boosts the texture and the suppleness of the skin. Finally, Vitamin C improves your immune system, and improves the glow of your skin. All that from just eating certain foods!

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Now that you know why these vitamin-based skin boosters give your skin a glow, let’s take a look at some foods that contain these nutrients to use during your breakfast:

1. Almonds

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Almonds are rich in  Vitamin E, B vitamins, selenium, iron, and protein. Almonds are best for your skin when eaten raw and free from oil and salt. Choose raw, unblanched almonds and soak them with oatmeal, add them to smoothies, or enjoy a handful with some fruit during your morning meal.

Try them in a Protein-Packed Breakfast Quinoa Bowl With Almonds, Cinnamon Raisin Almond Cookie Munchies, homemade almond milk, Almond Pancakes, or use raw almond butter in a superfood smoothie shake, such as Banana Almond Butter Superfood Shake.

2. Pumpkin

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Pumpkin is a rich source of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. It’s fantastic for the skin to promote a moist, supple texture, but also a lively, healthy glow. Pumpkin can also contribute to good digestive health, which also improves the look of your skin. It’s a low sugar fruit (yes, it’a technically a fruit) and also a good source of Vitamin B6 and magnesium to reduce stress and reduce stress-related breakouts.

Try pumpkin in a smoothie, some pancakes, a breakfast bowl, or use it in overnight oatmeal. Pumpkin is inexpensive and so easy to use anywhere you want. It’s also a great replacement to eggs, butter and oil in your recipes, which makes it an instant whole food-based recipe booster!

3. Cranberries

Andrew Yee/Flickr
Andrew Yee/Flickr

Cranberries are a fantastic source of Vitamin C and very low in sugar if you buy them whole, frozen or dried and unsweetened (most dried cranberries contain added sugar so read the ingredient list). Whole fresh cranberries are  perfect if you have blood sugar issues but still want to enjoy uber-healthy fruit. They also improve kidney health and help keep the body free from harmful bacteria and viruses. Add a few to your next smoothie, add them to some overnight oatmeal. Here are 6 Ways to Cook With Cranberries if You Need Even More Ideas. 

4. Pumpkin Seeds

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Pumpkin seeds contain iron, protein, and are a good source of omega 3 fats, along with zinc to fight breakouts and reduce wrinkles. Each of these factors improve the overall health of your skin and keep them from drying out and even aging as quickly. Pumpkin seeds should be enjoyed raw when possible so you can take advantage of their natural alkaline state. This helps lower inflammation, also improving skin health. Try adding these to Ayurvedic Oatmeal (a delicious and cozy breakfast) or enjoy them in a smoothie, homemade granola, or energy bites.

5. Kale

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Obviously good for you, kale is easy to add to your breakfast in the form of a smoothie, which you might already be enjoying. It’s a great source of plant-based iron, rich in B vitamins and Vitamin C, and also contains amino acids and protein to boost collagen health. Best of all, kale is extremely alkaline to fight inflammation and its fiber will boost digestive health, in turn improving skin. For even more Vitamin C, pair kale with some strawberries in our favorite Strawberry Kale Smoothie, or in

6. Flax

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Rich in omega 3 fatty acids and easy to add anywhere, flax will keep your skin supple, reduce wrinkles, and also improve your heart health and digestive health as well. It’s easy to add anywhere, just try to buy it ground or grind whole seeds fresh in your coffee grinder or a food processor. Flax seeds nutrients can only be absorbed once broken down. They also make a nice replacement to flour this way or can just be stirred into morning porridge or used in breakfast smoothies or bars.

7. Acai Berry Puree

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Acai berry puree is a true superfood for your whole body, but especially your skin. A rich (overlooked) source of omega 3 fatty acids, this berry is one of the best zero sugar berries out there. Its antioxidant content will reduce inflammation and assist with an overall youthful appearance and the healthy fats will improve overall skin quality. Here’s a tip – don’t waste your money on the pricey powders – just buy the whole fruit puree in frozen form at your local health food store. You can add these purees to smoothies, or make a breakfast bowl with it as well. How about Creamy Pumpkin Acai Bowl or a Acai Blueberry Super Smoothie?

8. Goji Berries

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Goji berries contain vital amino acids, not to mention Vitamins A and C. They’re a well-known beauty booster for your skin, and also great for improving immune and heart health. Think of goji berries like a confection to dishes: they can be added anywhere, but all you need is a sprinkling or two in order to benefit from their health effects. Enjoy them in Rockin’ Raw Lemon Bars ( a delicious alternative to a granola bar), Goji Energy Bites,  or top your next smoothie with them, such as a highly energizing superfood smoothie.

9. Spinach

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Also well known for its ease of use in the blender as a green smoothie, spinach is a go-to for picture perfect skin and overall health. Though it’s good to rotate your greens, be sure you include spinach a few times a week. The green beats out most all other greens in protein, iron, Vitamins A and C, along with folate and potassium. Give spinach a try in a Green Superfood Detox Smoothie or even a savory Easy Vegan Spinach and Pepper Quiche.

10. Hemp Seeds

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Chia is fantastic for you, but hemp seeds also shouldn’t be forgotten for skin health. These little greenish seeds contain loads of chlorophyll to lower inflammation, protein to boost collagen, iron to improve skin health, and reduce the signs of aging with their healthy omega 3 fats, zinc, and B vitamins. Enjoy hemp seeds in smoothies, breakfast bars, granola, porridge, or just as a sprinkling on top of smoothies. Just a tablespoon or two is all you need!

Don’t forget that any fresh piece of produce, raw nuts and seeds, and a variety of whole grains can all come with skin benefits. Use them throughout your morning meals and your skin will improve without you even realizing it. You’ll just want to leave out the dairy, excess caffeine, and too much added salt for good measure. You might also enjoy some of these in some Superfood Breakfast Combos that are also easy to use and fantastic for overall health.

Lead Image Source: Goji Energy Bites