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5 Unusual Foods that Need to be in Your Diet if You Want Young, Healthy, Glowing Skin

A proper skin care regimen is not exclusive to products that you apply topically. Having a balanced diet with the proper nutrients in addition to applying the right products will keep your skin young, glowing, and healthy. Try incorporating these 5 foods into your diet to feed your skin from the inside.

1. Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are a rich source of sulphoraphane, an organic compound that has been found to protect against tumor formation (6). The extract of broccoli sprouts contains a concentrated amount of sulphoraphane, and has been found to protect against skin cancer formation in mice exposed to UV radiation (7).

2. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are a great source of Beta Glucan (8), a linear polymer of glucose that is often touted as the "New Retinol" for its ability to stimulate collagen production in the skin. What makes beta glucan even better than retinol is its non-irritating qualities while still retaining anti-aging benefits.

3. Wasabi

Real wasabi is difficult to find outside of Japan because it is expensive to cultivate, and the kind you find in sushi restaurants and in grocery stores is usually horseradish and green food coloring. However, the real stuff is worth the search. Dietary wasabi acts as an antioxidant (9,11), and has been shown to reduce the symptoms of contact dermatitis in mice who were fed wasabi extract (10).

4. Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts contain Selenium, an essential mineral for humans that has been scientifically shown to act as an antioxidant (1), have a photoprotective effect by inhibiting UV A and UV B-light-induced skin tumor formation (2,4,5), and prevent the formation of malignant skin lesions from drinking water with a high arsenic content (3).

One serving of Brazil nuts contain 544 micrograms of selenium, 777% of your required daily value!

5. Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are extremely rich in beta carotene, a pigment in plants with provitamin A activity, and a dietary necessity for glowing skin. One cup of dandelion greens contain 9164 micrograms of beta carotene, and provides over 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin A.


1. Selenium. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet.

2. Overvad, K., Thorling, E.B., Bjerring, P. and Ebbesen, P., 1985. Selenium inhibits UV-light-induced skin carcinogenesis in hairless mice. Cancer letters, 27(2), pp.163-170.

3. Chen, Y., Hall, M., Graziano, J.H., Slavkovich, V., van Geen, A., Parvez, F. and Ahsan, H., 2007. A prospective study of blood selenium levels and the risk of arsenic-related premalignant skin lesions. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, 16(2), pp.207-213.

4. Leccia, M.T., Richard, M.J., Bean, J.C., Faure, H., Monjo, A.M., Cadet, J., Amblard, P. and Favier, A., 1993. Protective effect of selenium and zinc on uv‐a damage in human skin fibroblasts. Photochemistry and photobiology, 58(4), pp.548-553.

5. Emonet, N., Leccia, M.T., Favier, A., Beani, J.C. and Richard, M.J., 1997. Thiols and selenium: protective effect on human skin fibroblasts exposed to UVA radiation. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 40(1), pp.84-90.

6. Xu, C., Huang, M.T., Shen, G., Yuan, X., Lin, W., Khor, T.O., Conney, A.H. and Kong, A.N.T., 2006. Inhibition of 7, 12-dimethylbenz (a) anthracene-induced skin tumorigenesis in C57BL/6 mice by sulforaphane is mediated by nuclear factor E2–related factor 2. Cancer research, 66(16), pp.8293-8296.

7. Dinkova-Kostova, A.T., Jenkins, S.N., Fahey, J.W., Ye, L., Wehage, S.L., Liby, K.T., Stephenson, K.K., Wade, K.L. and Talalay, P., 2006. Protection against UV-light-induced skin carcinogenesis in SKH-1 high-risk mice by sulforaphane-containing broccoli sprout extracts. Cancer letters, 240(2), pp.243-252.

8. Rop, O., Mlcek, J. and Jurikova, T., 2009. Beta‐glucans in higher fungi and their health effects. Nutrition reviews, 67(11), pp.624-631.

9. Hou, D.X., Fukuda, M., Fujii, M. and Fuke, Y., 2000. Transcriptional regulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate: quinone oxidoreductase in murine hepatoma cells by 6-(methylsufinyl) hexyl isothiocyanate, an active principle of wasabi (Eutrema wasabi Maxim). Cancer letters, 161(2), pp.195-200.

10. Nagai, M. and Okunishi, I., 2009. The effect of wasabi rhizome extract on atopic dermatitis-like symptoms in HR-1 hairless mice. Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology, 55(2), pp.195-200.

11. Weil, M.J., Zhang, Y. and Nair, M.G., 2005. Tumor cell proliferation and cyclooxygenase inhibitory constituents in horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) and Wasabi (Wasabia japonica). Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 53(5), pp.1440-1444.

Image Credits:

File:Brazil nuts.jpg. (2017, May 27). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 19:02, August 2, 2017. from

File:Broccoli sprouts.jpg. (2014, May 25). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 19:17, August 2, 2017 from

File:Shiitakegrowing.jpg. (2015, March 23). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 19:21, August 2, 2017 from

File:WasabiOnOroshigane.jpg. (2017, March 5). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 19:35, August 2, 2017 from

File:TaxicumLeaf.jpg. (2016, November 28). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 19:46, August 2, 2017 from