A Guide to Growing Food for Healthy Skin

Growing your vegetables of your own can lead to healthier skin!
Growing your vegetables of your own can lead to healthier skin! | Source

If you walk into any drug store or supermarket, there are shelves and shelves of products, organic and chemical, which claim to fix every aliment that impacts our largest organ, our skin. However when it comes to conditions like acne and blemishes the issue isn't just on the surface. What you put in your body is just as important as the topical products you put on. In most cases your skin has the ability to combat any problems with complexion if given the right ingredients and environment to do so. Below are some suggestions for any garden enthusiast to grow in their own backyard that will benefit the skin. Now before I get into all the plants and vegetables to grow I have to say gardening itself can benefit your skin in many ways. The act of gardening in itself is very calming and stress reducing for many, reducing stress is a huge benefit to clearing up skin for many. Another benefit of gardening is the exercise you get and the sunlight you get while outside in the garden! Now you can't get too much sunlight but 5-10 minutes of direct sunlight produces vitamin D in your body which is great for your skin and your mood! So lets find out some specific plants to grow in your backyard garden to help your skin!

My 2012 summer garden, I hope to add more dark leafy greens and orange vegetables in 2013!
My 2012 summer garden, I hope to add more dark leafy greens and orange vegetables in 2013! | Source
The beautiful aloe plant, this one is in the ground but it makes a great houseplant as well and does wonders for the skin!
The beautiful aloe plant, this one is in the ground but it makes a great houseplant as well and does wonders for the skin! | Source

Aloe Plants

One of the best plants to grow for the benefit of you skin is an aloe plant. The aloe plant is a small to large plant with thick leaves, filled with a slimy liquid of aloe. The plant grows well in warmer climates outdoors, however if you live in northern Latitudes like myself, it makes a great house plant.

To use aloe for your skin you just break open a long pointed, triangle leaf and spread a thin layer of the clear, thick liquid on affected areas. Aloe is filled with vitamin E, which heals, moisturizes and soothes the skin, as well as antibacterial properties, which can be helpful to Acne. Many people may be familiar with using aloe for bad sunburns in the summer! Some varieties of aloe even taste good enough to ingest! Indigenous peoples of North America have consumed aloe for centuries as a cure to intestinal issues! Some even claim that it regulates you so well that your overall health, including your skin is healthier! (Warning do not ingest any plant until you have 100% positively identified that it is indeed the plant you are looking for!)

Aloe is also very easy to grow and can be separated and spread amongst new spots or pots very easily. Since they are so easy to transfer they make great little homemade gifts for various occasions!

Heirloom carrots show the variety of colors besides orange but they all have beta-carotene which is great for your skin! and these would be fun to plant!
Heirloom carrots show the variety of colors besides orange but they all have beta-carotene which is great for your skin! and these would be fun to plant! | Source

Orange Vegetables

Ultimately to get the most out of vegetables for your skin you want to add a rainbow of colors in your diet. However along with a colorful plate of vegetables, the ones that seem to help the skin the most are orange vegetables. This is directly related to why the vegetables are orange and that is Beta-Carotene. Carotene is great for your complexion because it turns into Vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is a great regulator of skin growth and helps in the healing process. Retinoids are a form of vitamin A that are even used to prevent aging. Regulating skin cell growth and helping in repairing skin tissue is a great advantage to those suffering from a complexion problem.

Some vegetables to grow for Beta-Carotene include:

  • Carrots (any variety from heirlooms, which can be red in color, to your bugs bunny bright orange carrot)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Butternut Squash
  • Kale (although not orange, this leafy green is high in Beta-carotene)


From left to right: Swiss Chard, Kale, and Spinach, all of which are dark leafy green super foods great for your skin and easy to plant in your backyard!
From left to right: Swiss Chard, Kale, and Spinach, all of which are dark leafy green super foods great for your skin and easy to plant in your backyard! | Source

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark Leafy greens are a miracle vegetable in this world that many refuse to eat because they didn't like them as a child, however leafy greens are not only good to eat but are a superfood for the body! The darker the green the more nutrients and vitamins it has. This alone makes it a great vegetable for your body and skin. What makes leafy greens really good for your skin is the abundance of the essential vitamins for your skin including vitamin E, C, A, K and B. All of which supports healthy skin growth and if eaten in large quantities (like through Green juices) can actually clear up skin problems or at least reduce them. One of the easiest dark greens to grow is Swiss Chard, it will grow all season from the cool spring to the hot summer and into the cooling autumn. Other dark greens tend to do well in the spring and not so well under intense heat of the summer months.

Best Leafy Greens to grow for your Skin:

  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach
  • Collard Greens in general
  • Broccoli

Blueberry bushes on sale last fall!  Berry bushes are excellent to grow in your backyard or even a container.  There are so many varieties and they are all great for your skin!
Blueberry bushes on sale last fall! Berry bushes are excellent to grow in your backyard or even a container. There are so many varieties and they are all great for your skin! | Source

Fruitful antioxidants!!

Of course vegetables are the super foods for healthy skin but the sweeter super foods of the garden can give you great skin as well! Fruits are filled with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants! All of which promote an overall health and glowing skin. All fruits are loaded with vitamin C which is great for healing and protecting the skin. Berries are especially filled with antioxidants which can combat any free radical damage done to your skin by the sun, pollution, and every day wear and tear. Citrus fruit is very important to skin health. Citrus fruit is filled with copious amounts of Vitamin C. Lemons for example are great for the skin via ingestion or topical use. Ingesting lemons balances out the alkaline levels in your body while also detoxifying your vital organs. This detoxification allows toxins not to be released through the skin, resulting in clearer skin! Applying lemon juice to your skin can act as an astringent to remove dead skin cells, unclogging pores. The only problem is if you don't level in a warm climate, then it's a little bit harder to grow citrus fruit (although not impossible if you have a greenhouse). The great thing about growing fruit in your yard is that once the fruit plant is established and producing fruit, it will for years.

Fruits to plant in your yard for healthier skin:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Apple Trees (if you can fit them!)
  • Citrus Fruit trees (Lemons, oranges) (if you live in a warm climate)

An Apple a day will keep the doctor away! this was taken at an orchard but if you have the space and commitment you can grow apple trees in your own back yard!
An Apple a day will keep the doctor away! this was taken at an orchard but if you have the space and commitment you can grow apple trees in your own back yard! | Source

Ultimately any diet including more fruits and vegetables will benefit your skin and your overall health. The more colors you eat whether it's an orange carrot or a dark green leaf of Kale, or a red tomato, the better it is for you. These foods are even better for your skin when you can grow them right in your own backyard, reducing the food miles it travels from hundreds of miles to maybe 100 feet!! The added nutrition from freshly picked fruits and vegetables is amazing!

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

donnah75 profile image

donnah75 3 years ago from Upstate New York

A good perspective on the benefits of healthy eating. I have been loading up on kale this week, and I think my skin and hair are extra vibrant as a result. Voted up.


bridalletter profile image

bridalletter 3 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

I grow and eat a lot of berries, always glad to learn about the additional benefits I am gaining from that. I am not entirely surprised when people survive on fruits and vegetables alone. I can't of course, but I think the benefits are tremendous and extend ones life. Nice details in your hub. I love that picture of the apples.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 3 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks for the comment donnah75, i've been reading so much about kale and just started making juices with it a few weeks ago, but my first time actually eating it was last week when i made Kale Chips! such a tasty and healthy treat! Kale is definitely a superfood!


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 3 years ago from Connecticut Author

thanks for the comment bridalletter ! I'm hoping to grow some berries this summer, I have 4 blueberry shrubs in pots (3 different varieties) and a thornless blackberry bush. I really hope to get some raspberry plants this spring! I know a few people on vegetarian and vegan diets who are super healthy, i would love to try those diets as well but just can't seem to give up everything lol


mvillecat profile image

mvillecat 3 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

Great information and very useful. Everything you put into your body comes through your skin. I drink far too many diet cokes and eat far too little fruit. I'll have to improve. I voted up!


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 3 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks for the comment mvillecat! and yes your skin is your largest organ so it's definitely impacted by what you put in your body. It's so important to drink plenty of water throughout the day even when you're not thirsty. I noticed when I drink sugary drinks like soda i just don't feel or look my best. thanks for the vote up!


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 3 years ago from Sacramento, California

awesome read! we are what we eat no?


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 3 years ago from Connecticut Author

thanks davemidtown and yes we are what we eat!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for a neat read on growing healthy skin in a home garden. With good info and tips this will be helpful to readers.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 3 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks RTalloni! I hope it is helpful to many!


Lizolivia profile image

Lizolivia 3 years ago from Central USA

Interesting, my skin can use all the help it can get. I found some apple seeds stored in my gardening stuff; I'm going to plant them and see if they grow. Swiss chard is a very favorite of mine along with spinach and beet greens.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 3 years ago from Connecticut Author

thanks for another comment Lizolivia! the apple seeds may grow but the tree would take a few years if not more before it bears fruit. Although i heard that dwarf apple trees you buy at a nursery can give you fruit in a couple of years and you can even plant them in large containers! I've been trying to incorporate more leafy greens in my diet and it really does make a difference with my skin!


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

Nice article and very well organized!


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 3 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks LuisEGonzalez!


azrestoexp profile image

azrestoexp 3 years ago

Great hub, very informative, voted up. Just put in a winter garden last week filled with lots of of green leafy veggies and tomatoes. Will have to try kale chips, hear they're great. I use kale and spinach along with berries for a great green smoothie.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 3 years ago from Connecticut Author

Awesome! I wished I had put a winter garden! I hear if it's a warm start I winter here in CT Kale will grow till Christmas! Those smoothies sound delicious! Thanks the comment!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working