Food is essentially medicine (and unfortunately ailment too) but it provides a plethora of benefits beyond weight. One of those benefits is looking young and improving the radiance of skin. Instead of spending copious amounts of money on lotions and potions to rectify skin issues, by paying attention to what goes on inside can arguably be more beneficial to preventing those problems in the first place.
The following five foods are all amazing for keeping the skin looking clear, fresh and plump. There are so many foods out there that are beneficial for the skin, but I have focused on wholefoods that are readily available and easy to include in a diet, rather than advocate eating tons of specialist superfoods that cost a small fortune! These are some of my personal favourites that I eat in abundance.
Nutrients to look out for…
healthy fats should be the first port of call. They are also incredible for nails and hair as well as skin because they promote hydration, reduce toxins and help fight anti-ageing. Other nutrients to include are zinc, copper and fibre.
Avocados are a powerhouse of a food! They are full of healthy fats which aid in absorbing vitamins and minerals and the monounsaturated fatty acids found in avocados promote hydration and prevent skin from looking dull. They also contain fibre and Vitamin E which is great for keeping the skin supple hence promoting radiance.
Salmon contains a high source of anti-inflamatory omega-3 essential fatty acids which protect the skin from ageing. The healthy fats found in salmon reduce inflammation within the skin, meaning they nourish, prevent wrinkles and de-clog pores. Omega-3 helps to fight the enzymes that attack collagen, so naturally slow down the ageing process by preventing wrinkles and sagging skin.
Free radicals damage cell membranes through a process called oxidation and increase the risk of ageing (as well as cancer). Free radicals are caused largely by environmental factors such as toxins, chemicals, cigarettes as well as being increased by eating the wrong types of food (e.g. cooked and processed meats, deep-fried foods).
Antioxidant rich foods can help to prevent this and cocoa is one of the highest sources, being even richer than green tea, blueberries and superfood acai. In additional, cocoa also boosts the circulation of blood to the skin so that oxygen and nutrients can be absorbed which promote new cell growth and prevent de-hydration.
The higher the cocoa % the higher the benefits. I personally go for about 85% (Green and Blacks Lindt or Hotel Chocolat) and sometimes 90% but this can be bitter! As long as you go for 70% cocoa or higher, you’ll reap the benefits.
Multipurpose coconut oil! Coconut oil nourishes the body from the inside due to the high level of fatty acids. It also increases the absorption of a number of minerals such as vitamin A and E which is great for the skin. Better yet, you can put it on your skin too. Use as a moisturizer, makeup remover or simply slather on the skin for deep conditioning.
Pumpkin & pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin is also anti-inflammatory like salmon and contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium and iron which are al great for promoting re-growth of cells essential for renewing the skin. Pumpkin seeds are a high source of zinc too which is great for collagen production and protection. All the more reason to eat both the squash and the seeds.
Do you eat any of these?