Glorious food, gorgeous skin
You are what you eat. It sounds trite, but it’s true. And when it comes to our skin, what we eat can have a real impact on our appearance. The good news is that there are several foods that you can incorporate into your diet to reap amazing benefits. Here’s an all-star line-up of our top five foods for beautiful skin.
1. Fatty fish
It may not sound so appetizing, but when we talk about ‘fatty fish’ we mean species like salmon, mackerel and herring. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, they help keep skin supple, moisturized and healthy, fighting inflammation, wrinkles and acne. As a good source of antioxidant vitamin E, they protect the skin against damage from free radicals. These fish also contain protein, which maintains the strength of your skin, and zinc, which contributes to the production of new skin cells.
Ever wondered why people sometimes use avocado as a face mask? It’s because they are high in healthy fats that keep skin flexible and moisturized. There’s even evidence to show that when consumed, compounds in this nutrient-dense fruit protect skin from UV damage, which can be responsible for the visible signs of aging. Just half an avocado contains a healthy dose of antioxidants vitamin C (17% of your recommended daily intake) and vitamin E (10% of your recommended daily intake) So, whether you prefer to add it to your favourite salad, spread it on toast, or smear it on your skin – you can definitely enjoy Avocado, guilt free!
Seeds are another great source of skin-boosting nutrients. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are rich in selenium and protein that can help keep wrinkles at bay, and vitamin E for moisturizing. Chia, flax and hemp seeds contain health omega-3 fatty acids and protein. If you’re wondering how to up your seed intake, try grabbing a handful and sprinkling them liberally on your salad, in your cereal or even in cookies.
4. Sweet potatoes
Known as a super food for its disease-preventing, immune-boosting properties, the humble sweet potato is also packed with skin-friendly nutrients. As well as vitamin C, they are full of beta carotene which helps balance pH, promotes skin cell renewal, and may even protect against sun damage. The versatile root tuber can be enjoyed baked, mashed or roasted, but don’t be too quick to peel them before cooking; most of the skin-protecting antioxidants in the sweet potato are found in its skin.
5. Dark chocolate
We saved the best for last – this is the one that got us really excited! Not that we need an excuse to eat chocolate, but it’s good to know we have one anyway! It turns out that cocoa has some pretty phenomenal effects on skin. There have been studies that show that eating good quality dark chocolate – 70% cocoa at least – results in thicker, more hydrated skin with fewer wrinkles, and, thanks to the antioxidants it contains, possibly protection from sunburn too. But don’t go overboard! Stick to just one ounce a day to avoid overdosing on sugar.
So, there you have it – five delicious ways for you to look after your skin, from the inside out. Bon appétit!