Beautiful, radiant skin starts from within. Like all of our organs our skin ages over time and the speed at which this occurs depends on a number of factors including whether or not we smoke, our alcohol consumption, exposure to the sun and our own genetic make-up. The process of obtaining healthy, glowing skin is quite simple and consists of a balanced diet, plenty of exercise and a good skincare regime. The most important element of this is nutrition. Smooth, supple, young-looking skin needs to be nourished and we have put together a list of ten foods that will help you to achieve this.
It’s no coincidence that a number of skincare products contain almond oil. Almonds have powerful moisturising and antioxidant properties. They contain fatty acids which help the skin retain moisture and vitamin E which protects elastin and collagen to promote firm, young-looking skin. Try a handful as a healthy and tasty snack.
Tomatoes contain both selenium and lycopene, both of which have a number of nutritional benefits including skin protection. Selenium is an antioxidant and can help protect against sun damage. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid (which gives tomatoes their red colouring) and protects against sun damage and aging.
3. Green Tea
Not only does green tea help to hydrate the skin, it helps to neutralize free radicals thus protecting against sun damage. Green tea also helps to reduce inflammation and redness and has been linked to a reduction in Psoriasis and Rosacea.
Tuna, and other fish such as salmon and sardines, contain Omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have a number of nutritional benefits including promoting a healthy heart. They also maintain collagen which keeps the skin firm and supple.
Avocado is another popular ingredient in skincare products. It contains healthy fats, vitamin A and vitamin C. Both of these vitamins are important in the production and protection of collagen.
The skin contains up to 30% water and this helps it to appear ‘plumper’ and more youthful. Though it is uncertain whether dry skin causes wrinkles, it certainly makes them appear more prominent. Ensuring your skin is properly hydrating not only makes it appear younger-looking, it also prevents dryness and cracking. The European Food Safety Authority recommends 1.6 litres of water or fluid each day for women and about 2 litres for men.
7. Dark Chocolate
Yes really. Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called Flavonol which protects against skin damage, improves blood flow to the skin and also reduces roughness. As well as protecting the skin, dark chocolate has a wealth of other health benefits. It’s worth Googling.
Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C, thus protecting against sun damage and aging. They make a delicious dessert but we love them best on our cereal in the morning.
Broccoli, spinach, kale and other green vegetables are great for the skin. Containing vitamins C and E broccoli protects against skin damage and aids in the production of collagen, promoting firm, supple skin. We recommend lightly steaming rather than boiling to preserve the nutrients.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have a wide range of nutritional benefits. They contain Omega 3, potassium, zinc and a number of vitamins. They protect against sun damage, help in the production and maintenance of collagen and have a number of anti-inflammatory benefits.