Skin is one of the most powerful indicators of health. It’s true that what you eat matters when it comes to a healthy outer appearance – you can buy the most expensive creams, treatments, and makeup in the world, but if you are not nourishing yourself from within you won’t be able to avoid fine lines, dullness, and lifeless skin for long. After all, it is the body’s largest organ! Keep reading to find out what you should and shouldn’t be eating to improve and maintain the quality and appearance of your skin.
The ‘ACE’ Trio
Foods rich in vitamins A, C and E act as antioxidants within your body and clear away any free radicals that damage and speed up ageing of the skin. Think of any foods that are naturally colored orange, red, purple, yellow or green. Try having some berries as a midday snack. Sweet potato is not only one of the best carbohydrates out there, but it is also bursting with ACE vitamins.
Tomatoes are the best source of lycopene, an anti-ageing compound which is not only associated with healthy skin, but also cancer prevention and benefits for our brain and immune system. Lycopene boosts the skin’s natural SPF, thus decreasing sun damage and premature ageing. Additionally, it helps to produce collagen, giving skin a fuller and brighter appearance. Cook your tomatoes before eating them to get the most benefit.
Like the ACE trio, selenium is another essential mineral which helps prevent free radical damage to our skin. Some of the richest sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, and sunflower seeds.
For healthy skin you should also make sure that you are getting enough magnesium, which is essential for preventing wrinkles as well as combating skin allergies. Rich food sources of magnesium are dark leafy vegetables, bananas, and watermelon. Try replacing the lettuce in your salad with spinach, arugula or kale to get more magnesium into your diet.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These are the ‘good fats’ found in oily fish, nuts and flaxseeds. These fatty acids are responsible for the vitality and health of the cell membrane – and since the membrane is what influences the cells ability to hold water, having a nice, healthy barrier creates moister, softer, suppler, and wrinkle-free skin.
When sugar is ingested it forms compounds known as AGE’s through a natural process called glycation. AGE’s damage protein fibers that keep the skin firm and elastic because it works against building collagen. While a little sugar every now and then is definitely fine, avoid over-consumption of processed, sugary foods and your skin will thank you in no time at all!
You have heard it before, and we’re here to tell you that it’s true; nothing will give you that glow that you’re after quite like staying hydrated will! ALWAYS carry a water bottle with you throughout the day, or even set hourly reminders on your phone to remind you to top your body up with some fluids (there are apps for that!).
The final and most valuable tip is VARIETY. If you are eating a diverse diet with at least 5 servings of different fruits and vegetables a day you will definitely be getting everything that you need to nourish your skin – and give you that true ‘glow from within’.
Want an easy way to incorporate all of the above recommendations easily into your diet? Follow our 7-day skin glowing meal plan and see the difference for yourself.