By Shae Marshall-Rae
This one isn’t so much a food but a supplement. Of course, you could opt for eating bucket loads of salmon, but I find that a couple of fish oil capsules a day does the trick. Within a week of consistently taking Omega 3 supplements, you will notice an effect in your skin suppleness through an increase in hydration. It’s also a fantastic anti-ager, and also helps to clear acne.
Berries are loaded with anti-oxidants which are great for anti-ageing and clearing the skin. They are also packed with fibre, helping to keep your digestive system healthy (which will ultimately lead to healthy skin). Acai berries are a newly popular ‘superfood’ berry, and contain a very high level of antioxidants.
Oats are high in fibre and vitamin E. Fibre is great for the skin as it helps to regulate the digestive system, helping it to absorb more of the things necessary to our health, and flush out toxins which can congest the skin. Porridge for breakfast is a great way to increase your intake of oats (especially topped with berries)
Nuts contain Selenium, which can help infection-fighting by increasing the number of white blood cells in the body. They are also rich in vitamin e, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium and iron — which are essential to the body and also very beneficial to balanced and healthy skin. Just four brazil nuts a day also contains the recommended daily intake of selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the skin against skin cancer and sun damage.
Rich in essential nutrients, avocado is not only good for the skin on the outside (mashed avocado is a common home remedy skin mask, fantastic for plumping the skin), it’s also great for protecting the skin from the inside, too. Containing high levels of antioxidants such as alpha and beta carotene, avocado helps to fight free-radical damage which leads to premature ageing of the skin. Avocado also contains vitamin C, vitamin E (which can help to reduce the negative effects of UVA and UVB damage on the skin). Avocado also contains high levels of essential fatty acids, which help to regulate optimum lipid moisture levels in the skin.
Tomatoes contain vitamin C, which is fantastic for supporting the products we use on the outside for combating ageing. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which is a fantastic protective nutrient for the body. Studies have even shown that it can help to protect the skin from the effects of sunburn (see this article)
One of the simplest dietary habits that you can change today is your intake of water. Consistent intake of approximately 8 glasses of water a day is recommended. Good hydration helps to clear toxins from the body, helping to clear congestion. It also helps keep the skin hydrated; which will help with anti-ageing and overall skin health and also reducing the risk of skin sensitivity. If you find upping your water intake is a hard habit to change, here’s some inspiration; the difference in this woman’s skin through changing her water-drinking habits is simply incredible (story here)
Helps to reduce toxins in the body (which will always ultimately benefit the skin) by flushing excess fluids. Watercress and alfalfa is also fantastic to combine —if you can get creative and make something magic with them.
Kale is a green leafy vegetable, high in vitamins A, B complex, C, E and K, as well as high levels of the nutrients manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, protein, folate and phosphorus. This concoction is a very powerful anti-ageing and skin-clearing tonic.
Red grapes are fantastic for providing anti-oxidants to the skin. Even better if they include the seeds, as they are highly concentrated in nutrients. They are particularly beneficial for people with inflammatory skin issues (like psoriasis), and fantastic for anyone prone to sensitivity in the skin.
Beetroot is particularly high in vitamin A, as well as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. It’s a fantastic food for skin health, and helps to promote healing in the skin, eliminating toxins and helping to lower cholesterol, too. Beetroot is commonly eaten from cans (well, growing up this the only way I had tried beetroot). Canned is still good for you, and contains these nutrients, but nothing beats fresh. Fresh beetroot has a very similar texture to and taste to carrots. Try grating fresh beetroot into your next salad.
Tofu is a fantastic skin food; the vegetable protein that comes from soya bean is fantastic for healing in the skin. Tofu contains a buffet of essential ingredients that our skin loves, including antioxidants, iron, copper and manganese, as well as unsaturated fats, helping to keep the skin plump and supple.
Brown rice is known as a great alternative for to give diets a boost, the same goes for skin. Brown rice is great for regulating blood sugar levels by slowly releasing energy — which is fantastic for body health (which ultimately ends up showing on our skin). Brown rice also has B vitamins, protein, selenium and magnesium. Protein especially is a fantastic anti-ager, and very beneficial to keeping the skin balanced, clear, hydrated and healthy.
Or legumes. They go hand-in-hand with brown rice, also containing high levels of fibre, which as described previously, help clear toxins and regulate body (and ultimately skin) health, helping to fight off acne and premature ageing
Garlic contains allicin, a chemical that helps to regulate bacteria in the body. This is particularly beneficial to anyone suffering from acne, as it can help to prevent the spread of p-acnes bacteria, which is the nasty bacteria that spreads pimples on the skin (it’s also the reason that we Beauty Therapists tell you not to squeeze, as you can spread this bacteria, which will keep causing more pimples)
Is another superfood for the skin. Vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K all help to fight premature ageing, add glow to the skin and promote healing (reducing acne and skin sensitivity issues), as well as omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and folate which helps support the healing process and aid the proper function of skin cells. It is possible to eat broccoli raw, there are some creative recipes on the net if you google salads containing broccoli. Otherwise, steamed is best, as this helps to retain nutrients when cooking.
Egg white masks are another home remedy for the skin which can help to tighten and liven dull skin. Eggs can also help from the inside, egg yolks in particular are high in protein, which is great for anti-ageing and overall skin health, helping to bring back the skin ‘glow’. They are full of nutrients, including zinc and selenium.
Green and White Tea
Rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, green and white teas are fantastic for skin health. Drinking these teas regularly will help to improve skin texture and prevent free radical damage that leads to premature ageing
Oysters are packed with nutrients, from the skin-loving selenium, and a range of nutrients from vitamin A to zinc, that will all contribute to a beautiful naturally glowing skin. They’re also low in calories, too. So, they’re good to have regularly
When it comes down to it, what our skin really needs of our diet is balance. All the foods here are also great to help maintain a balanced and healthy diet in general. Yes, some foods are particularly beneficial to skin health, but as a general rule (as it would be very hard to remember all these particular foods in our daily diet), variety and balance is what makes glowing, healthy skin.