They say that our skin is the best window to our health.
While that definitely doesn’t mean that you have acne, for example, you’re less healthy than someone with clearer skin, better over all health may contribute to plumper, brighter skin in general.
What we eat has a massive impact on how well we are. Dine on processed foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fats and you may find that your skin starts breaking out faster than you can say ‘dermatological peel’. Eat more of the good stuff – the antioxidant-rich fruits, collagen-friendly proteins and glow-promoting fats – and you’ll stand a better chance of having healthy skin.
So what kinds of things should we be filling up on?
Forget whatever the low-fat fanatics say – eating fats is essential for overall health, as well as vibrant skin. We need fats to help absorb essential, skin-friendly vitamins A, D, E and K.
You want to prioritise plant oils and fats fro oily fish, so fill up on olive and rapeseed oils, avocados, nuts and seeds.
Full fat milk is also a good shout.
But remember: not all fats are created equal. The kinds of saturated, trans or hydrogenated fats found in processed grub isn’t good for you and won’t do you any favours.
Spice it up
Spices have been used for centuries to add flavour to food, but that’s not their only purpose. Turmeric is well known as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant – great for fighting infection, supporting the immune system and combating oxidative stress. The latter is what can cause signs of ageing.
Try starting the day with a turmeric latte instead of your usual coffee. Mix a teaspoon of powdered turmeric, a pinch of black pepper, a teaspoon of honey and a little ginger with some hot milk for an invigorating drink.
Some people also swear by slathering the spice on their face as a kind of face mask.
Opt for orange
Brightly coloured fruit and veg is essential for so much but did you know that eating orange produce can improve the luminosity of skin?
Oranges, carrots and sweet potato can all restore damaged collagen levels in the skin which can leave you looking brighter and fresher.
Snack on chocolate
Great news for all you dark chocolate lovers: it’s good for the skin.
We’re not talking about that ultra-sweet, creamy stuff – you need to buy bars that have over 80% cacao. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, especially resveratrol which is known for neutralising free radical damage.
That means that dark chocolate can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, enhance firmness and give your skin a dewy appearance.
Foods to go easy on
Although we don’t believe in restrictions or diets, it is worth saying that some foods are probably worth eating in moderation if you are trying to feed your skin.
Our skin is what we eat and it makes sense that our dietary choices have an impact on our largest organ.
Minimise your consumption of the following:
- Alcohol (dehydrating)
- Fried foods (trans fats wreak havoc!)
- Cheese (if eaten in excess, it can increase your oil production…which then leads to blocked pores)
- Caffeine (dehydrating)
- Cured meats (all that salt will trigger swelling, puffiness and inflammation)
- Fizzy pop (added sugar promotes ageing)
- Fruit juice (it’s just sugar with all the natural fibre taken away!)
- Sugary, white carbs (again, sugar stops collagen from working its magic)