Beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within – we all need to eat the right balance of foods to feed our skin the vital nutrients it requires to help stay soft, radiant and blemish-free. While everyone’s skin type, digestive system and immune system function differently, there are a few basic guidelines to follow when it comes to picking the right foods for your skin.
For all of us water is the single most important element for the integrity of your skin cells. Drinking approximately 2 litres of water per day will moisturise your skin from the inside. Purified or filtered water is the best and adding a pinch of natural sea salt or Himalayan salt will help to your cells to absorb and retain the water.
When it comes to food, here’s a list of 10 foods we can include in our diet to help achieve a flawless complexion. Some can also be used externally to help give your skin an even brighter glow.
1.Bone Broth, Gelatin & Collagen
Bone broth is one of the oldest healing and anti-aging foods on the planet. This magical elixir is packed with amazing nutrients and minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb. The secret weapon in bone broth that helps your skin to appear younger is collagen. It is collagen that gives your skin its elasticity. Wrinkles occur when the collagen in your skin breaks down and as we lose collagen, the skin becomes thinner. To increase your collagen levels drink a cup of delicious and nourishing bone broth daily and add it to your cooking . When bones are long slow cooked the collagen in them is broken down, making it more easily digestible. This form of cooked collagen is better known to us as gelatin which literally binds your skin cells back together.
Packed with antioxidants, like lutein and beta-carotene, avocados add moisture, regenerate damaged skin cells and help soften the skin when added to your diet. Avocados are also a great source of hydration when applied externally to your face as a mask. You can create your own moisturising face mask using 1 mashed avocado mixed with 1 teaspoon of organic raw honey. This simple mask reaches the deepest layers of your skin cells and gives elasticity to even the driest skins.
Almonds are a near perfect food for your skin. They’re packed with protein that supports collagen production, and full of healthy monounsaturated fats, copper, zinc, vitamin B1, B5, B6, calcium, and vitamin E. They’re also a good source of magnesium.
4. Wild Salmon
Wild caught salmon — not farm-raised — is one of the best food sources for omega-3 fatty acids, which helps keep your skin supple and moisturised. Salmon also contains selenium, a mineral that protects the skin from sun exposure.
Lemons are packed with vitamin C, vitamin B and phosphorous – an amazing food to make your skin glow. Start your day by drinking a glass of warm water mixed with a dash of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey. This fights cellulite and clears your skin from within. When using the juice from a lemon mixed with honey, egg white or mashed tomato on your face the natural acids help to gently remove dead skin cells and lighten age spots. Lemon cleans the pores without stripping the skin of its natural oil balance as it contains citric acid in high amounts.
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and cranberries are all concentrated sources of antioxidants which help protect against the free radical damage that causes wrinkles and of Vitamin C which is an important nutrient that helps with collagen production.
This beautifully pink coloured vegetable comes loaded with vitamins and minerals which make you glow. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help to prevent outbursts of acne and pimples. Drinking a glass of beetroot juice everyday will purify your blood from within, cleanse toxins and leave you with a healthy glow.
8. Spinach and Bitter Greens
Spinach is rich in folate, a B vitamin that aids in the repair of DNA and may reduce the risk of skin cancer. Greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, and asparagus are all rich in vitamin A, iron, and vitamin K, chlorophyll and antioxidants. Eating greens regularly will maintain the youthfulness of your skin and slow down age related degeneration.
Tomatoes are packed with loads of natural vitamins and minerals, but what makes tomatoes stand out in the beauty world is lycopene, an antioxidant with amazing anti-ageing properties. You can apply the pulp or juice of tomatoes on your skin to activate the lycopene benefits. The pulp of tomatoes helps tighten pores and prevent pimples as tomatoes are acidic in nature. It also acts as a natural sunscreen.
10. Dark Chocolate (70% or darker)
Although this seems too good to be true, chocolate actually has a number of health benefits when consumed in moderation. Just be sure that the chocolate you buy is at least 70% cocao. Stress can have a huge impact on your skin and as dark chocolate boasts wonderful stress-relieving qualities it works wonders in assisting you with glowing skin by reducing elevated stress hormones. Be mindful when choosing which chocolate you put in your grocery basket. You should choose certified organic, fair trade dark chocolate with no added processed sugar for maximum health results.
While these 10 foods will make your skin look smoother, feel softer and help radiate a beautiful glow, there’s more to consider than just what we eat. Avoid smoking and prolonged exposure to the sun. These both damage the skin and make it age faster. About ten to twenty minutes of sun a day is healthy as it creates vitamin D, a powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogen, but you should wear a natural sunscreen and cover up if you plan on being in the sun longer than that. Avoid stimulants like refined sugar and caffeine as these upset hormone balances and mess with circulation. They also make it difficult for the body to get the rest it needs to repair.
Remember you are what you eat! We should respect our skin and be mindful of the fuel we are using to keep us going. If you consume only beautiful, fresh, healthy, organic and free range produce the results will shine out of your face like the colourful rainbow you have been eating!
Written by Prue Rustean