Natural is beautiful
Healthy, glowing skin is our outside presentation of what’s going on within. Our skin has an uphill battle with outside pollution and the weather, internal factors such as age, our DNA and hormones (none of which we can do much about), smoking and alcohol which we CAN influence, and diet.
I will share with you the best foods I find can help to keep your skin as healthy and glowing as possible.
Of course, covering up in sunlight, moisturizing well in chill winds, stopping smoking (a must!) and reducing alcohol consumption will all help too, so we should always be aware of those things that we can do to help ourselves.
Although not strictly speaking a food, water is the single biggest influence on our skin.
Keeping hydrated will not only keep our skin healthy and glowing but will rid our bodies of toxins too.
It varies on how much water we are advised we should drink each day, but it helps to keep some with you at all times so you can take regular sips throughout the day. I aim for at least 2 litres.
Sardines, mackerel and salmon
It is well-documented that fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids which are very good for you, and help keep your skin clear.
It is said that a particular type of fatty acid is an anti-inflammatory, which can also help with acne and similar skin conditions.
Plus, we all know how great Victoria Beckham’s skin looks. She maintains her flawless skin by eating salmon every day, under the instruction of her dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer. And we can’t deny her skin is GORGEOUS!
There are some delicious recipes around using this type of fish, or just go mediterranean style and throw it on the barbeque, serve with fresh salad and petite or fingerling potatoes!
According to research, kale is one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that absorb and neutralize the free radicals created by UV light, as well as providing you with skin-firming vitamins C and A.
Great in stir fried dishes, as part of a salad, or as a side; don’t overcook your kale as it will lose precious nutrients.
Especially good for vegetarians as they contain the omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fatty fish, walnuts in particular can help eliminate dry, scaly skin due to the omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid.
A handful of nuts with yoghurt or fruit, or with cheese and apple is so tasty. Nuts can be used in all kinds of recipes, both sweet and savoury.
We all know that vegetables are good for you. They are packed full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that you need to keep you healthy.
But it’s yellow and orange vegetables that tend to have more flavonoids, beta-carotene, carotenoids and vitamin C that improve skin health and heal skin damage.
Carrots in your slaw, grilled bell peppers in your salads and stir fry dishes and sweet potato as a side will all promote great skin!
Tastes delicious and is anti-ageing; dark chocolate is great for your skin.
Cocoa is rich in flavanol antioxidants that defend skin against free radicals, which is said to prevent wrinkles, although it’s still up for debate as to how much you would need to eat to turn back the clocks!
Bearing in mind your calorie count, it’s fair to say that a little dark chocolate each day may well help your complexion, but don’t overdo it! A dark chocolate milk shake as a post workout snack may be just what your skin is crying out for.
This little fruit is packed full of vitamin C which is said to help in the battle against skin dryness and wrinkles.
I love kiwi in a fruit salad, or for a divine sweet treat, a beautiful pavlova topped with cream, strawberries and kiwi, with a little passion fruit drizzled over the top is a perfect dessert.
Tomatoes contain lycopene which gives them their deep red color. It is considered that eating tomatoes can help protect the skin from damage by the harmful rays of the sun, protecting your skin against ultraviolet lights.
Tomatoes and natural tomato products can enable your skin to take in oxygen, delaying aging and wrinkling.
Italian cookery has an array of tomato based pizza and pasta sauces so it is easy to include tomatoes in your cooking.
You could try making a face mask from tomatoes, which is also supposed to benefit your skin, tackling it from the inside and out!
One of the main avocado skin benefits comes from their high oleic acid content. This is a ‘good’ fatty acid which helps to maintain moisture in the outer layer of your skin, helping to keep it soft and hydrated. Oleic acid also helps to regenerate damaged skin cells and reduces facial redness and irritation. It also contains vitamin C which is necessary for the creation of elastin and collagen, which bind your skin cells together and maintain their firmness and structure. So avocado as a part of your healthy diet is great for your skin, though remember that, although the fats it contains are ‘good’ fats, it is high in fat and can add a lot of calories.
Some research has shown that dairy milk can be inflammatory for skin conditions such as acne, and so substituting almond milk for dairy may help alleviate acne, wrinkles and rashes.
There may be other reasons for these conditions too, but it could be worth trying it for a period of time just to see if it works for you. Almond milk can be used in most of the ways that dairy is used.
I hope that you find something here to help your skin look great, and don’t forget to keep up a great cleansing routine too. Many of the food items here can be adapted into natural skin care products, which we could look at in a future blog.
You can share pics with me on Instagram – if you try a new routine, snap some before and after selfies – it can help you to remember how your skin was and to compare with how it looks now!