What we eat can have a powerful effect on our overall health, but did you know that it can also influence the way your skin looks and feels? Eat your way to a clearer, brighter complexion by ensuring that you consume healthy amounts of the following ten foods.
1 Oily fish
Oily fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel and herring, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have a beneficial effect on skin. They also provide skin with protein, vitamin E and zinc, which protect against inflammation and dryness.
If your skin needs a treat, help yourself to a handful of walnuts. Rich in fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation, they also contain vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc for a healthy skin boost.
Avocados are full of healthy fats and vitamins that nourish the skin and help to protect it from damage from the sun’s rays. A powerful dose of vitamins C and E helps to protect skin from environmental damage and reduces inflammation.
4 Sweet potato
The humble sweet potato is a powerhouse of beta-carotene, which protects skin from sun damage and the associated ageing effects.
5 Sunflower seeds
Just a handful of sunflower seeds every day will provide your skin with essential nutrients such as selenium, which helps to reduce environmental damage, along with zinc, protein and vitamin E. You will also benefit from a boost of linoleic acid, which helps skin to maintain its suppleness.
This leafy green vegetable is full of vitamins A and C, along with zinc, which help to maintain skin’s health. It is also packed with lutein, which can help to keep the ageing process of skin at bay. Moreover, broccoli contains sulforaphane, which is reputed to provide protection from skin cancer.
Red or green bell peppers are a great source of vitamins A and C and beta-carotene, which can all help to keep your skin firm, strong and healthy. Vitamin C is particularly useful for the creation of collagen, which keeps skin looking youthful and delays the onset of wrinkles.
8 Dark chocolate
It is the sugar, fats and other additives in chocolate that are responsible for weight gain; however, if you choose dark chocolate with a minimum cocoa level of 70 per cent, you will be doing your skin a big favour. Cocoa is packed with antioxidants and is found to reduce the effects of UV radiation from the sun. Studies have found that people who regularly consume dark chocolate have smoother and thicker skin with a higher moisture content.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene, which protect skin from sun damage and delay signs of ageing. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is needed for the manufacture of collagen to give skin its elasticity.
Isoflavones in soy helps to keep skin moisturised and protect against sun damage.