We all want beautiful skin. We strive to achieve smooth, unblemished, glowing and youthful-looking skin, and the beauty industry is raking in the big bucks thanks to this obsession. We spend a lot of money buying the latest cream, potion or serum, and although some of these may actually help, we tend to forget that it all starts from the inside.
Instead of just focusing on what we put on our skin, we should be more mindful of what we put in our bodies and inadvertently what we’re feeding our skin. Mother Nature has a few solutions in her beauty arsenal and what’s great about her line of ‘beauty products’ is that they’re completely natural (no icky chemicals) and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
Here are some of the best foods you can feed your skin:
Avocados are great for the skin. We’ve all heard of applying avocado directly on the skin, such as in face masks, but eating this green wonder also benefits the skin greatly. It contains fatty acids that moisturise and soften your epidermal layer of skin cells and provides your body with skin-protecting anti-oxidants, like vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, which slow down the signs of ageing and keep wrinkles at bay.
Have at least ½ an avocado a day to benefit your skin. Avocado oil, apart from being used for cooking, is great when applied topically.
These seeds (yes, they’re actually seeds and not nuts!) are chock full of vitamin E which is a great sun blocker for the skin. Vitamin E also protects the collagen and elastin proteins of your skin which is vital for young and firm looking skin.
Make almonds your snack of choice and have 20 a day. If you don't fancy snacking on almonds on its own, why not sprinkle it in your salads, or maybe even have it in the form of a nut butter?
Beetroot is rich in antioxidants and minerals which are essential for beautiful skin. Beetroot also helps to purify the blood, has anti-inflammatory properties and so is especially good for those with oily and acne-prone skin.
Have beetroot juice daily for gorgeous skin. If you don’t enjoy the rather ‘earthy’ taste of beetroot, then add some apple or pineapple juice to it.
Snow Fungus (Tremella fuciformis)
Snow fungus has long been known in Asia to be wonderful for the skin. Now it is gaining popularity in other parts of the world as an active ingredient in skincare products. Snow fungus draws moisture to the skin and allows the skin to retain more water and protects it from degeneration. Imagine a super hydrating moisturiser that works from the inside!
Try this Snow Fungus Dessert which will benefit not only your skin but also your respiratory system.
These tiny seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which erase spots and iron out fine lines. The fats also attract water to your skin and help to stifle skin irritation. Lignan, a phytoestrogen found in flaxseed also helps maintain healthy hormones for women which results in youthful skin.
Take 2g or half a teaspoon of flaxseed daily – you can sprinkle it on your oatmeal or salads. You can also have ground flaxseed but make sure you store the flaxseed meal in an airtight container and away from sunlight.
Research has found that a higher consumption of olive oil (more than 8.4 grams or 2 teaspoons a day) was associated with 31% fewer signs of ageing compared to people who ate less than 3.8 grams (about 1 teaspoon). About 75% of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which is a good fat and plays a role in maintaining a youthful appearance. Olive oil also contains polyphenols which quenches damaging free radicals.
Cold-pressed olive oil would be best. Just take 2 teaspoons a day in your salads or even on its own, if you’d like.
When you eat tomatoes raw, you get a lot of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. The tomato though is one of those fruits which you would benefit from by cooking it down a little. This is because cooking the tomatoes boosts the antioxidant power of lycopene which is a phytochemical that helps to eliminate skin-ageing free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays.
Although eating it raw is good for you, cooked tomatoes are even better. Just a half-cup of cooked tomatoes (on its own or in a sauce) contains 16mg of lycopene.
The Japanese have amazing complexions and this is down to their diets. A staple in Japanese diets is the amazing green tea. Green tea contains antioxidants which boost blood flow and oxygen to the skin, in turn delivering key nutrients needed to keep the skin beautifully healthy.
Take a cup of green tea a day and your skin will thank you for it.