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When it comes to having healthy, glowing skin one of the best tools in your beauty kit is not the latest and greatest foundation; it's the food you put in your body.
That’s right: feeding your skin will go a long way to giving you the complexion you’ve always wanted. Get your diet right and not only will you feel amazing, but you'll also stand a higher chance of ridding yourself of skin complaints such as acne, sun damage, and premature signs of ageing. Read on to find out which superfoods to include in your diet and how they can give your skin the glow that it so desperately needs!
Walnuts are not only a delicious snack, but they're also packed full of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), including alpha-linolenic acid, which is a must-have for soft, beautiful, irritation-free skin.
EFAs not only protect the skin by strengthening its barrier function (which acts as a seal to keep moisture in and irritants out), they also hydrate and plump the skin by amping up collagen production. Collagen is what keeps the skin elastic and youthful, but unfortunately, production of this precious protein slows down after the age of about 35.
Enjoy your walnuts either on their own or thrown in a salad or pasta dish.
Another excellent source of omega-3s is wild salmon (and some other cold-water fatty fish, such as sardines and mackerel). As well as containing EFAs, salmon also contains selenium, a mineral that acts to prevent cell damage from the sun (though don’t think this means you can skip the SPF!)
It’s easy to enjoy salmon—grilled, baked, or in a salad, it’s always delicious!
If you suffer from acne, be sure to include plenty of kidney beans in your diet. Kidney beans are packed with zinc, a healing mineral in the body that tends to be low in acne sufferers, according to studies.
They’re not just for acne sufferers, though. Kidney beans are also fantastic at maintaining the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids and other lipids. Lipids are crucial for the skin’s barrier system keeping it well hydrated and less prone to damage, from the environment.
If you're not a fan of kidney beans, opt for other sources of zinc instead, such as beef, lamb, spinach, oysters, pumpkin seeds, or cashews.
Broccoli is packed full of skin-loving antioxidants and vitamins C—which helps in the production of collagen—and E, which guards against UV rays and protects cell membranes.
If you’re not a fan of broccoli—or even if you are and you fancy a treat for your skin.
From blueberries to strawberries to zingy raspberries, berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and micro-nutrients that protect the skin from the damage that can accelerate ageing.
On top of this, berries are rich in vitamin C, which helps protect the skin from damaging UV rays and encourages the production of collagen.
Enjoy your berries by adding a handful to your smoothie or pop a few in your Greek yoghurt along with a drizzle of honey. Yum!
The nutritional aspects of the avocado are well lauded these days and for a good reason. They’re packed with all sorts of goodies that benefit your body, but did you know that avocados are also excellent for the skin?
This fruit is packed with healthy fats that help the skin stay supple and springy and is perfect for people with dry skin. Avocados are also an excellent source of vitamin E, which helps protect the skin from oxidative damage.
Enjoy your avocado with some wholegrain toast in the morning or mash some up and add a little salt and cumin for a tasty guacamole!
It seems Popeye was right about spinach all along! This superfood is packed with essential nutrients that feed not only the body but also the skin.
In particular, spinach contains high levels of the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene. This allows your body to use the vitamin A to prevent skin damage and fight off pesky free radicals.
Spinach can be enjoyed in curries and stews or as an alternative to your usual lettuce, though you can also throw a handful in your smoothie to make it extra nutritious!
You may not have expected to see dark chocolate included in a list of healthy foods, but, in fact, dark chocolate is a wonderful tool in the fight against sun damage.
This is because chocolate contains flavanols, phytochemicals that can protect the skin from UV light. On top of this, it’s believed that chocolate with a high cocoa content (at least 70 percent) can reduce the roughness of skin and help overall with the skin’s hydration levels.
So, stock up on lots of lovely dark chocolate and congratulate yourself for doing your skin a favour!
Include these superfoods in your diet, and you'll have radiant skin in no time, especially if you combine healthy food with skincare that is made using natural ingredients, including plenty of skin-pampering oils.