What you put into your body often shows up on the outside. Eating well not only makes you feel great, but it can also help you get glowing, radiant skin. The Nude Nutritionist shares how to eat your way to fabulous skin.
Move over Kale, there is a new super-food in town. The leafy greens of watercress are packed with skin-nourishing antioxidants as well as minerals manganese, carotene and potassium, which will help protect against free radicals. Too many free radicals can harden skin cells promoting unwanted imperfections, bumps and wrinkles. The hydration you get from eating watercress may also make skin appear plumper with fewer lines. Watercress also works magic to flush out toxins resulting in clearer skin.
Use it: For skin that glows, add watercress to your salad or use as a garnish on your favourite meals.
2. Mackerel and oily fish
If you are after radiant and spot-free skin like a Victoria’s Secret model, make sure you eat oily fish like mackerel, salmon or tuna a few times a week. These oily fish are loaded with healthy omega-3 fats including EPA and DHA, which can help combat skin inflammation associated with acne, eczema and psoriasis. Oily fish is also loaded with Selenium, a nutrient powerhouse that helps maintain elastin, a protein that keeps your skin smooth and tight. It gets better. Oily fish are a great source of protein and also contain biotin, a B vitamin that produces fatty acids and metabolises protein helping to keep skin hydrated and scale-free.
Use it: Add a tin of mackerel, salmon or tuna to your salad or grill a fillet of oily fish for a meal your skin will love.
3. Sweet potato
Not only do sweet potatoes provide a great source of slow burning energy, but they have the super ability to help smooth wrinkles. Sweet potatoes are naturally loaded with vitamin C, a nutrient essential in the production of collagen. As we all know, collagen is a skin powerhouse when it comes to maintaining even skin tone and texture. Colourful fruit and veg (like sweet potato, carrots and spinach) are naturally high in skin-loving vitamin A, a nutrient which can increase yellow and red tones improving skin colour and appearance.
Use it: Add sweet potato to salads, use in a quiche or serve mashed with a fillet of oily fish. Your skin will be glowing and clear in no time.
4. Brazil nuts
These beauty bombs are loaded with vitamin E, a potent protector from the rays of the sun. Brazil nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, good fats that help maintain moisture and texture of skin. They are also especially rich in zinc and selenium. Selenium actively increases white blood cells in the body, which protects against skin infections like acne.
Use it: Brazil nuts are a convenient, healthy snack between meals. Eat 6-8 brazil nuts to satiate your hunger and keep cravings at bay.
5. Dark chocolate
Is there anything a good piece of chocolate can’t fix? According to research, dark chocolate may help create smoother and softer skin thanks to special ingredient, flavanols. Dark chocolate is anti-oxidant rich and may also help protect against skin damaging UV rays from the sun warding off rough, dry skin.
Use it: You do not need a whole lot of dark chocolate to reap the rewards. For more luminous skin without the extra calories, choose 70% dark chocolate and enjoy in moderation.
Flaxseeds contain a mega dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent spots and helps minimise wrinkles. The skin-clearing properties of omega-3 fats are thought to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of lines by attracting water to skin cells. Omega-3 fats can also significantly reduce skin irritations and redness. Flaxseeds are also loaded with phyto-estrogens, a natural chemicals found in plant foods that may help balance hormones. Many skin issues are aggravated by hormonal imbalances typical when going through puberty or menopause.
Use it: To help add luminosity to the skin, add a teaspoon of flaxseeds to your salads or yoghurt. Alternatively, try sauteeing veggies with a teaspoon of flaxseed oil.
7. Low GI carbohydrates
Scientists believe that maintaining even blood sugar levels could be responsible for creating a clearer complexion. Low GI carbohydrates (like beans, legumes, whole grains, porridge) release energy slowly throughout the day keeping your blood sugar levels more stable. High GI, processed carbohydrates like cake, biscuits and sugary drinks can increase inflammation, cause acne outbreaks and may damage collagen deepening wrinkles. Maintaining a even blood sugar level can also help combat stress and regulate moods which is especially important during menopause.
Use it: For a seriously skin-nourishing diet, swap processed white carbohydrates for brown, wholegrain, low glycemic index options like brown rice, porridge, legumes and sweet potato.
Combine these top 7 skin-clearing foods along with plenty of water, fresh air, exercise, and a good skin care regime for clearer and softer skin. Remember, It takes around six weeks for new skin to become visible so keep these nutritious foods in your diet for radiant, glowing skin.