While topical Skin Treatments, Facials and at-home Skin Care routines are vital to repairing, restoring and maintaining clear and glowing skin, there is much to be said for diet, the foods we eat and repairing our skin from the inside, out. Gut health and diet plays a significant part in not only how we feel but the way we look on the outside.
In recent years, scientists have proven that a healthy, balanced diet can not only maintain clear skin but also work to repair damage and keep us looking younger, for longer. An unhealthy diet can cause weight gain, effect metabolism and cause harm to our organs, especially the largest organ of all – our skin.
It can take up to six weeks for new skin to emerge to the surface and reveal a clear and beautiful complexion. This will include seeing the results from a change in your diet. Although you won’t see the results over night, a consistently healthy diet comprising of all the essential food groups for clear skin will be sure to make a positive impact on the way you look and feel.
Face Fit break down the best foods to eat for clear and radiant skin:
- FATTY FISH
Regularly eating fish, particularly fatty fish such as Salmon, Tuna and Mackerel are perfect for improving the health of your skin. Not only is Fish a fantastic source of protein, Fatty fish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which is important for maintaining the integrity of your skin.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential to the health and function of your body. They are also necessary to keeping your skin supple, hydrated and thick. An essential acid found in Omega-3 is ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and is not naturally occurring in the body which means that you must supplement this with the foods you eat. A deficiency in Omega-3 Fatty Acids can cause inflammation, redness and dry skin.
Fish Oil tablets are also a great way to supplement your Omega-3. You should be eating at least 2 portions of fatty fish each week.
Perfect for snacking, grazing platters and skin, this multi-tasking bite sized treat is vital to maintaining a healthy complexion. Although small, a selection of Nuts is jam packed with essential goodness.
Walnuts are a good source of essential fats, zinc, vitamin E and vitamin C, all of which are essential nutrients that your skin requires to glow and stay healthy.
Walnuts are comprised of essential fatty acids, which are fats that your body cannot make itself therefore needing to be supplemented by incorporating them into your diet.
Walnuts also boast a good level of zinc, which is essential for your skin to function properly as a barrier, as well as necessary for wound healing and combatting both bacteria and inflammation.
If you’re following any form of diet plan, chances are, you’re already on the Almond train. As well as being a great snack substitute for weight management, Almonds have incredible benefits for your skin. As well as including proteins, magnesium, zinc, omega-3 they are packed with Vitamin-E.
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E helps support the immune system, cell function, and skin health. It also works to improve and strengthen the barrier, keeping your skin protected.
These nuts are energy dense, highly nutritious, and one of the most concentrated dietary sources of the mineral selenium.
Selenium is an antioxidant. It works alongside other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C and is essential to support the immune system. Including the daily recommended intake of selenium can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots helping you keep your youthful appearance for longer
There is so much to be said for the benefits of seeds in your skincare diet. Seeds includes so much nutrients for the skin including a high level of zinc. Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin (which produce oil) and helps to repair skin damage and keep skin soft and supple.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant for the skin and aids in fighting the signs of aging.
Pumpkin seeds are a skin superfood because they’re so high in zinc. Pumpkin seeds and their oil are excellent skin care agents. The bright orange pigment-producing molecules, called carotenoids, have anti-aging effects keeping us looking radiant and younger for longer.
Contrary to popular belief, Pine Nuts are in the Seed Family. Pine Nuts contain a high level of Vitamin E which is proven to assist with anti-aging. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.
Looking for a vegetarian form of omega-3s? Chia seeds are full of the fatty acid, as well as fibre, protein, and antioxidants. A perfect excuse to indulge in Chia Puddings for breakfast!
Hands up if you live for Smashed Avo, guacamole and everything Avocado!?
Your skin will you love you for that! Avocado is a one of the best sources of GOOD fats!
The healthy fats found in Avocado (as well as fatty fish, nuts and seeds) provide essential fatty acids which act as a natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple and improving elasticity. These fats also come packaged with a healthy dose of vitamin E which will help protect our skin from the signs of aging.
Vitamin E also stimulates the skin’s collagen production. It is a fabulous antioxidant that helps rid the body of toxins, keeping us healthy and glowing.
Stock up on Blueberries every time you shop at your local supermarket because just one cup of Blueberries makes up a quarter of your daily vitamin C intake, and the best news? They are low in calories and super delicious.
Blueberries are also full of antioxidants that combat cell damage and fight against free radicals which are unstable molecules that may harm your skin.
The Vitamin C component in Blueberries aids in the skins natural regeneration process which helps the body to repair damaged cells keeping us looking fresh and rejuvenated.
6. SWEET POTATO
Not only is Sweet Potato delicious and highly recommended as a substitute in many weight management diet plans, Sweet Potato is also loaded with beta-carotene which is a nutrient found in plants.
Our body, clever as it is, converts beta-carotene to vitamin-A. For those who don’t know, Vitamin-A is retinol and helps to aid in the production of collagen, keeping our skin supple and young. Vitamin-A also protects the skin from sun damage and can help prevent sunburn, dead cells and dry skin.
7. GREEN TEA
Green tea is a great antibacterial agent, which can be used to treat skin problems like acne, pimples and unclogging pores. The presence of antioxidants such as Polyphenols help in fighting infection and bacterial membranes, which help in treating acne.
Green Tea is also loaded with catechins which is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, redness and improves hydration and elasticity
8. RED WINE
By far our favourite point yet! Red, Red WINE! is famous for containing resveratrol, a compound that comes from the skin of red grapes. Resveratrol has so many health benefits including a vast range of benefits for the skin and an antioxidant that helps fight skin-damaging free radicals
It is also credited with a wide range of health benefits, among them reducing the effects of aging.
As the saying goes, “everything in moderation” so as much as we’d like to down a few bottles of our favourite red (all in the name of skin care, of course), the alcohol content can also promote negative effects to our skin when consumed in excess.
All aboard the Kale-Train. Whether you’re already well acquainted with Kale as part of your Green Goddess smoothies or you’re slowly coming around to this super food, this will reinforce your decision. Not only does it go down well in your breakfast juice, but Kale also works wonders for the skin.
Kale is a good source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is wonderful for our skin because the body it into vitamin A (retinol). We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system. In conjunction with Vitamin A, antioxidants and all-round goodness, it is also teeming with vitamin C. If you didn’t know, C stands for Collagen (just kidding). In all seriousness, vitamin C helps the body maintain collagen and in turn, our fresh, youthful appearance.
10. DARK CHOCOLATE
As if you needed any more reason to LOVE chocolate, here’s another, Skin Skin Skin!
The consumption of Dark Chocolate (At least 70% Cocoa), has many proven benefits when it comes to your skin. Cocoa, being the superfood that it is, is rich in antioxidants combatting cell damage and improving the overall health of your skin. It can boost the moisture in your skin which and protects against harmful UVs subsequently prolonging the arrival of wrinkles and fine lines.
So, swap out the milk chocolate and replace your sugar-riddled sweets with its darker counterpart. It’s better for both skin and waistline!
To learn more about gut health and a what other food agents are great for our skin, talk with the Face Fit guru of skin, Charlotte!