A great selection of skincare products and a dedicated routine can massively transform any skin. That said – genetics and lifestyle play a big part in how our skin looks and matures. One of the essential components is a well-balanced diet.
We’ll preface this by saying, we do not have a degree in nutrition. Some people have to avoid certain foods for medical reasons. A mere look at a dairy product will make someone bloat or breakout. Others are allergic to gluten. Alternatively, if you have a sweet tooth, you know (KNOW) you’ll end up with a spot if you insist on eating half a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. And yet, you eat it anyway. *cough*
It’s not rocket science. A well-balanced, varied diet is good for your body and your health. The added benefit is it is great for your skin, too. It supplies the skin with all the necessary nutrients to keep it hydrated, blemish and wrinkle-free, and protected against environmental damage.
Omega 3 fatty acids for the win! If you eat the recommended weekly portion of fish, please feel free to ignore this. But, if you aren’t eating enough fish (and chances are most of us aren’t), you should. The recommended weekly intake is at least 2 portions. Fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s aren’t only good for our overall health, but for our skin, too. They reduce inflammation, keep our cell membranes strong, and reinforce our moisture barrier. Fish is equally rich in vitamin E (a potent antioxidant) and zinc, a mineral that reduces inflammation.
Anyone in the know will tell you, a vitamin C serum comprises an essential component of any skincare routine. Likewise, citrus fruits are an essential part of any healthy diet. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and by eating citrus fruits, you boost your immune system and collagen production. It also makes the skin look healthy and helps it heal faster. But vitamin C isn’t limited to fruits only, peppers provide another great source of vitamin C.
Berries are jammed packed with antioxidants. They prevent cell damage by fighting free radicals we are exposed to daily. Berries are lovely when fresh, but frozen work too. Eat them on their own, toss some in your smoothie, or enjoy them with your morning oats.
Carrots possess high levels of beta-carotene. It is a vital nutrient because once in the body, it gets transformed into vitamin A. Vitamin A is fab for the skin since it boosts collagen production.
We are partial to tomatoes in any shape or form. They are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, which include lycopene. Lycopene is important because it is an antioxidant that guards against UV damage.
Green leafy vegetables
Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, arugula – you can’t have too many green leafy vegetables. Packed with vitamins and minerals, they remain a staple of any varied diet. On the plus side – they also hydrate and protect the skin. While the first association with leafy greens might be a salad, you can also add them to your smoothies. Though we draw the line at kale chips (it’s wrong on so many levels).
Oats score low on the glycaemic index, which determines how fast carbohydrate foods break down into glucose. It is the primary source of energy that our cells require to function. Because this process is slower and sugar is released into the bloodstream gradually, oats will keep you fuller for longer. Oats are rich in selenium, another antioxidant that protects our skin. Meanwhile, prebiotics help boost the immune system.