We have all heard of the saying ‘you are what you eat’. Well, we are here to tell you there is some truth in it! We’re not talking about the old wives tale that suggests you will turn orange if you eat too many carrots... but the food you do put in your body is reflected on the outside.
Eating healthy foods is important for our overall wellbeing; it affects our metabolism, weight, energy and internal organs. Our biggest organ however, is our skin, and like our other organs this too is affected by what we eat. If you are eating healthy and antioxidant rich foods, your skin will stay looking younger for longer and glow from the inside out. So which foods are good for your skin? At Skinstation we have created your go-to guide of 10 foods you can incorporate into your diet that will help you love the skin you’re in...
Starting off with a fan favourite; dark chocolate. Not that anyone needs another reason to tuck into a bar of chocolate, but now that you know it helps your skin, you can do so with extra gusto! Dark chocolate compared to milk or white chocolate is high in cocoa and this is the key ingredient that makes your skin look and feel fabulous. What makes dark chocolate so good for your skin is that the high concentration of cocoa delivers a high dose of antioxidants. What are antioxidants exactly, I hear you ask? Antioxidants are substances that limit the production of free radicals which if we produce too much, damage our skin. So, in summary, dark chocolate improves the appearance of wrinkles, hydration, skin texture, skin thickness, blood flow and even protects against sunburn, *dives into the snack cupboard*.
Avocados have soared in popularity in recent years, and for a good reason! Not only do they taste amazing on toast, but they are high in healthy fats, keeping you feeling fuller for longer and your skin looking glorious. The fat contained in avocados keeps your skin feeling moisturised and supple. The skin benefits of avocados don’t stop there, they also are high in vitamin E which is also an antioxidant that helps your skin look healthy. Combine this vitamin E with a dose of the vitamin C that avocados contain and you have a winning combination.
Sunflower seeds (and seeds in general!) are a great way to boost your vitamin E intake and a superfood for other healthy nutrients too. Just one ounce of sunflower seeds will deliver 37% of your RDI of vitamin E, an antioxidant your skin will love. In addition to this, one ounce of sunflower seeds has 32% RDI of selenium, 10% RDI of zinc and 5.4 grams of protein packed in.
We all know broccoli is good for us and great for our health, but did you know it’s a food your skin will also love too? Packed into this veggie is vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc that will keep your skin healthy and glowing. Adding broccoli to your diet has also been proven to kill UV light by as much as 29%, reducing the risk of sun damage. In addition to this, broccoli is a great source of sulforaphane, which is known to have anti-cancer effects, even some forms of skin cancer!
Green tea is not only a champion when it comes to your gut health, but it also is known to protect your skin from ageing and damage. The active ingredient in green tea is called catechins and improves your skin in multiple ways; by protecting against sun damage, reducing redness, improving moisture, thickness, roughness and elasticity. Switch out your morning mug of builders tea for this wondrous skin food and you can thank us later!
Tomatoes are an easy addition to your diet, slice them in your favourite sandwich, sprinkle baby tomatoes on a salad or dice them into your homemade bolognese. Whilst you’re chomping on your favourite dish, you will be consuming all of the major carotenoids that a tomato contains. Carotenoids, particularly lycopene prevents wrinkling and protects your skin from sun damage. Drizzle your favourite olive oil over your tomato salad to reap the full benefits, pairing carotenoids with fat increases absorption.
Sweet potatoes are a delicious alternative to the traditional potato. Not only are they much sweeter but they contain beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in your body, another antioxidant your skill will thank you for. Vitamin A improves the appearance of wrinkles, decreases cell death and improves dry skin. Just a 100 gram serving will deliver four times the amount of recommended daily vitamin A!
Red or Yellow Bell Pepper
Red and yellow bell peppers are similar to sweet potatoes in that they are an easy way to get a high dose of beta-carotene which your body will convert into vitamin A. Not only this, but bell peppers are one of the best sources of vitamin C, just one cup of bell peppers provides an amazing 317% of your recommended daily intake. This will provide support for your immune system and help your body produce collagen which will keep your skin plump and firm.
Where you can, switch out red meat for fatty fish to give your skin the boost it needs. Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3 which keeps your skin feeling moisturised, supple and thick as well as reducing inflammation, which could be causing acne or redness. If you are suffering from dry and scaly skin, it could also be your body asking for the fatty acids contained in fish such as salmon. The benefits of fatty fish don’t stop there. Fatty fish also contains zinc which increases the production of new skin cells, protein which maintains the integrity of your skin and vitamin E to protect your skin from damage and inflammation.
Last but by no means least is watermelon. It may seem counter intuitive, but watermelon reduces water retention which can be the cause of puffiness under your eyes. This is thanks to its high concentration of water, and is a lot yummier and full of more minerals that just water! It also has less sugar than other fruits, win win.