Many of us have a preferred skin care regime and use our favourite products regularly, but if we can support the appearance of our skin through food choices, as well as product choices, what foods does the research suggest may help?
Although we routinely apply external products to follow a skincare regime, internally, the food we eat will also have an impact. There is a lot of information available about healthy eating in general such as cutting down on refined foods and processed sugar and eating lots of fruit and vegetables, but which foods might specifically help our skin?
Research suggests that foods with abundant antioxidants and nutrients, healthy fats, vitamins (in particular A, E and C) will help nourish the skin.
It’s well reported that we should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but for skin, we can take it a step further by trying to include as much colourful fruit and veg as we can. The more reds, oranges, yellows, greens, purples and as many other colours we can think of bring different benefits to the skin.
All citrus fruits are great for vitamin C, as well as broccoli, sweet potatoes, currants and berries, soft fruits like strawberries and more tropical fruits like guava, or papaya. Pomegranates are thought to help preserve collagen too.
Basically, most nuts and seeds are great for the skin as they are rich sources of antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids.
Omega-9 fatty acids are found in macadamia nuts, omega-3 fatty acids are found in flaxseeds, and walnuts contain protein, B complex vitamins, vitamin E, niacin and riboflavin.
Avocados, almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin E which helps protect skin from UV sun damage, while the selenium found in Brazil nuts works with vitamins C and E to further protect against the aging effects of the sun.
Pumpkin seeds and pistachio nuts contain phytochemicals that help keep the heart healthy. Fatty fish like salmon, trout, sardines, and mackerel are also thought to be good for heart health and they too are full of healthy fats.
Basically, the message is to eat low-sugar, low refined-carb whole foods with a broad range of brightly coloured fruit and veg nuts and seeds. Good for our general health and great for our skin.