You are what you eat.
Not literally of course, otherwise I would resemble something closer to a 5”2 wheel of cheese
but more that the way our body functions is a direct result of the nutrients (or lack thereof) that we provide it.
The foods that we eat give our body the vitamins and minerals it uses for growth, maintenance and repair of all our cells and our skin cells are one of the first places that the signs on poor nutrition will show up. Not just acne, which can generally be improved and even controlled with a proper diet, but your skin being dry, dull, flaky, sun-damaged or aging prematurely can all be improved with the right nutrition.
Here are my ten top food tips for healthy, glowing skin:
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help control and regulate sebum, the skin’s natural oil, production. Enjoy a quick mid-week meal of crispy-skinned salmon with stir fired Asian greens to boost your omega-3 intake.
Beetroot is fantastic for stimulating your liver, helping to remove toxins and leave your skin brighter. Roast it whole or make fresh apple, carrot, beetroot and ginger juice.
Peppermint relieves stress, which is a major cause of acne breakouts. Try drinking peppermint tea to help calm your nerves and balance your hormones.
Water is the most important factor in keeping your skin hydrated, without enough of it your skin will look dry and dull and the shedding of excess dry skin cells will clog your pores and lead to pimples. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day minimum to ensure you’re not dehydrating your skin.
Brazil nuts are a super source of selenium which improves skin elasticity by fighting the free radicals that attack collagen. Snacking on just 4 raw brazil nuts will give you 100% RDI of selenium!
Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene, which promotes good circulation, and vitamin c, to help maintain collagen production. Include cherry tomatoes in an omelette or even better - as the lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body once it’s cooked - roast them to include in a hearty Sunday brekkie.
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are high in zinc which regulates oil production to help fight both dryness AND acne. It also helps to reduce inflammation that makes your skin look red and blotchy, giving you even skin tone. Try sprinkling toasted pepitas on your salad for extra crunch factor.
Blueberries are an antioxidant powerhouse, having one of the highest antioxidant concentrations per gram. Antioxidants are important for healthy skin because they help repair free radical damage to skin cells caused by things such as UV exposure and smoking. Throw some blueberries into your next smoothie or add them to your morning cereal.
Popeye’s favourite food is high in vitamin A which is important for skin repair and maintenance. Deficiencies result in dry, flaky skin that not only looks dull but can clog pores and lead to a breakout. Try swapping lettuce leaves for baby spinach next time you make a salad. Bonus – spinach is rich in iron and vitamin c which contribute to healthy skin by fighting free radical damage and maintaining healthy collagen!
Simple sugars, like the ones found in soft drinks, cakes, biscuits and chocolate, create a massive insulin spike. Besides wreaking havoc with your blood sugar and hunger signals it causes a chemical cascade that increases the hormones that stimulate sebum secretions and lead to clogged pores. Next time skip the sugary latte and the muffin for morning tea (even better, replace it with some of the foods we’ve just read!) and your skin – and waistline – will thank you.
Having clear skin has never been so easy or so delicious! Make the effort to take care of your body and it will take care of you in return.
Fit Kitchen Blog
Healthy recipes for people that love food.
Join the JLFN community to receive your free healthy chocolate recipes e-book
- as well as a regular newsletter with exclusive recipes, tips and special offers - making it easier to reach your health and fitness goals!