We can’t help but admire beauty models or picture-perfect Korean idols with their smooth healthy skin, and sometimes despite our best efforts at skincare doesn’t seem to be able to improve our situation. While for some it might be due to dermal issues, for the rest of us, the problem might just be in our diets.
Beyond cutting down on the obvious culprits behind poor skin such as oily and greasy food, getting more rest and drinking more water, a complete diet overall sounds far too difficult for most of us. Instead, here we’ve done up a list of simple everyday food to increase our daily intake of to give our skin that extra nourishment it needs.
Beyond being a millennial’s favourite superfood, avocados are also rich in beneficial fats and contain vitamins E and C, both of which protect the skin from oxidative damage and to create collagen. The specific type of healthy fats present in avocados are also commonly associated with springy and supple skin, so all the more reason you have to grab an avocado milkshake.
Full of vitamins, minerals and carotenoid important for skin health — zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C and lutein — these work together to protect the skin from oxidative damage that normally causes the skin to become dry and wrinkled. Broccoli also contains a special compound called sulforaphane that’s a powerful protective agent against sun damage, boasting some of the most impressive anti-cancer effects found in food too.
As if we need another reason to consume more chocolate, but thanks to its high antioxidant properties, apart from reducing harmful stress hormones that break down collagen in the skin, it also helps the skin to withstand over twice as much UV radiation. Studies have also shown participants experiencing thicker, more hydrated skin that was less susceptible to sunburn and had better blood flow. Overall it also helped to prevent the formation of wrinkles too!
We’ve heard the term “omega 3” thrown around a lot in the past decades, but what exactly does it do? Apart from keeping skin thick, supple and moisturized, it also helped to reduce inflammation — the main cause behind redness and acne. It also fights other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions that affect the skin, such as psoriasis and lupus. Of course, that just gives us all the more reasons to indulge in salmon.
Green tea can perhaps be considered the healthiest beverage on Earth and is known to improve brain function and weight loss. But apart from those, it also helps to improve skin elasticity and protect against sun damage. Green tea is high in polyphenols and a specific type of antioxidant called catechins that reduces the redness of the skin while improving moisture and elasticity.
Red wine contains resveratrol, a certain type of antioxidant that has anti-cancer effects and pro-collagen effects on the skin. It has also been shown to help with reducing the effects of ageing by slowing down the production of harmful free radicals that damage skin cells. However, it is recommended to drink in moderation as excessive amounts of alcohol would harm the liver, and ultimately the skin too.
While soy is the usual go-to for meat substitutes in vegetarian and vegan diets, it’s also extremely beneficial for skin care. It contains plenty of isoflavones that can either mimic or block estrogens in the body, whereby daily consumption actually helps to reduce fine wrinkles by improving skin elasticity. On top of that, it also improves skin dryness and increases collagen that keeps the skin smooth and strong.
Interestingly enough, the nutrient found in sweet potato — known as beta-carotene — functions as provitamin A, meaning that it can be converted into vitamin A in the body. While it’s found in other sources like oranges and carrots, sweet potatoes are far richer and can provide four times as much of vitamin A to protect the skin from UV and sun damage. It also adds a warm, orange tone to the skin and gives you a healthier looking glow.
A fantastic source of Vitamin C, Tomatoes contain all of the major carotenoids — including lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene — all of which have been proven to improve the efficacy of sun protection. Having plenty of major carotenoids also makes it an excellent food choice for maintaining healthy skin. Whether as tomato paste or cooked tomato, fairing it with a good source of fat such as cheese or olive oil would boost absorption of carotenoids!
We all know that eating more walnuts is beneficial for brain development, but there’s actually many more characteristics that make them an excellent food for healthy skin. Just like fatty fish, they’re rich in omega 3 and even more so than most other nuts. One handful of walnuts also contains 6% of the recommended daily intake for zinc that’s essential for healing wounds and combatting bacteria and inflammation of the skin. Still, it’s advised not to take more than 10 walnuts a day due to the amounts high omega 6.