You are what you eat, right? Well, so is our skin, so forget buying expensive lotions and potions. A healthy complexion is easy to achieve just by improving our internal health and eating a balanced diet.
But which foods are best for glowing skin? Nature’s Own Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist, Kate Save shares her expert insights into the three essential nutrient groups – and which foods to eat – that will leave you with clean, youthful-looking skin. Just think of this as your clear skin diet.
1. Support skin synthesis and strengthening with key minerals
Zinc is an essential mineral that assists in developing cell membranes and repairing damaged tissues. It’s also shown to help resolve acne by controlling the production of the skin’s oil. Six per cent of the body’s zinc is in the skin, so eating zinc-rich foods can help maintain and enhance healthy skin.
What to eat: Red meat, scallops, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, or oysters.
Silica and Selenium are trace minerals necessary for achieving and maintaining good skin health. Silica strengthens the connective tissues such as hair, nails and cartilage, and can be found in foods such as strawberries, cucumber and asparagus. Selenium is responsible for preventing cell damage and sustaining skin elasticity.
What to eat: Salmon, eggs, wholegrain breads and cereals, or garlic.
2. Combat pre-mature ageing and boost skin renewal with Vitamins A, C & E
Vitamin C is your anti-ageing weapon! It acts as an antioxidant to prevent damage to the skin’s collagen or elastin caused by overexposure to sun or pollution. Don’t forget, Vitamin C is sensitive to heat so best to eat raw or only lightly cooked for maximum goodness.
What to eat: Citrus fruits, red and green capsicum, turnips, kale, parsley, broccoli, other dark leafy greens and strawberries.
Vitamin E works in conjunction with Vitamin C to reduce the effects of sun exposure and may reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It also has unique anti-inflammatory properties to help maintain a youthful appearance.
What to eat: Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, peaches, prunes, tomatoes, cabbage, asparagus and avocados.
Vitamin A is the secret to skin cell turnover and renewal making it ideal for those who suffer acne or other skin ailments.
What to eat: Egg yolks, butter, chili, carrots, apricots, melon and sweet potato.
3. Achieve a natural glow and protect your skin with essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are a vital component of a balanced diet, as they cannot be produced by the body. EFAs protect against external toxins by creating a barrier in the top outer layer of the skin. They also maintain moisture content and skin flexibility and have anti-inflammatory properties – all of which are important for bright skin appearance.
What to eat: Found in salmon, tuna, walnuts, flaxseeds and canola oil (all rich in Omega 3) and sunflower and safflower oils (rich in Omega 6).
What foods do you eat for healthy skin?