We know food is amazing. It tastes delicious, it keeps us alive, and it pairs spectacularly with wine. But did you know that eating the right foods can leave your skin looking glorious and nourished? While different creams, serums, and masks can give our skin that extra boost it’s looking for, the best way to get that healthy glow is by starting with a healthy diet. Here is your cheat sheet to the good-skin essentials you need in your diet.
Remember to be patient as any dietary changes take around 6 weeks for results to start showing, so start eating now and reap the benefits later:
Omega-3 and 6 fats
Although they do sound like fictional overweight robot characters from a sci-fi movie, omega 3 & 6 fats are essential fatty acids which cannot be made in the body, only ingested. Omega-3 encourages the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds which are great at healing inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. These fatty acids are found in fish, flaxseed oil, linseeds, walnuts, and rapeseed oil.
Vitamin C is perfect for maintaining inner health and giving your skin an extra oomph. High in antioxidants, vitamin C will boost your immune system and collagen, and help blemishes to heal.
Best sources of vitamin C include oranges, blackcurrants, broccoli, blueberries, guava, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and kiwis (the fruit, do not eat New Zealanders. They are not an excellent source of vitamin C unless it stands for vitamin cannibalism).
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to neutralise free radicals which are known to damage skin cells. Eating foods such as almonds, avocados, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts can give your body the boost of vitamin E it needs. Consider having avocado on seeded toast for a maximum boost (also, avocado on toast is delicious and will leave you feeling warm and gooey all day long).
A powerful antioxidant, selenium works alongside Vitamin E and C to give you a strong immune system and great skin. Eating foods rich in selenium can help your skin fight against UV damage and ageing.
The best way to get a massive dose of selenium is to indulge in our old pal the Brazil nut. Just eating four brazil nuts a day will give you your recommended daily amount of selenium and skin that even a baby would be envious of. If you’re not a nut person, you can also look to fish, shellfish, eggs, tomatoes, broccoli, and wheatgerm as a way of getting your selenium. If you absolutely are a nut person, read more about the health benefits of nuts here.
Zah-zah-zah-zinc is useful in assisting normal functioning of the sebaceous glands, which produce oil, under the skin and will help to keep your skin soft and supple. Zinc is also believed to help reduce inflammation and can help to reduce acne, what a super mineral! Oysters, crab and lobster are a great source of zinc, along with chicken, lean beef, beans, chickpeas and cereals.
Eat your vegetables
There’s a reason your parents were so insistent on eating vegetables: vegetables are great for you (groundbreaking, we know). Hong Kong summer is particularly nasty on our body and our skin. Bad skin can can be caused by pollution, heat, humidity, air-conditioning, nightlife, UV rays, and even that mild panic attack you have when you reach the front of the queue at the MTR and you discover your Octopus card is on negative (possibly the most stressful feeling in the world). By focussing on eating fresh fruit and vegetables, you can give your system the much needed support that it needs.
Focus on eating foods high in ‘betacarotene’ and ‘lutien’ to ensure healthy skin development and a good complexion and skin tone. Betacarotene, found in orange vegetables such as pumpkin, carrot, and sweet potato. Lutein is found in kale, spinach, and papaya.
Looking for a sweet summer salad? Check out this skin boosting summer salad that will have you glowing:
A simple salad that can be prepared the night before and smuggled into work so none of your co-workers see it and try to pinch it because it is so delicious. Can you say hello gorgeous skin?
You will need:
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1 knob of ginger, grated
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup coconut milk
Generous pinch of salt
1 cup mixed greens (preferably kale and spinach)
- In a medium frying pan, lightly toast the walnuts and coconut over low heat until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Zest the lime into a bowl, then squeeze in the juice. Whisk in grated ginger, coconut milk, honey and salt.
- Mix together the diced avocado, greens, walnuts and coconut, then toss with dressing until well-coated.
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We know food is amazing. It tastes delicious, it keeps us alive, and it pairs spectacularly with wine. But did you know that eating the right foods can leave your skin looking glorious and nourished? While different creams, serums, and masks can give our skin that extra boost it’s looking for, the best way to…