4 Foods You Need to be Eating for Flawless Skin
Let’s talk about skin. Has your expensive million-step skincare routine not been giving you the results you’ve wanted? Whether you’re a teenager dealing with your uncontrollable and unstable hormones or an adult trying to calm the process of ageing and dullness, there are steps that you can take to achieve the admirable glowing, ageless skin. Think about this… What if all your problems are due to you not nourishing your body with the right kinds of foods? If you’re like me and living in a densely populated city, this post is especially important for you (you’ll understand more about why later)
Although there are tons of products in the market that advertise it’s ‘glowing effect’ on the skin, wouldn’t you want to wake up in the morning, bare-faced, with a naturally radiant glow? Beauty from within is the way to go.
Things you should know beforehand:
What are ‘free-radicals’ and why are they bad for your skin?
Free radicals are “damaging molecules that come from light, pollution, cigarette smoke and more”. To keep it simple, these molecules are missing an electron, which is why they search and destroy skin cells with the goal of obtaining an electron.
What are antioxidants? How do antioxidants prevent this process?
Antioxidants are important compounds you get from nutrition or artificially that help fight free-radicals from destroying your skin. "They donate electrons, which neutralize free radicals," says Leslie Baumann, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami. Which is exactly why eating antioxidant-rich foods are very VERY important.
Although I may just be genetically ‘lucky’ in terms of having generally clear skin, I do associate this with the food I eat.
Here are 5 scientifically proven foods for healthy and glowing skin:
Avocado toast, creamy avocado smoothie’s, guacamole and so much more. Avocados are probably one of my favourite and the most versatile fruits on the market. Little do you know, these creamy fruits are jam-packed with all the good stuff.
Avocados contain both poly and monounsaturated fat. If these terms don’t sound familiar, maybe you’ve heard of omega-3 or 6 fatty acids? Anyway, not only does it help in many functions of the body, keeping your health in top condition but it can actually make your skin appear younger, a desire many have. This happens as the “polyunsaturated fats also help produce the skin's natural oil barrier, critical in keeping skin hydrated, plumper, and younger-looking” as mentioned by Wendy C. Fries.
As mentioned above, our air contains free-radicals from the pollution which is very harmful to our natural skin barriers. The antioxidants in avocados and many other foods can help protect the skin from these damaging molecules by neutralising it.
Avocados contain B7 Vitamins, also known as Biotin. There isn’t scientific evidence showing that Biotin actually improves skin health but a deficiency in this vitamin can cause skin problems, such as dermatitis.
To be honest, I’ve never been the kind of person who could just snack on a handful of almonds and feel satisfied but there is no doubt that these bad boys will do wonders to your skin and your overall health. Now, before you go off and munch down whatever you find in your pantry, you should be wary about which nuts you’re eating and the quantity that you should be eating.
Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant. Most of the foods I’ve listed are packed with antioxidants. I can’t emphasise enough how important these are for fighting off free-radicals.
Have you been breaking out in acne but can’t seem to find the cause? You might be lacking fibre in your diet. Fibre basically ‘acts as a sponge that soaks up excess estrogen as well as toxins in our blood (which come from our diet and toxic products in our environment) and eliminates them through our digestive tract” as stated by Kelsey T. Chun. A lack of fibre in your diet can cause toxins and waste products to build up in your body, resulting in the build-up on your skin as a form of acne.
Why Walnuts are the best kind of nuts out there.
Walnuts, although may be too bitter for many people’s liking, are one of the best nuts in the market, for your health. They are full of alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid. "Walnuts offer up healthy Omega-3 fats that strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, locking in moisture and nutrients that keep it plump and glowing and keeping out toxins that can damage skin cells," said Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, Registered Dieticians and co-owners of C&J Nutrition in Manhattan. The nourishing fats in walnuts attract moisture from the air, soothing dry skin. "These healthy fats may also reduce skin inflammation (read: fewer breakouts!) and play a role in protecting the skin against harmful UV rays," say Clarke and Jarosh. Additionally, these anti-inflammatory agents help to keep your hair looking glossy by reducing scalp irritation.”
Lemon, Oranges, Grapefruit…. The list goes on. You’ve probably watched a bunch of health and fitness gurus on youtube raving about the wonders of warm lemon water on your health. They aren’t wrong…
Vitamin C is without a doubt great for your overall health… But let’s focus on it’s skin benefits. The antioxidants help in the regeneration of your skin cells, thus why it’s great for healing wounds, battling scars or recovering from UV damage. Tsippora Shainhouse, a board-certified dermatologist and paediatrician also states that “vitamin C, in particular, helps to rebuild collagen, brighten your skin and fade dark spots.”
I’ve saved the BEST for last! Tomatoes! A fruit? A vegetable? Who knows. All you need to know about these guys are that they are fantastic for your skin.
Lycopene is something that I only came across once digging deeper into my research and honestly, it knocked me off my feet. It is a carotenoid full of antioxidants with the potential of many health benefits. “Lycopene can't turn back the clock, but by increasing your lycopene intake, you can boost the health of the collagen in your skin and stop some of the fine lines before they start”. This may be enough to get you snacking on cherry tomatoes but wait until you hear the rest. They actually act as a form of UV protection for the skin as found by W. Stahl et al. “Following ingestion of lycopene or tomato-derived products rich in lycopene, photoprotective effects have been demonstrated. After 10-12 weeks of intervention, a decrease in the sensitivity towards UV-induced erythema was observed in volunteers.”. But be sure not to use this as a replacement to sunscreen as Lycopene is “not comparable to the use of a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, dietary intake may provide basal protection.”. To sum it up, Lycopene is a great form of protection from the sun but can’t replace the protection you get from sunscreen. Eat lycopene-rich foods and use sunscreen for the ultimate skin protection.
There you have it, my top foods for skin health. Stop whatever you’re doing now and go stock up on these foods. You’ll thank me later.