Eat your way to glowing skin
There are lots of aspects of our lifestyle choices that hugely impact on the condition of our skin. Some of them are our psychological well-being, sleeping and eating habits, as well as genetic predisposition. However, there are certain foods that can help us take good care of our skin and slow down ageing. Let’s see what and why.
1. Drink water
The outer lay of the skin should contain at least 20-30% of water. Research has shown that the reduction of water in the skin up to 10-20% leads to lack of elasticity and surface roughness. Eight glasses a day is the perfect dosage. Coffee, tea and juices do not count. Better stick to plain water.
2. Eat Veggies! Lots of them!
Especially the green and leafy ones such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and cabbage. Also beans and sweet potatoes! They are rich in protein, antioxidants and minerals which are great when fighting aging of the skin.
3. Eat Fruits!
Ones that are rich in vitamin C and E such as lemons, apples, kiwifruit, cherries and blueberries. Actually, all types of berries! They are strong oxidants (which is great for the skin), they make the skin healthier, restrict growth of cancer cells and reduce inflammation.
4. Garlic & Onion
Garlic and onion which are rich sulphur foods, are very beneficial. They do not only make your skin smoother and slower aging but they also strengthen your immune system, detox the liver and reduce the risk of cancer.
5. Dark chocolate & cocoa!
As opposed to the traditional belief that chocolate leads to acne, chocolate in fact is a great antioxidant. It has been found to increase blood circulation in the skin and improves its ability to maintain moisture which makes it look younger.
6. Eat Nuts!
Almonds, hazel nuts, pine nuts, sunflower and others. They are rich in vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acid, as well as protein; they slow down the aging processes in the cells.
7. Fish, Fish, Fish!
Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and protein which have a positive effect not only on the skin but also on the heart. The consumption of oily fish (eg salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, and sardines) of at least 2-3 times a week increases life expectancy and is a natural antioxidant which proves to be the most age-defying substance. Do not be freaked out by the word ‘oily’. It is not saturated fat that leads to weight gain.
8. Red Wine
Unexpectedly, red wine is good not only for the skin but for the heart too. The alcohol content, the antioxidants and the nutrients keep blood clots from forming, improve blood circulation to the skin and protect the heart.
9. Stay away from the sun
Even though exposure to sun rays increases the amount of vitamin D, which is good for the body; it may also lead to pre-mature aging of the skin. A recent study has found that a larger intake of veggies, olive oil, fish, legumes and carotene significantly decreases the damaging effects of the UV rays.
In order to slow down aging and make your skin glow, we advise you to drink water and wine (but not excessively!), take in rich in antioxidants food, such as fruits and veggies, and some fish too; snack on nuts and take care of your psychological health! Get enough sleep and just love yourself!
Written by Dr. Noel Duncan
1. Yuregir, H. Food for the skin, British Nutrition Foundation, London, UK, December 2009