We all know that we are what we eat, but nowhere do the results of this show up more obviously than in the largest organ of the body, our skin! Mother Nature has blessed us with lots of amazing food for healthy skin, and most are easy to get hold of, cheap to buy and delicious and enjoyable to eat too!
Whilst the glossy magazines may try to convince us that the latest wonder balm full of chemicals and synthetics is the answer, in reality it’s much simpler. It might not seem glam… but beautiful glowing skin begins in the gut! Outer beauty really does come from within, so before splurging on the latest miracle cream, first invest your time and money in eating right and improving your digestive health.
So here you go, the best food for healthy skin…
Power up the Protein
Good quality plant proteins are exactly what the body needs to build Collagen Elastin. Collagen is the most common protein found in your body, it forms the connective tissues which give skin it’s texture and suppleness. Loss of collagen is a visible sign of ageing, and so having a diet rich in proteins is super important for maintaining a youthful appearance! Go for beans, peas, lentils chickpeas, tofu, nuts and seeds.
Carbs have an unfair bad reputation, however if you opt for complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potato and pulses then you can’t really go wrong! Complex carbs are ‘low GI’ which means they digested slowly, and so the sugar is released into your bloodstream more slowly. This helps to maintain stable insulin levels meaning you’ll be less likely to reach for a sugary snack. Sugar laden foods damage the skin’s collagen as the sugar molecules stick to the collagen fibres making them less effective. This leads to wrinkles and sagging of the skin. Fill up on sweet potato, oats, beans, lentils, peas and green vegetables. Complex carbs for the win, they’re far friendlier!
Fats are a bit of a contentious topic largely due to confusion over which are good or bad. Some fats known as ‘Essential Fatty Acids’ are an essential part of a healthy diet, and the proper functioning of our whole body. These EFA’s are grouped into Omega’s 3 and 6; Omegas 3 and 6 are really important for skin health as they work to hydrate cells and repair cell membranes restoring the skin’s barrier and locking in moisture. Their natural anti-inflammatory effect also helps to calm redness and heal blemishes.
One amazing product I’ve recently discovered is Neal’s Yard Organic Beauty Oil, it’s a blend of healthy fats, specifically formulated to match the ratios of Omega 3, 6 and 9 required when living in the UK climate. The nourishing supplement contains hemp seed oil, evening primrose oil, flax seed oil and avocado oil. I love to add into smoothies for a skin-boost – I highly recommend it and you can get your mitts on this wonderful concoction here!
When eaten in their natural unprocessed form, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds all provide a rich source of Omega 3 and 6. Brazil nuts are also rich in zinc and selenium which are essential minerals for calming redness and repairing the skin.
Turmeric, garlic and ginger aren’t just tasty ingredients for your cooking, but also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties – great for healing damaged or frazzled skin. Turmeric, spice of the moment, has been used in Ayurvedic practices for centuries to even out skin tone and pigmentation. Garlic is rich in anti-inflammatory sulphur which is great for clearing up blemishes.
This will help you achieve a smooth and balanced complexion, reducing the amount of skin products you need to get your skin looking flawless and glowing!
Purple Beauty Berries
Berries are a great food for healthy skin, and especially dark pigment rich purple fruits such as blackberries, black cherries and blueberries as they contain anthocyanins. These compounds are especially skin-friendly due to the high levels of antioxidants they contain. Juices and smoothies open up a whole new world of nutritious, skin-friendly treats. Add berries to your morning granola, smoothies and desserts to load up on even more skin boosting nutrients more often.
If you’re eating a balanced diet full of these nutrient rich foods you will be feeding your skin from within, and glowing in no time 🙂 Then if you want to enhance your gorgeous skin, then check out this post where I recommend some of my favourite vegan cruelty-free make up products!