As the cold weather draws closer I know my skin isn’t going to look as glowing as it did in the summer months, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even though I won’t be getting a tan any time soon, I know that just by eating a little more of the right foods, I can help protect my skin and keep it looking healthy all year round.
Here’s my ultimate list of the best foods for great skin!
1. SWEET POTATOES
Key ingredient: Beta-carotene
The orange hue of these spuds doesn’t just look pretty on your dinner plate; the pigment responsible for it is also the secret to the vegetable’s complexion benefits, which are to improve wrinkles and skin dullness. Once inside the body, Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A, which keeps skin soft and smooth while curbing inflammation and slaying free radicals.
Key ingredient: Vitamin C
Think fresh orange juice is your best source of vitamin C? Think again. Cup for cup, kale has the edge, so tuck into this cruciferous vegetable if you’re concerned about premature aging. A diet high in vitamin C is also associated with less dryness and fewer noticeable wrinkles. BUT, if you do fancy a fruity way of getting your vitamin C, then try a kiwi as it is higher in Vitamin C per ounce than most other fruits.
Key ingredient: Vitamins C & E and Beta-carotene
Spinach delivers a triple dose of wrinkle-fighting antioxidants with these key ingredients. All three work to protect your skin from the sun’s aging UV rays, but yes, you still need to wear sunscreen!
4. CHIA SEEDS
Key Ingredient: Omega 3
These little guys are packed with protein, fibre, and loads of omega-3s, which reduce inflammation. They’re a pretty good diet tool, too: Since they absorb up to ten times their weight in water, they keep you feeling fuller longer.
5. BELL PEPPERS
Key Ingredient: Vitamin C
They come in the same colors that gummy bears do—red, orange, yellow, and green—but that’s not why bell peppers are the stars of the crudités platter. Spiked with vitamin C, they amplify collagen production for healthy hair and skin.
Key ingredient: Flavonoids & Vitamin E
Almonds can help ward off damaging free radicals and have been said to even oxidative damage caused by smoking. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which helps in preventing cell damage and also helps in preventing the damage caused by the sun’s rays. Almond milk is also rich in proteins and vitamins and helps hydrate and soften the skin.
Key ingredient: Anthocyanins (antioxidants)
It’s blueberries that could save you a trip to the dermatologist’s office. Blueberries currently rank number one in antioxidant activity – which means they’re the prime bodyguard to defend you from the free radicals that cause wrinkles and sagging skin.
Key ingredient: Lycopene
Lycopene helps prevent sunburn and UV radiation damage, and it’s found in higher concentrations in tomatoes than in almost any other food. The best sources are the cooked form (tomato paste and sauce); their lycopene content is four times easier for the body to absorb than that of fresh tomatoes. Again, you still need to wear sunscreen!
9. PUMPKIN SEEDS
Key ingredient: Zinc
Essential to more body functions than any other mineral, zinc is a stealth beauty multitasker, accelerating the healing of wounds and building elastic tissue. Lack of zinc in your diet may lead to symptoms such as acne, eczema, hair shedding or white spots on your fingernails.
10. DARK CHOCOLATE
Key Ingredient: Flavonol
Dark chocolate helps skin stay hydrated and protects skin from sun damage, and contrary to popular belief, chocolate does not cause acne. Before you make a mad dash to the shops though, keep in mind that the best kind of chocolate should be at least 60% cacao.
Enjoy that last one especially… just not too much! 😉 x