Every other week there’s a new product released which claims to be anti-ageing, de- wrinkling, de-puffing, brightening and solve all of our skin care woes but whilst people are quick to spend a bomb on the latest product what they’re also quick to forget is that the path to clear skin begins on the inside.
Our skin is more often than not a reflection of what’s going on inside our bodies; if you put crap in then it’s gonna look like crap too – simple as that. High GI foods, refined sugar, trans fats and nasty added chemicals all provide little to no nutritional value and send our skin in to overdrive, resulting in oily t-zones and breakouts which quite frankly nobody wants! And whilst your favourite concealer might cover it up, all of the make up in the world is not going to cure the problem, which is why the answer to that glowing complexion that everyone craves, lies in your diet.
Plant based diets are renowned for their ability to improve overall health, with improved skin being one of the main benefits. At the end of the day if you want your skin to truly look good, then you’ve got to provide it with the correct nourishment that it needs to get there; zinc, selenium, antioxidant rich foods such as berries, healthy fats, lots of fresh fruit, veggies and water will all help you to get the glow but if you’ve no idea where to start looking for polyphenols or selenium, I’ve rounded up the top 10 foods which have been specifically proven to contribute towards clear skin.
Top 10 Foods For Clear Skin
- Berries Alongside chronic inflammation, high levels of oxidative stress is one of the main causes of acne, so it’s lucky that antioxidants are found in abundance in berries. These powerful compounds work towards reducing inflammation, repairing damaged cells and stop spots from forming in the first place. Berries such as raspberries and blackberries also contain ellagic acid which helps stop wrinkles forming and protects your skin from UV rays.
- Pineapple is high in the enzyme bromelain which helps to fight inflammation and is highly effective at digesting proteins – a food group which is essential for rebuilding and repairing every organ in our body and is essential for our skin as it helps form collagen and elastin. Some proteins are also rich in co-enzyme Q10, a substance found in every cell of the body. As we age, our levels of Co-Q10 drop, which contributes towards the skin ageing process, so by eating a diet high in protein and providing the enzymes to digest it, you’re sure to keep those pesky wrinkles at bay!
- Sweet Potatoes It’s no secret that high stress levels are linked to breakouts but the complex carbohydrates found in sweet potatoes can in fact help to combat stress by regulating fluctuating blood sugar levels and as a result, improve mood. Vitamin A is also found in sweet potatoes which helps to keep your skin clear by increasing the flow of oxygen to the skin and is also anti-ageing.
- Chia Seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids which promote healthy cells and encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds which can help to clear the skin. And whilst so many people are quick to cut out fats, upping your intake of healthy fats will provide you with immense benefits as fats are what make up the actual skin cells. Essential fatty acids also keep the cell walls strong, so they retain moisture and nutrients, helping your skin look plump and refreshed. Adding a tsp of chia seeds to your morning smoothie is a great way to up your intake and they’re also rich in protein, fiber and B vitamins.
- Turmeric has a myriad of health benefits but one of its most potent is it’s ability to clear skin thanks to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal an anti-inflammatory properties. It’s not just our skin that turmeric has the power to protect though, as it’s also proven to boost immunity, mood, heart health and even fight cancer.
- Avocado Whether you love or hate avocado, there’s no denying that it’s a nutritional powerhouse. Packed full of healthy fats and Vitamins E & C, avocado will leave your skin glowing by reducing inflammation, preventing oxidative damage and even stimulating the product of collagen in the skin, thus improving it’s tone and texture. Avocados are also a rich source of polyphenols which help to soothe the skin and increase the skin’s ability to keep itself moisturized.
- Pumpkin Seeds are an amazing plantbased source of zinc which is essential for maintaining a glowing complexion as it helps regulate overactive oil glands which is great for those with an oily skin type – it’s even been proven that those who consume a diet lower in Zinc are more likely to suffer from acne.
- Quinoa Processed foods and refined carbs such as white flour cause inflammation and are a major contributing factor when it comes to breakouts, so switching them for complex carbs such as quinoa and brown rice will help to clear your skin in no time. Quinoa is also a more favourable source of carbs as it is low GI food, whereas high GI foods lead to the production of insulin which can accelerate the ageing process and damage colllagen. A portion of quinoa a day not only provides a rich source of B vitamins, protein, selenium and magnesium, as well as several antioxidants, but also helps to regulate your sugar levels by releasing energy slowly throughout the day rather than all at once like processed carbs do.
- Tomatoes aren’t the most popular fruit for no reason at all; they contain the powerful skin boosting compound selenium which protects against sun damage, skin cancer and age spots, along with being a rich source of vitamin C which is a super antioxidant as it boosts the immune system, makes your skin radiant and heals blemishes along with stimulating the production of collagen, thus strengthening the skin’s capillaries.
- Matcha contains a wealth of antioxidants to reduce inflammation, boost your immune system and reduce the amount of pore blocking oils (sebum) your skin produces – start your day with a matcha latte to pave your way to clearer skin.
What are your go-to foods or products to help clear a breakout? Leave them in the comments below or let me know on Instagram @nourishingyas x