Can you eat your way to good skin? The answer might surprise you.
You’ve heard the expression “you are what you eat” and this is very true, when it comes to the skin. The nutrients in our food are what fuels our body to function properly and maintain balance. When our diet is out of balance, it can quickly take a toll on all of our various body systems - including the skin.
A lack of adequate nutrition can cause the skin to age faster and show more signs of premature ageing. A healthy diet however, does the opposite. Choosing nutrient-dense, high fibre, and antioxidant-rich foods - namely fruits and vegetables - can have an incredible positive impact for the skin.
If you’ve been feeling like your skin could use a boost, consider piling a few of these delicious and nutritious skin-supporting foods onto your plate today.
In recent years, avocados have become a trending superfood with good reason. By now, most people recognise these tasty and nourishing stone fruits as a good source of vitamins and heathy fats. But what you may not realise is that the wealth of nutrients contained in an avocado additionally promote a healthier and more youthful complexion.
Studies show that essential fatty acids in our diet help bolster the skin and are important for the production of the natural lipids that make up our skin’s protective barrier. Avocados happen to be a very good source of essential fatty acids as well as vitamin C, vitamin K, fibre and folate.
Adding a little more avocado to your diet is easy because in addition to being a super food, they are also super versatile. You can chop up a handful of avocado to toss in an omelet, on top of toast, or in place of cheese on a sandwich. The options are endless.
Berries are beloved by dieticians for their anti-aging benefits. Blueberries, in particular are good for the skin because they encourage circulation and oxygenation to the skin cells. They’re rich in Vitamin C which supports collagen synthesis, skin immunity and wound healing.
While there is no direct evidence to suggest that eating blueberries is directly linked to reducing acne, experts believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries could aid in reducing inflammation in the body, including acne-related inflammation.
Blueberries make for a sweet treat that is actually good for you. To reap all of their amazing health benefits, you could eat them fresh, frozen, in oatmeal or on top of your favourite dessert.
It’s not everyone’s favourite food, but broccoli does have a reputation for being one of the most nutrient-packed vegetables you can add to your diet. It is considered a superfood because it’s full of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, K and B6. Just to name a few.
One of broccoli’s super powers is that it helps promote detoxification for the entire body. Adding it to your diet is believed to support better kidney and liver function, improved digestion, and brain and heart health. With so many body-balancing benefits, it comes as no surprise that broccoli supports the epidermis as well. It also contains glucoraphanin, a substance that aids in skin repair and promoting overall skin health.
Broccoli can be eaten roasted or raw, steamed or cooked any number of ways. It makes a great healthy snack on the go, dipped in hummus or your favourite dressing.
Papaya is an ingredient commonly found in skincare products, as papain enzymes are very effective for naturally exfoliating the skin. But did you know you can double your skin benefits by adding some papaya to your diet? It’s true.
Experts say papaya fruit contains an antioxidant called lycopene which helps repair the skin following damage from environmental stressors. A recent study found that a diet supplemented with lycopene over a period of 10-12 weeks, resulted in decreased signs of redness or injury following sun exposure.
You can enjoy papaya raw, or in a smoothie. It is great for digestion, as it is very high in fibre and can help improve gut health. You can even eat the seeds, which are high in minerals, fatty acids, proteins and antioxidants.
Watercress is a member of the cruciferous family alongside other leafy greens like kale and broccoli. According to Dr. Andrew Weil M.D., watercress is particularly skin-friendly because it is rich in beta-cartone, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fibre and potassium.
In fact, studies suggest that the high vitamin C content found in watercress (even more than is found in oranges) make it an important ally for boosting new collagen production and preventing the breakdown of existing collagen and elastin in the skin. It may even help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite.
To see the benefits of watercress for your skin, try tossing a handful into your favourite green smoothie several times per week. You could also turn it into a superfood salad along with some broccoli, avocado and blueberries. Add a side of sliced papaya, and you’ll have all your bases covered.
Avocados 101: 11 Supreme Benefits Of The Super Fruit by Ravi Teja Tadimalla
“8 Surprising Blueberry Benefits for Your Skin” by by Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD
“21 Best Benefits Of Broccoli For Skin, Hair, And Health” by Ravi Teja Tadimalla
“8 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Papaya” by Franziska Spritzler
“Watercress for Your Skin” by Dr. Andrew Weil M.D.
Blueberry image credit - "Image By PlayTheTunes"