The reality that what we put into our bodies really matters is nothing new. We too have read countless stories on Miranda Kerr’s latest and greatest superfood obsession and found ourselves making a bee-line for the nearest health food store (Noni juice, anyone?). But after a couple of weeks (usually days, actually), the novelty wears off and the supposed benefits are nowhere to be seen.
Our body is an incredible machine – it converts foods to essential vitamins and minerals and builds-up an immunity against things it doesn’t like, but this all takes time. So, sadly, eating a bunch of beet greens for dinner won’t have you waking-up immortalised. This means if you’re looking to adjust your diet and see the ROI, it needs to be easy, and not break the bank.
With this in mind, we compiled a list of the best skin-saving foods that help fight-off blemishes, build-up the skin’s natural UV protection and give you an all-over glow. The good news? Most of them are probably already in your average diet.
Now all you need to do is up your daily intake.
These are one of the most antioxidant-packed foods you can get. Snack on fresh blueberries, opt for an acai smoothie, or add frozen blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries to your breakfast smoothie.
The bottom line? Drink more tea. Peppermint has healing and calming properties, but it also aids digestion and improves stress – a common cause of acne.
Tomatos are super-rich in vitamin C, which helps to keep the skin firm by aiding collagen production. Add them to salad and your avocado on toast in the morning. Lycopene (the pigment that makes them red in colour) also stimulates circulation. It’s a win/win.
Dare we say it – watercress has proven to have more benefits than kale. Again, packed with antioxidants and minerals like manganese, carotene and potassium which are thoroughly cleansing and detoxifying by helping to flush-out excess fluid. Add it to your salads.
These should be your go-to desk snack. Packed with vitamin E, a natural SPF, almonds help to build up the skin’s strength against environmental factors and damaging free radicals.
Rich in an antioxidant called beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This means they’re good for clearing-up breakouts because they help to prevent the overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer where dead cells and sebum clog pores.
Have carrots in juices, salads, and as a substitue for crackers with dip.
One type of antioxidant found in dark chocolate (called flavonols, if you wan’t to get serious about it) improve skin’s texture and natural protection against UV rays. Make it your go-to dessert.
A source of omega 3 fatty acids, which help to clear spots and reduce fine lines. Sprinkle over salads, or add to smoothies.
Green tea is nature’s elixir of life. When hot, it releases a type of antioxidants (called catechins) which have anti-inflammatory properties and fight cancer, among other things.
Keep your coffee quota to one per day, and curb your cravings with decaf green tea.
A.K.A. pepitas. These are packed with vitamin E, zinc and magnesium which promote skin cell regeneration. Eat them raw as a snack, or add to salads and juices.
Carotenoids (the plant pigment that gives pumpkin its orange colour) helps to reduce wrinkles. Add roast pumpkin to salads, or make pumpkin soup.
Also high in omega 3 fatty acids, salmon reduces inflammation and improves the signs of ageing.
Make it a rule to kick-off your sushi session with a bowl of edamame beans, which reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve the skin’s firmness.
High in vitamin E and good fats, which improve the overall health of cell membranes. Oh, and it’s pretty much our favourite thing to eat. Ever.