16 February 2017
How You Can Eat Your Way to Younger Skin
We all know that eating and drinking the right stuff is essential to living a long and healthy life. But did you know consuming the good stuff can also lead to healthy skin?
Australian nutritionist, Kathleen Alleaume, is a keen believer that, by taking in the right foods and drinks, you can naturally achieve the perfect complexion. Speaking with the Daily Mail, she’s listed her top ten foods for achieving youthful skin.
Salmon is one of the best foods to eat if you’re looking to increase your Omega-3 intake. And why wouldn’t you? Omega-3 is the fatty acid we need to keep cell walls supple. The more supple the cell walls, the easier it is for water to penetrate the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) and keep your skin hydrated.
Other foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are nuts, seeds and tofu, which are all ideal for plump younger-looking skin.
Packed full of antioxidants, blueberries specifically target DNA-damaging free radicals. If skin cells aren’t protected, free radicals can amplify the ageing process. Potassium in the berries will also help to combat puffiness and fight the signs of lifeless skin.
If blueberries aren’t your favourite, other berries and fruits, such as bananas, are the perfect source of potassium.
“Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids - a type of antioxidant that helps to equip the skin with a stronger defence against wrinkle-causing UV rays”, Ms Alleaume said.
It is important, however, to double-check the package on your dark chocolate before you sneak a piece; it is the cocoa that gives high levels of flavonoids. If you do accidentally pick a bar with lots of sugar and low cocoa content (less than 80%), your skin won’t benefit.
Carrots are packed with beta-carotene: the element which gives carrots their red-orange colour. Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body, which is one of the most valuable vitamins for cell growth and repair of dead or dying cells.
If you’re looking to increase your vitamin intake, try our resident nutritionist’s smoothie recipe for healthy skin, complete with carrots, kale and citrus fruits. Find out more about Christine Bailey, nutritionist and author, and her work with The Harley Medical Group here.
Almonds are one of the more robust nuts: complete with a thick, fibrous skin, they are great for a healthy digestive system. With high levels of Vitamin E, they also naturally protect the skin against cell-damaging free radicals.
Almonds are similar to blueberries, in that they are both antioxidants and have the added ability to lower cholesterol and regulate blood flow.
Dairy is receiving more negative publicity, with many showing signs of intolerance and skin irritation. Ms Alleaume, however, has advised that some dairy in your diet is okay.
Yoghurts which are low in lactose, or are lactose-free, such as natural yogurt or soya-based varieties, are the best for skin. Low lactose yoghurts are essential for balancing gut microbes, which helps the body absorb all of the nutrients the skin needs. Mix into muesli instead of cow’s milk, or add to a healthy curry for a mild, creamy sauce.
Typically considered one of the blandest salad items, tomatoes are rarely top of the trendiest vegetables list.
But don’t give up on them just yet: tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an age-defying ingredient that can protect against sun damage. Unlike most vegetables, tomatoes offer additional health benefits once they’re cooked, rather than raw. Once cooked, the body can absorb the lycopene better.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, are incredible sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for producing skin collagen: the stuff that keeps your skin naturally plump and blemish-free.
As you age, collagen production declines and the skin gets weaker, leading to crow’s feet around the eyes and sagging skin. Whilst wrinkle treatments are available, Kathleen Alleaume says Vitamin C is a prime skincare ingredient for smoothing out wrinkles.