The foods to eat for healthy, glowing skin – and the foods to avoid

-Oct 28, Hannah Hargrave , Nutrition -

If you want glowing skin then what you eat can be just as important as what you put on your skin!

Food is fantastic and essential for fuelling the body but it’s also key to keeping your skin looking its best.
While we know a balanced diet packed with healthy fruits and vegetables keeps you looking and feeling great overall, there are certain foods which have enormous benefits for your skin and some which you should avoid for the sake of your complexion too.

Watermelon

Watermelon has a lot more about it than the masses of water it contains – which is by all accounts great for skin in the first place. It’s also loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
The refreshing fruit contains carotene too which reduces oxidative stress and it’s packed with free-radical fighting lycopene as well.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are amazing for your skin because they are rich in lycopene, which in addition to fighting skin damaging free radicals it acts as a natural sunscreen. You don’t even have to eat it in it’s delicious, fresh form to reap the rewards either.
Studies have shown just a tablespoon of tomato paste a day can go a long way towards getting the glow.

Salmon

Salmon is a veritable superfood when it comes to skin health. The omega-3 fatty acids it contains helps the skin retain its moisture keeping it smooth, soft and moisturised.

Related: Recipe: Warm salmon, butternut squash and lentil salad

Avocado

Creamy avocado is full of healthy fats which plump up your skin cells. The fruit also contains plenty of vitamin E which in addition to decreasing inflammation also prevents the breakdown of collagen , which is what keeps skin supple and elastic.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds aren’t just an excellent source of nutrients for your body but for your skin too. They contain selenium which is key to slowing the signs of ageing as it neutrilizes free radicals. Zinc also provides antioxidant support and aids in healing the skin. Plus they contain antioxidant vitamin E.

Which foods to avoid if you want healthy, clear skin?

Yes, you are what you eat when it comes to your skin. Unfortunately, if you like sugar, processed foods and pretty much anything that comes in a packet, it’s going to show up in the shape of spots and breakouts as well as dark circles under your eyes. Here’s a closer look at which foods to avoid if you want healthy, clear skin.

Refined sugar

Sugar is bad for your body and it’s bad for your skin too. Too much of the sweet stuff causes a process called glycation which essentially weakens the collagen and elastin which keeps our skin springy and youthful. So you’ll end up prone to wrinkles if you continue to overload on sugar. Sugar is also pro-inflammatory so it can make conditions such as eczema and acne way worse. This means cutting down on sugary drinks – including soda and fruit juices – sweets and sugary cereal is a must if you want to regain a youthful complexion.

Related: What sugar really does to your skin

Refined carbs

It’s time to put down your breakfast of processed white bread or bagels because they are packed with sugar too. While healthy, wholewheat carbs are part of a balanced diet, refined carbs are not and due to the sugar content and other processed ingredients they prematurely age your skin too.

Fast food

Fast food might be quick but it’s harmful to your overall health and skin. A lot of it is deep fried in canola, vegetable or peanut oil which is loaded with trans fat and can irritate skin conditions like acne. Fast food also contains a lot of salt (not to mention the sugar) which might taste good but it can leave your skin puffy and bloated.

Processed meat

The likes of ham, salami and chorizo make for a tantalising meat platter but the high levels of sodium they contain leaves skin dehydrated and puffy. The sodium nitrate added to many processed foods have also been shown to break down the all-important collagen in skin.

Not only can you transform your skin with food you can supercharge your happiness levels with the right diet too and add a good night’s sleep to the mix and you’ll feel positively amazing.

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