What we eat really does effect how we look and it is absolutely possible to achieve healthy, clear and glowing skin through diet. In the quest for healthy looking skin, many turn to expensive products, treatments or sunbathing to achieve that much desired plump skin or radiant glow, however you can improve the appearance of your skin more easily and cheaply by knowing what foods are important for your skin and eating well. With winter setting in, now is the time to eat the right foods to combat dull sallow looking skin and at the same time keep the immune system boosted.
Plump It Up
Youthful skin is plump and wrinkle free and while it is not possible to totally delay the effects of ageing, eating foods which increase the production of collagen or protect the existing collagen can help retain your skin’s suppleness and elasticity. Foods which are high in vitamin C are key to collagen production. The obvious sources are citrus fruits and tomatoes, but you might be surprised to know that chillies pack a powerful vitamin C punch and potatoes also contain vitamin C. Vitamin C in foods is diminished to a certain extent by cooking so eating raw foods which are vitamin C rich will see the maximum benefit. In addition to vitamin C, lysine (an essential amino acid) is also important in the production of collagen, according to Live Strong. Lysine rich foods that are vegan friendly include peas, lentils, beans and nuts. An added advantage of a increasing your intake of lysine is that it can help combat cold sores if you are prone to this virus. If you are considering modifying your diet to specifically treat an existing condition, it is important that you talk to a doctor first.
A Glow is Better Than a Tan
It shouldn’t be news that sun damages the skin and can contribute to signs of ageing but many still feel that looking bronzed also equates to looking healthy. What might surprise you is that you can actually eat your way to a healthy glow. Beta-carotene is one of nature’s organic pigments (or carotenoids) and is found in many fruits and vegetables. Eating a diet which is rich in beta-carotene actually has a visible yellowing effect on skintone, particularly noticeable for those who are fair skinned, and which results in that desirable glow. Furthermore, according to the Independent a study conducted by Ian Stephen at the University of Bristol which asked volunteers to compare images of people who had eaten a beta-carotene rich diet compared to people with a sun tan, that “people always preferred the golden effect from diet to the darker effect from the sun”. You might already be aware that beta-carotene is found in orange fruit and vegetables such as carrots, apricots and mango, but it is also found in green produce such as kale, spinach and lettuce. To really reap the full benefit of these foods, eat them together with oils (such as olive, rapeseed or walnut) or nuts which help the body to absorb the beta-carotene. An added advantage of beta-carotene is that they body converts it into vitamin A which actually protects the skin against sun damage.
Well hydrated skin looks more fresh and youthful in comparison to dull dry skin but at this time of year cold and wind outside and heating indoors can take its toll on your complexion. Obviously drinking lots of water is always beneficial to your skin, however there are many foods which can help your skin’s moisture retention. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) such as Omega-3 are particularly important to your skin’s ability to retain moisture, however vegans needn’t worry that they aren’t eating omega-3 rich oily fish as omega-3 is also found in nuts, seeds and soyabeans. Consuming oils made from nuts and seeds also increase your intake of this EFA. Any easy way to up your omega-3 intake is by sprinkling a mixture of nuts and seeds on salads or casseroles and using oils such as flax seed or walnut oils when making salad dressings. Also important for moisture retention and additionally the combat of damage causing free radicals, is vitamin E. Almonds are particularly high in vitamin E as are pine nuts, spinach, dried apricots and even paprika.
Whether you are a vegan or not, by knowing which foods contain essential vitamins and minerals that your skin needs, you have the power to eat your way to healthier, more radiant looking skin.