10 superfoods to bring out your natural beauty25/06/2014
by Kira Walton
We are what we eat, don’t you know! Apart from an organic skin care routine, one of the best ways to get the nutrients our skin needs is to eat them. We’ve picked 10 of the best superfoods to bring out your natural beauty.
1. Sweet Potato
Packed with collagen-boosting vitamin C and beta-carotene vitamin A, sweet potatoes are great for anti-aging and improving the circulation of oxygen to the skin. For younger skin, these complex carbohydrates stabilise blood sugars, keeping our moods high and stress-related breakouts at bay. Unfortunately, we’re not sure that sweet potato fries count!
Tip: Cut sweet potatoes in half, score them and spritz with oil before baking in the oven until soft.
2. Oily Fish
Omega-3 fats, found in oily fish such as salmon, herring, trout, anchovies, sardines and mackerel are said to be so good at protecting our skin against sun damage, they can reduce the risk of skin cancer. Omega-3 is also great for keeping your skin moisturised by allowing water and nutrients into the skin, but keeping toxins out.
Tip: Try grilled mackerel or a sardine salad for a quick and tasty lunch.
These handy little things are loaded with acne-busting zinc and selenium as well as vitamin E- your skin’s best friend.
“Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that helps to protect skin cells from UV light and other environmental factors that generate cell-damaging free radicals,” explains Dr. Jeffrey Dover, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University.
Tip: Pack a small tub of these and keep them in your bag for smart snacking during the day.
Kale is packed with vitamins A, B complex, C, E and K (basically the whole vitamin alphabet) as well as high levels of manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, protein, folate and phosphorus.
Tip: Run a small amount of Kale through your juicer for an added kick to carrot and apple juice.
While not a food per se, water deserves an honourable mention for being the cheapest, most accessible skin hero of all. Nothing will flush toxins from your body more effectively than water, so make sure you drink at least eight glasses of it a day.
Tip: Keep a 500ml bottle of water on your desk and sip it through the day.
These inexpensive staple foods are rich in vitamin C, which helps to keep the skin firm and taut by encouraging the production of collagen. They’re also packed with lycopene, which helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays as well as keeping your blood circulation running smoothly.
Tip: Opt for organic tomatoes when you can, the cherry variety are incredibly sweet and delicious.
7. Infusion Teas
Green, fennel, peppermint and chamomile tea are great for your skin. Sipping hot tea will fill your body with health-boosting antioxidants, including anti-cancer properties. A 2007 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that drinking 2-6 cups of infusion tea a day may help reverse the negative effects of sun exposure as well as prevent the growth of new cancer cells.
Tip: Try a cup of chamomile before going to bed for a restful sleep.
8. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are great for sprinkling over salad, yoghurt or for baking with. Each kernel is packed with vitamin E, zinc and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. This makes them great for protecting your cell membranes, helping maintain collagen, and promoting skin renewal.
Tip: Try making pumpkin seed pesto with this great recipe here.
They may not feel so great to the touch, but nettles are full of detoxifying anti-inflammatory properties which calm acne and eczema. If you’re not much for foraging, widely available nettle tea is your best bet.
Tip: Use a paste of baking soda and water to treat nettle stings.
10. Acai Berries
If you follow any celebrities on Instagram, you’ve probably already heard about this skin super food being served as a yummy looking breakfast. In its native Brazil, they’ve hailed this small purple fruit the “beauty berry” for its skin, hair and nail perfecting properties. Is it any wonder the likes of Oprah and Miranda Kerr swear by it!
Tip: Try Acai berry juice instead of your usual juice for a change.
Have you been eating any skin-loving superfoods lately to compliment your organic skincare routine? We’d love to hear if they’ve made a difference. Let us know with a comment below.