I think it’s safe to say most of us look for ways we can make our skin healthy, flawless and glowing. The best and the most long-term way to do this is by making basic changes to your diet.
Making what we eat into a lifestyle has wonderful consequences for our health as well as appearance.
While skin and hair hacks are wonderful in the short-term, making positive changes from the inside out is necessary for us to reap any kind of long-term or somewhat permanent benefits.
Make sure to incorporate these for healthy, glowing skin…
With a healthy mix of omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamins A, D & E, potassium, lecithin and more, avocados have at least 7 proven benefits for your skin. Avocados nourish and moisturise the skin, protect it from sun damage (and reverses tanning too), prevents and treats acne and helps with inflammatory skin issues such as psoriasis and eczema.
Coconut and Coconut Milk
Coconut oil has long been in the health food and natural beauty circles, but did you know that coconut milk is even better?
Coconut milk is packed with Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6 and C, E along with selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Coconuts are also high in healthy saturated fats and are a potent natural antiviral and antimicrobial food. It is even said that coconut milk is the only thing on the planet that “comes close to mother’s milk”.
Amongst its skin benefits, it is a wonderful addition to the diet if you want supple, hydrated and nourished skin. With significant levels of Vitamin C, it promotes skin elasticity. It prevents wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin and so is able to slow down the natural aging process of the skin.
Additionally, it is also a good addition to your skin care routine
You can find a whole range of antioxidants in a high-quality dark chocolate bar. It is also a wonderful source of many minerals and has excellent nutritive value. In moderation, dark chocolate will protect your skin from damage and keep it looking youthful. Additionally, it also has wonderful sun protection properties (due to the presence of flavonols), is an excellent skin detoxifier and provides nourishment to the skin making it supple and problem-free.
Flax, chia, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds
Seeds in general are a good source of Linoleic Acid and Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), which are both anti-inflammatories. This is why consuming seeds is linked to excellent skin (and joint) health. Seeds are also a rich source of anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E.
Nuts walnuts almonds
Much like seeds, nuts are also a wonderful source of Vitamin E (which is an anti-oxidant). Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews and pecans are an all-round great inclusion for skin health. Nuts are also rich in Vitamin B which help keep aging at bay by reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Selenium also provides a great boost of skin health (Brazil nuts are the best source amongst all the nuts).
Vitamin C rich foods
Vitamin C is essential in collagen synthesis and is therefore crucial for skin health. Research also points towards the fact that Vit C reduces and reverses skin damage from environmental stressors such as the sun, pollution etc.
Amla, or Indian gooseberry is one of the richest sources of Vit C available. It can be had as a juice (which contains about 20 times as much vitamin C as orange juice).
Other foods for vitamin C are citruses, bell peppers (especially the red kind), strawberries, broccoli and spinach. You can even have a supplement after a doctor’s recommendation.
The simple moringa leaf remains a tad understated in the natural beauty sphere. Ironic then that it’s a real power-house of a plant for skin health. Full of Vitamin A (retinol), applying moringa leaf extract (or oil) topically is just as great as consuming it is for achieving blemish free skin. Moringa has also been known to reverse skin damage from all kinds of common skin stressors.
It is also a wonderful moisturiser and is packed with Vitamin E. Moringa is a powerful adaptogenic, which means it helps the body acclimate to stress – this is a necessary ingredient to ensure problem-free skin.
Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin C, but additionally, they are packed with all kinds of carotenoids, especially lycopene. This helps protect skin from sun damage and may reduce wrinkles.
To ensure optimal absorption of carotene, it is recommended to eat tomatoes with a healthy fat (such as olive oil).
Soy – isoflavones
Packed full of isoflavones, research indicates soy may be able to help reduce wrinkles and helps maintain skin health specifically in menopausal women.
Red wine has wonderful anti-aging properties and consuming it in moderation helps restore collagen and boost elasticity. Flavonoid and tannin present in red wine can help skin retain that youthful glow.
Often overlooked, improper digestion leads to skin issues such as breakouts. Having foods designed to help the digestive process, such as probiotics, help skin from the inside out. Probiotics have been known to address skin issues such as acne, eczema, premature aging and skin cancer as well.