There are many ways to achieve glowing skin, from non-comedogenic makeup and moisturising toners to sunscreen and beauty sleep. While these and avoiding bad lifestyle habits like smoking, excessive tanning and burning midnight oil are helpful to maintain your glorious countenance, your diet is very important too!
A right diet represented by a diverse range of produce that supplies your skin cells with all the essential nutrients will ensure your radiance is more than skin deep. Whether your goal is to fight off acne, turn back the clock on ageing, erasing wrinkle lines or putting the healthy colours back on, you will have to make sure it starts from what you put into your tummy.
We have jotted down a comprehensive list of foods you must have for an enviable skin.
Tomatoes are not just refreshing and versatile ingredients, they are also potent sources of lycopene, a phytochemical that gives tomatoes their red colour. Lycopene is an essential compound that helps in the production of collagen — a protein responsible for healthy skin, giving it its taut, skin growth, wound healing, thickness and reverses the effects of harmful UV rays by fighting free radicals.
Above being good for the eyes and preventing night-blindness, the beta-carotene and vitamin A aplenty in carrots are also helpful in your struggle against breakouts. These antioxidants are helpful in preventing overproduction of cells in the dermis and epidermis — the skin’s outer layers, which will die and become dead skin cells. Although some dead skin cells are actually essential in keeping skin healthy by forming a thin protective layer, too much of it can clog your pores and lead to inflammation. In addition, vitamin A plays an essential role in fighting skin cancer.
According to a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables means having a healthier complexion and an attractive and radiant glow. As mentioned above with the tomatoes, the carotenoids frequently found in warm-coloured fruits gave the most results. What does it have to do with sweet potatoes, you say? Well, turns out that sweet potatoes are loaded with carotenoids. In fact, you only need about a quarter of a medium-sized sweet potato to achieve your daily recommended intake of carotenoids.
While natto is not for everyone due to its acquired taste, it is good to note that it has among the highest, if not the highest, dietary source of vitamin K2. Not only is K2 important for maintaining good cardiovascular functions and bone health, but it also helps skin stay elastic and reduce wrinkles. Like a gift that keeps giving, natto aids in gut health by promoting the growth of gut bacteria which have been linked to fighting inflammation in body tissues. This means that it may be helpful in your fight against breakouts and promote skin healing. If its taste just does not work for you, go for eggs!
Turmeric has come to become known as a wonder spice, thanks to its many beneficial properties and flavour to add to our favourite roasts, sauces and curries. Not only do its many benefits include cancer-prevention and reducing pain, but turmeric also protects your skin with curcumin. This antioxidant has been shown to fight inflammation to an amazing degree. And if you are troubled by pigmentation blotches, you will be happy to know that turmeric inhibits a skin enzyme responsible for producing the pigment.
Salmon, not just a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that helps counter inflammation, it also contains dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), a compound that promotes healthy skin by maintaining cell membrane integrity. In doing so, this protects cells from deterioration that can lead to premature ageing of the skin. The compound also inhibits the production of arachidonic acid (AA), a precursor compound that is involved in wrinkle formation.
The papaya contains a host of nutrients and active enzymes that bring on many health benefits. One such enzyme, ‘chymopapain’, is known to help relieve and reduce inflammation. Papain, another enzyme found in papayas, is useful in the fight against blemishes and acne as papain can unclog pores from sebum and thus cleanse the skin. In addition, just one cup of papaya contains 144 per cent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
When it comes to vitamin C, orange naturally comes to mind. However, perhaps not many know that yellow peppers are packed full of them too. Important to skin and muscle growth and formation, the vitamin is also helpful in keeping bones and tendons healthy. According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that, in 700 Japanese women surveyed, as they eat more yellow and green vegetables are eaten, they become less susceptible to wrinkles and crow’s feet they are. In fact, just consuming four milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to one bite of yellow pepper, daily for three years can reduce wrinkles appearance by eleven per cent.