How well your skin ages isn’t just about a great skincare routine, it has a lot to do with how many anti-ageing foods you put on your plate every day.
Getting skin-saving foods on the menu doesn’t have to mean complicated recipes and expensive supplements. Mother nature has given us a treasure trove of anti-ageing nutrients and minerals in some of the most common foods you’ll find in the fridge and pantry. Let’s take a look at 5 everyday foods brimming with natural anti-ageing properties.
Mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to address skin issues and restore the body’s vitality by targeting inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many skin imbalances and a well known cause of accelerating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Piling your plate high with anti-inflammatory foods like mushrooms is one of the best ways to slow down the ageing process and have a tasty time doing it! Pumpkin and feta stuffed mushrooms, anyone?
Potassium, selenium, B vitamins, phytonutrients, and protein all support healthy skin function and can be found in the more common mushrooms like the white button, oyster and portobello.
Selenium, in particular, helps combat free radical damage that can lead to weakened, sagging skin and potassium is an electrolyte which helps regulate the water in your skin cells. Too little potassium in your diet can lead to looking older than your years with dull, dehydrated skin.
Really struggling with dehydrated skin? I recommend downloading your free copy of my Dry Skin Guide
Want to give your skin an incredible dose of natural skincare from the inside out? Avocado is one of the best foods to eat regularly.
This wonder fruit is packed with inflammation fighting fatty acids and in addition to the flesh, the avocado’s seed is actually packed with anti-inflammatory properties too. Grate the seed and sprinkle on top of salads or into a tea; it has a chewy texture and very mild taste that won’t intrude on other flavours.
Oleic acid is found in the cells of our body and its job is to help keep skin supple and moisturised. The flesh of an avocado contains a whopping 63% oleic acid, making it a great source of hydration to promote smoother looking skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Containing vitamin E and C, avocado can also fight damage inflicted by UV rays. One of the best ways to eat avocado is simply with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt. Or, you can step things up with recipes like baked eggs and avocado or chunky guacamole.
These crinkly shaped nuts are bite-sized skin treats. The healthy omega-3 fats help strengthen your skin’s membranes meaning they can hold more moisture and nutrients while fighting off cell-damaging toxins.
When it comes to the nut world, walnuts are a richer source than most in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
A handful of walnuts will boost your vitamin B levels which will increase antioxidant activity, help remove toxins and promote circulation for healthy skin.
B Vitamins (there are 8 different types) are water soluble. This means your body can’t actually store them which is why it’s important to keep topping up your B vitamin levels through your daily diet.
Like avocados, walnuts can also provide some protection against the damage done by UV rays. They’re also a good source of zinc, selenium, and protein; all important nutrients for skin health.
Walnuts are pretty easy to include in your daily diet because they’re so versatile. Try snacking on them raw, topping a salad, mixing with cereal, crumbing fish or sprinkling on a dessert.
The skin has a slightly bitter flavour contains many of a walnut’s nutritional benefits, including phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoid so it’s best to keep it on!
Never underestimate the skin-saving power of a few serves of broccoli florets; this cruciferous vegetable is rich in dozens of nutrients.
When you think of vitamin C, do citrus fruits usually spring to mind? Well, broccoli also contains this vitamin so crucial for healthy skin and the best way to get your daily dose is through food, not just topical applications of skincare. Vitamin c helps promote the synthesis of collagen which in turn supports skin firmness and elasticity.
Broccoli also contains a carotenoid called lutein which increases skin hydration and elasticity. When your skin is dehydrated, wrinkles and lines are more pronounced, I talk about more natural remedies to combat skin dehydration in my free Dry Skin Guide.
Lutein also helps protect against harmful UV rays and oxidative damage. If you’re wondering what oxidative damage means, it’s the result of free radicals getting into the skin and causing cells to break down; it plays a major role in the formation of wrinkles and how our skin ages.
Our bodies can’t produce lutein, we need to get it through food or supplements which is a great reason to load up your plate with yummy broccoli recipes. I think this creamy broccoli soup with some slices of sourdough sounds perfect for chilly winter nights, don’t you?
Butternut pumpkin (squash)
Bursting with beta-carotene, this hearty vegetable is a delicious way to keep your skin glowing during the cooler months. Beta-carotene is a red-orange pigment that gives some bright veggies like pumpkin and carrot their colour; it also happens to be a powerful antioxidant and carotenoid.
Inside our bodies, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A and this vitamin goes hand in hand with a glowing complexion; it stimulates fibroblasts which are the cells that develop the tissue that keeps our skin firm.
All this good fibroblast activity happens deep in the layers of skin and when we’re lacking in vitamin A, it slows down and skin can become weaker, drier and wounds take longer to heal.
Vitamin A can also reduce skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, providing a boost in natural sun protection and free radical damage.
When taken in supplement form, vitamin A can be toxic if you take too much, it’s safer to get your intake of this skin-saving, anti-ageing vitamin from foods like butternut pumpkin. If you love your curries, give this delicious sounding lamb and butternut pumpkin curry a try.
See how many amazing things we can do for our skin simply by eating the right foods! For extra ideas on how you can tweak your diet to encourage beautiful skin, download your free copy of my Dry Skin Guide