How to Eat for Glowing Skin
Want to know the best things to eat to feed your skin and achieve that natural glow? We sat down with Dr. Sara Diaz, dietitian and R & D consultant at vegan edible beauty brand her1. Keep reading to learn how to adjust your nutrition to boost your health and beauty.
What should I eat for perfect skin?
Achieving perfect looking skin is an inside job. What we eat and drink plays a major role on our glow, more so than any lotions or ointments we apply on the outside. While no single nutrient can guarantee flawless skin, the combination of certain nutrients can help. Top of the list include favourable fats, retinol, antioxidants and collagen; all of these of course in addition to water for hydration.
Why do fats feed our skin?
Favourable fats help our skin in three main ways. First, because they are part of the outer structure of all of our cells, they are key in keeping them intact and in great shape. Second, fats are involved in the production of hormones; when these are made by the body in the right amounts and combinations they help keep our skin free from blemishes and other skin conditions. Third, fats are necessary for the absorption and utilisation of certain vitamins, including vitamins A and E, both of which play a significant role in skin health. Favourable fats can be obtained from fish, oils, nuts, pulses, avocados, ghee and olives. Vitamin A, also called retinol, is often featured in skin care products and can be found in sweet potatoes, carrots, egg yolk and milk.
What should I avoid to help my skin look its best?
While focusing on what to eat is fantastic, there are also some foods to avoid. Top on the list is excess sugar. Sugar causes inflammation, the process behind many skin conditions including redness, itchiness, irritation and wrinkles. Avoiding sugar is not just skipping it in your morning coffee; be aware of hidden sugars such as those in breakfast cereals, flavoured yogurts and granola bars. These and other processed foods may seem like a healthy option, but they can be packed with sugar. The best thing to do is eat real whole-foods and cook with fresh ingredients.
Summer is coming; what should I eat to prevent sun-damage and premature ageing?
Antioxidants are naturally occurring nutrients that help reduce cell damage and mitigate chronic inflammation, translating into younger and healthier-looking skin. They can be found in all vegetables and fruits, as well as in tea and coffee. Retinol in particular is a powerful antioxidant vitamin that helps minimise the appearance of wrinkles and manage common skin conditions caused by excessive sun exposure like damage and excessive dryness.
What can I eat to get that sought-after natural skin glow?
Try collagen. This protein, found in bone broth and other animal-based products, helps maintain skin elasticity and achieve that glowy look by supplying the body with key amino acids. If you are following a plant-based lifestyle you can try kelp and other sea vegetables which act as precursors of collagen in the body. As you get older collagen production declines so an added boost is always helpful!
What does all this look like on a plate?
Adding skin-friendly foods to your daily nutrition isn’t too hard. A classic avocado toast topped with an egg sunny-side up is a great way to start. For lunch, add olives and vinaigrette to your salad. For dinner, oily fish like sardines or a lentil-based curry cooked with coconut milk or ghee will provide the skin with essential omega-3 fatty acids, great for reducing inflammation and preventing collagen break-down. Fruits and veggies are great for snacking, as are nuts. And if you are tight for time try swirling some nut butter into your morning smoothie or oats for an skin-friendly start to the day.
Interview by Sophie Heywood.