Skin boosting superfoods

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For plump, glowing and young-looking skin, these are the foods that feed your skin…

Superfoods for your skin










1) Spinach

Disguised by the lovely green colour, spinach is actually packed with an orange-coloured natural chemical called beta-carotene. And beta-carotene – also found in carrots – changes the colour of your skin, giving it a warmer glow. That doesn’t mean you can eat only carrots and get a tan (although people have tried!). But it does mean, according to surprising results from a six-week study from the psychology department of the University of St Andrews, that it makes your skin look glowy. And in fact, in the study, people judged those with glowing skin to be more attractive. Other beta-carotene foods: peaches, pumpkin, apricots.

 2) Green tea

Even if it’s not you cup of tea, it’s worth going green. Already loved by dermatologists worldwide, new research has backed up green tea’s anti-ageing credentials. A lot of ageing comes from low level inflammation caused by sunlight, and research published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2013 showed green tea – even a single cup a day – does protect against this & show anti-ageing benefits. The good news? Regular builders black tea also has these properties, though to a weaker extent.

 3) Watermelon

A skin powerhouse, with a triple effect. Firstly, it’s the perfect example of a food that lets you ‘eat your water’. Skin needs hydration but this doesn’t just have to come from drinking it; eating it may help you hydrate even more effectively. Secondly, watermelon is rich in another reddish skin-glow pigment called lycopene (also in tomatoes and peppers). Thirdly, lycopene acts like an SPF, from the inside. To get maximum absorption, you need to eat your lycopene (and in fact any salad) with a little fat in the dressing.

 4) Yoghurt

Having the right balance of good bacteria in your gut – found in probiotic yoghurts as well as supplements – may help reduce sensitive skin. Good bacteria have long been trialed to help children with eczema, but now a very new study from L’Oreal-Nestle found that taking a bacteria supplement (specifically Lactobacillus paracasei NCC 2461), improved barrier function and so reduced skin sensitivity.

 5) Sardines

You might not like fish – but fish absolutely adores your skin. Especially cold-water fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon that are high in omega 3 oils. Having enough omega 3 in your diet, from two portions of fish a week (vegetarians can get them from flax seeds and walnuts, or omega 3 supplements made from algae) has been shown to help skin stay looking plumper for longer. It also reduces the internal inflammation which leads to skin damage and ageing. Even more exciting, a small study from Manchester University last year showed that taking omega 3 supplements may even prevent skin cancer by helping your skin resist some of the damaging effects of sunlight (though you’ll still need to wear sunscreen).

By Brigid Moss, Health Director of Red magazine.

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