Eat your way to great skin 

A well-nourished skin comes from what you put into your body, not just by applying your favourite products, so eating nutritious foods is essential for soft, clear skin.

1. Include proteins and fibre in everyday meals

Your skin cells are replaced every 24 days and you need proteins to repair and create new tissue. Lean proteins are not only good for your skin but also rejuvenate brittle nails and hair. Fibre alleviates bloating, can help with maintaining your weight by keeping you fuller for longer, and helps you absorb essential antioxidants. Foods rich in protein include whole grains and eggs, while fibre is found in fresh fruit and veg, as well as whole grains.

2. Get your five a day

Fruit and vegetables provide powerful antioxidants that protect your skin from cellular damage. Pollution, stress and over-exposure to sunlight cause harm to the skin and in time, wrinkles and age spots form. To fight against this, you need to eat a minimum of at least five fruits and vegetables per day. Carrots and sweet potatoes, for example, provide vitamin A, oranges contain vitamin C, while a healthy snack like sunflower seeds is packed with vitamin E.
Spinach is known as a ‘superfood’ because it contains a range of vitamins and minerals that our body needs to function. You can also get your greens in by blending a green juice using spinach and other vegetables, with a little fruit for flavour.

3. Eat foods rich in Omega-3s

Not all fats are bad for you. Omega-3 foods such as tinned tuna and sardines and canola oil are good for your skin, help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and improve brain function, as they help with your memory. They also improve bone strength by boosting your calcium levels and manage oil production and hydration of the skin.Get the kids involved by making healthy sandwich together.

4. Stay hydrated

In addition to eating healthy, drink plenty of water (2 litres daily is recommended) and always use sunscreen. Water helps to flush out toxins and neutralise the pH levels in your body. For a flavourful twist, add a few slices of lemon, cucumber or strawberries to chilled water.
A daily cup of green tea also helps with puffy eyes and dark circles as well as unclogging pores.

5. Cut down on sugar

Do you sometimes break out in spots? Stress may be involved, but you can more often than not blame it on consuming too much refined sugar. Sugar is a pro-inflammatory, which means it promotes inflammation, disrupting the hormonal balance in your body. This in turn can aggravate the skin, so avoid sweets, chocolates and fizzy drinks. Also check the packaging of processed food to see how much sugar it contains. Even ‘healthy’ foods like energy bars, breakfast cereals, smoothies and fruit juices may contain a huge amount of sugar.

Compiled by: Chernelle Wilson
Images: Getty/Gallo
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