We all know how much our external environment affects our skin – sunlight and UV rays damage it, pollutants in the air can clog pores, cold weather and harsh climates will dry it out – but what we feed our bodies has an impact too. You complexion relies on so many factors to look healthy, clear and youthful, and what you feed it matters.
Good For You, Good For Your Skin
Making healthy choices when it comes to food is so beneficial to our overall health, but we often don’t realise our skin will reap the benefits of the healthy food we’re eating as well. Collagen is the protein found in the skin and body that keeps your skin looking young and supple. As we age, our internal collagen production slows down, so choosing collagen rich foods to help boost your body’s collagen production to keep your skin looking young - think meats, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and grains!
Vitamin Rich Foods
Make sure your diet includes plenty of foods rich in vitamins, particularly A, C and E. Each of these vitamins plays an important role in keeping your complexion healthy. Vitamin A boosts cell renewal, so make sure you’re eating lots of leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, fish and tropical fruits. Vitamin C is one of the key components of collagen production as well as preventing the breakdown and loss of collagen, so you’ll want to include things like citrus, kiwi fruit, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, red capsicum and strawberries. Vitamin E is thought to protect your body from damage done through premature aging due to sun and environmental nasties. Look for avocado, seafood, spinach, nuts and whole grains to ensure you’re eating plenty of vitamin E rich foods.
Zinc is also an important mineral not only for your overall health, but also for fighting skin issues like dry skin, irritations and acne. You can take a zinc supplement, or include things like red meat, legumes and fruits like peaches, raspberries, guavas, blackberries and apricots in your diet.
Avoid the Nasties
Not everything we consume is beneficial to our skin. A high salt intake leads to water retention and bloating, so if you’ve got puffy eyes your sodium intake could be the culprit! On the flip side however, if you like a glass of wine or two in the evenings you could be unknowingly dehydrating yourself. Alcohol is a diuretic, so you could find your skin getting a little more wrinkled than it should thanks to dehydration. Cutting back on alcohol consumption will be a huge help in preventing those premature signs of aging. If you have a sweet tooth, too much sugar can affect collagen production, leading to more fine lines and wrinkles. Instead of decadent desserts, a few small squares of dark chocolate should help that sugar craving and keep your collagen production in check!
When you’re meal planning, heading out to eat, or just getting ready to indulge in a treat at home, remember that what you feed your body you’re also feeding your skin. Ensure you have a balanced diet with plenty of vitamin rich foods, not too much salt or sugar, and reduce your alcohol intake – your skin will thank you for it!