One of the factors that makes us not only look healthier but feel great too is having glowing skin. Naturally radiant skin has a glow from the inside out, and it comes from what you place in to your body. Food for glowing skin should be an essential in your diet if you want to look your absolute best, with or without makeup.
The best food for skin glow contains any of the following nutrients:
- protein for helping your body make collagen
- omega-3 fatty acids for moisture
- antioxidants to fight free radicals and protect your skin from external elements
- anti-inflammatories to fight redness and irritation
- probiotics to ensure maximum absorption of nutrients
Consequently there are also foods that you should avoid if you want to maximise the benefits of these good foods. Let’s take a look at the foods that make your skin glow (and those that really don’t).
The best food for glowing skin
This guide to getting radiant skin through food focusses on the foods that everyone, regardless of dietary preference, can eat. Therefore it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
You should include a wide range of nutrients in your diet by eating a large variety of these healthy foods. This will ensure that you pack as many beneficial compounds in to your body as possible to look and feel your absolute best.
Protein for glowing skin
Protein provides your body with amino acids. These play a major role in the production of collagen, which provides the structure of your skin cells. Cells high in collagen are smoother and the skin is more elastic and firm. Over time, collagen production decreases so that is one of the reasons wrinkles appear and skin sags with age. Another of these is UV damage, so make sure to always wear SPF on your face.
By ensuring your body has the amino acids it needs to support collagen synthesis, you can help to keep your skin smooth and glowing for as long as possible.
Foods to provide your body with amino acids include:
- edamame beans
- nuts and nut butters
- chia seeds
- all kinds of beans
- brown and wild rice
Flaxseed for glowing skin
A list of food for glowing skin would not be complete without flaxseed. This ancient crop has been used for centuries for a variety of health benefits. Flaxseed contains a very high amount of ALA, one of the Omega-3 fatty acids we have in our bodies.
Flaxseed benefits your skin by helping it to:
- retain moisture so it looks plumper and smoother
- fight free radicals which break down your skin’s collagen
- naturally detoxify through bowel regularity due to its high fibre content
You can add flaxseed to your diet by sprinkling ground flaxseed over foods such as cereals or salads, and adding it to smoothies and protein shakes.
Antioxidants for glowing skin
You may have heard the term antioxidant before. An antioxidant is a compound found in many foods which help to protect your skin (and other parts of your body) from free radicals.
Free radicals are also present in your body and in your environment, and have some benefits. Too many, however, can lead to something called oxidative stress which can wreak havoc on your whole body. When it comes to skin, free radicals can accelerate the ageing process by depleting cells of lipids and contributing to dark spots, pigmentation, and wrinkles.
You can protect against free radicals by not smoking, staying out of the sun, and avoiding alcohol and sugar intake. You can also help fight them by increasing your ingestion of antioxidant-containing foods which will fight off the free radicals.
Antioxidants are most commonly found in fruits and vegetables. They come in many forms, such as Vitamins C and E, certain minerals like selenium, flavonoids, and polyphenols.
Foods with lots of antioxidants:
Here is a list of some of the different types of antioxidants, and the vegan-friendly foods in which they are most commonly found:
- vitamin A: sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, apricots, canteloupe melons, pistachios, goji berries
- manganese: tofu, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, pine nuts, brown rice
- vitamin C: citrus fruits, spinach, broccoli, dark leafy greens like kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
- vitamin E: avocado, spinach, peanuts, sunflower seeds, whole grains, pumpkin, sunflower oil, Brazil nuts, kiwi
- selenium: sunflower seeds, brown rice, spinach, lentils, oats, Brazil nuts
- lycopene: tomatoes (especially when cooked), watermelon, papaya, asparagus
- anthocyanins: blueberries, aubergine, grapes, strawberries
- flavonoids: green tea, peaches, onions, parsley
- catechins: apples, strawberries, green tea, blackberries, cocoa
- zinc: lentils, chickpeas, cashew nuts, seeds, nuts, kidney beans, oats, tofu
- beta-carotene: kale, spinach, peppers (red and yellow), paprika, marjoram, broccoli, sweet potatoes, mango
- polyphenols: onions, grapes, berries, chilli peppers, oregano, cloves
- lutein: courgette, grapes, kiwi, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach
- isoflavones: soybeans, soymilk, tofu
- lignans: seeds, nuts, broccoli, kale, peppers, whole grains, apricots, oats
- copper: nuts, seeds, mushrooms, chickpeas, avocado
- indoles: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, pak choi, Brussels sprouts, rocket
- cryptoxanthins: peppers, squash, tangerines, paprika
A diet with a wide variety of these foods will help you protect your skin from free radical damage.
Anti-inflammatory foods for radiant skin
Inflammation is a term used widely these days to discuss a state of unhealthiness in the body. While short-term inflammation is a reaction to injury, and helps the healing process, chronic inflammation is a long term reaction to things that are bad for the body. These include sugar, alcohol, processed meat and white bread.
At its worst, inflammation is thought to be responsible for a host of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. When it comes to your skin health, inflammation also plays a part. Inflammation can cause puffy skin, eye bags, acne, eczema, premature ageing and other unwanted skin effects.
To reduce inflammation in your skin, eliminate the foods that aggravate it (see below) and incorporate more of these foods with anti inflammatory properties that make skin glow:
- olives and olive oil
- green tea
- green tea
- leafy green vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts)
- sweet potatoes
- chia seeds
- brown rice
Probiotic foods that make skin glow
A healthy digestive system is vital if you want your skin to truly glow from within. Its role is to absorb the nutrients you are putting into your body. Therefore, without effective digestion your skin (and the rest of your body) will not be able to benefit fully from what you eat.
The good kind of bacteria that is naturally present in your digestive system help you absorb nutrients. They also protect your immunity and keep bad bacteria at bay. When the digestive system doesn’t function properly, it can lead to skin problems such as eczema, dry skin and acne.
For clear and radiant skin, ensure you consume probiotic foods which contain healthy bacteria that will support your digestive system. These include:
- pickled vegetables
Foods that are bad for skin
As you might expect when it comes to a guide to food for glowing skin, there are also several foods you should avoid. Many of these are common sense really, as we all know that they’re not a healthy choice.
These are the foods you should leave out of your glowing skin diet:
- refined sugars (for example those found in cakes, white bread, cereals, fruit juices and store-bought sauces)
- deep fried food
These can affect your skin through dehydration, insulin spikes or other bodily reactions which have a detrimental effect on your skin.
Your diet for glowing skin
By incorporating the healthy foods above into your diet, and excluding those which are best avoided, you can ensure your skin will look the best it can do naturally.
Skincare and makeup can only do so much in terms of improving your appearance and giving you a healthy glow. The most reliable place for you to start caring for your skin is from the inside out. Eat plenty of these delicious and healthy foods for radiant skin and to look your absolute glowing best.
Eating food for glowing skin can also be accompanied by these other tips to get glowing skin.
-Connect with Viva Day Spa for more skin care treatments tailored to your skin
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