The food that you eat not only reflects on your waistline, but also on your skin. There is a growing body of research which suggests that your diet can make a vast difference to your complexion, this is because foods can affect hormone balance, trigger inflammation associated with skin aging and even cause breakouts. Beauty comes from within, and in terms of your skin this couldn’t be truer.
These are the top five foods which have been proven to have beneficial effects on the skin;
- Dark Chocolate
This sweet treat has antioxidant properties which can help to hydrate the skin and improve blood circulation giving you a healthy pink glow. One study demonstrated in women who consumed cocoa powder drinks, rich in cocoa flavanol – a compound found in dark chocolate, had less scaliness and roughness on their skin as opposed to the control group (1). However, if you’re not a fan of dark chocolate and want to avoid the extra calories, applying it topically can temporarily reduce puffiness in the skin due to the caffeine found in the chocolate (2).
Most fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. This can help fight and prevent acne, as inflammation is understood to be the root cause of acne and unsightly breakouts (3).
Eggs have been found to control excess melanin synthesis in human skin, which means they can act to control hyperpigmentation (4). High fat diets are associated with premature aging skin (5) whereas eggs contain vitamin A, which is involved in promoting the development of new skin cells and wound healing. The essential factor vitamin A, was discovered in 1909 in egg yolk, and since then research has found that vitamin A improves skin texture and appearance, and can even increase the thickness of the epidermis (6).
4. Green Tea
Green tea has been cited for countless benefits for our overall health and wellbeing, however in terms of skin benefits, the high antioxidant levels in green tea are anti-inflammatory and even anti-carcinogenic as they boost blood circulation and oxygen towards the skin (7). One study even found that participants who drank green tea on a daily basis for three months had more elastic and smooth skin and approximately one-quarter less sun damage when their skin was exposed to UV lights (7)
5. All fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and vitamins which all have numerous benefits for the skin. Some of these antioxidants can protect the skin from cellular damage that is a result of external factors, such as smoking, pollution or direct sunlight. Vitamins are essential to promote normal and healthy skin cell development and skin tone (8).
Remember that along with these foods, water is absolutely essential for healthy, glowing skin. Your skin needs moisture to maintain elasticity and to avoid drying out and looking dull. It is recommended that you consume six to eight glasses of water day to maintain a healthy glow and for your body to stay hydrated.
For more information on foods which are good for your skin, see the nutrition and weight management course here; http://www.futurefit.co.uk/future-fit-training/courses/nutrition-and-weight-management/
- Heinrich, U., Neukam, K., Tronnier, H., Sies, H. and Stahl, W., 2006. Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.The Journal of nutrition, 136(6), pp.1565-1569.
- Kiefer, D. and Pantuso, T., 2012. Omega-3 fatty acids: An update emphasizing clinical use.Agro food industry hi-tech, 23(4), p.10.
- Katiyar, S.K., Ahmad, N. and Mukhtar, H., 2000. Green tea and skin.Archives of Derma-tology, 136(8), pp.989-994.
- Miranda, J.M., Anton, X., Redondo-Valbuena, C., Roca-Saavedra, P., Rodriguez, J.A., Lamas, A., Franco, C.M. and Cepeda, A., 2015. Egg and egg-derived foods: effects on human health and use as functional foods.Nutrients, 7(1), pp.706-729.
- Schagen, S.K., Zampeli, V.A., Makrantonaki, E. and Zouboulis, C.C., 2012. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), pp.298-307.
- Mukherjee, S., Date, A., Patravale, V., Korting, H.C., Roeder, A. and Weindl, G., 2006. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety.Clinical interventions in Aging, 1(4), p.327.
- Heinrich, U., Moore, C.E., De Spirt, S., Tronnier, H. and Stahl, W., 2011. Green tea polyphenols provide photoprotection, increase microcirculation, and modulate skin properties of women.The Journal of nutrition, 141(6), pp.1202-1208.
- Slavin, J.L. and Lloyd, B., 2012. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables.Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 3(4), pp.506-516
This article has been republished with the kind permission of Future Fit Training Academy, a UK based training academy with over twenty five years of experience in offering diplomas and courses in personal training, nutrition and pilates.