Our quest for ever glowing, radiant skin can range from the expensive to the ridiculous. But it doesn’t need to be complicated. As more holistic and natural methods to support our health and wellness (especially as we get a little older) are gaining more mainstream interest and scientific evidence, it makes sense that we take a step back and look at the simple things first.
So, pop on that nourishing face mask and sip on some herbal tea as we talk to internationally renowned Nutritionist Rick Hay to discover how to get radiant skin with these top 5 foods.
If you want to support your skin then your first stop has to be to include more superfoods in your diet. These are foods that are nutrient dense and have strong antioxidant properties. These foods have a high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity Score (ORAC) and the higher the ORAC score the stronger the food’s antioxidant ability.
Here are five of my favourites for more radiant skin:
Common colourful fruits and vegetables like Raspberries, Blackberries, Beetroot, Blueberries and Spinach all fall into the superfood category.
They all have high ORAC scores and as a result are all good immune boosters in their own right. They tend to be cardio protective and can help with cognitive performance too. Berries are also rich in vitamin C, and vitamin C can help with collagen synthesis – so berries may well help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!
There is also lots of research currently being undertaken in order to identify the medicinal properties of common culinary herbs and spices. The results for Turmeric, Cinnamon and Oregano are all promising.
Turmeric has strong anti inflammatory properties whilst cinnamon is a great blood sugar regulator and may assist with weight loss goals by decreasing cravings. Oregano is a natural anti microbial and anti bacterial which helps to keep your immune system strong.
Botanicals – Grape Seed Extract
Grape Seed Extract is a powerful antioxidant that has cellular protective properties.
It contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) which are some of the most potent antioxidants in the plant world. They have an antioxidant capacity that exceeds that of both vitamin C and E. The antioxidants in Grape Seed Extract help to reduce free radical damage and helping to protect the skin from sun damage. OPC’s also help with skin elasticity and collagen production.
Grape Seed Extract has benefits beyond that of skin health in particular, in the area of heart health. It can assist in lowering both blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
Fermented and Probiotic Foods
These are key to good digestive health and help with nutrient absorption and probiotic levels. Good gut function is integral to any healthy diet, as without it key nutrients may be lost. Foods like sauerkraut, tempeh and miso promote a healthy microbiome. Research suggests that the microbiome may be one of the most important factors that determines overall good health and healthy immune function.
Apple cider vinegar also supports the health of your microbiome which in turn, helps with skin health and may help to reduce skin redness and irritation.
Orange or Yellow Coloured Fruit and Vegetables
The brightly coloured pigments found in orange and yellow plant foods are packed full of antioxidants carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene. All of which have immuno protective properties. Beta carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A, which supports overall skin health. Orange or yellow fruits and vegetables also tend to be high in vitamin C, which promotes collagen production.
Finally, make sure that you reduce your sugar intake. Sugar and refined carbohydrates promote glycation, which produces a chemical reaction in the skin. It makes its surface more stiff and inflexible, leading to premature ageing. Glycation is damage to the skin from the inside. It results in the three signs of ageing that we don’t want – wrinkles, lines and discolouration. It can even lead to saggier skin as both collagen and elastin are damaged.
What foods do you eat to support your skin health?
If you love this, check out:
- Our DIY face massage for glowing skin
- The Beauty Chef Get Glowing Smoothie Bowl
- 3 Ingredient Skincare Mask
Rick Hay The Superfoodist – Dip Nutrition, Dip Botanical Medicine, Dip Iridology, Dip Teaching. Rick is an anti ageing and fitness nutritionist with many years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology. His specialisms include beauty from within supplements and natural sports medicine options.
His approach is to debunk the myths and misinformation surrounding diets, healthy eating and weight management. He’s passionate about the science behind food and fitness and aims to provide easy yet effective nutritional solutions.