There’s no doubt that the anti-ageing industry is big one, and for good reason – who actually wants to age before their time?
However, as much as clever advertising would have us believe in the magic pills or potions on the market, the truth is that your diet makes up for the majority of your inside and outside beauty.
Here are some of the best foods to add to your diet to maintain healthy, youthful skin.
Salmon, avocado, walnuts, olive oil, flaxseed, macadamia nuts – these are all foods that contain Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Omega 3’s, 7’s and 6’s (in moderation), required to boost your immune system, decrease inflammation and support cellular health. They are great for plumping out the skin to fill wrinkles and fine lines, improve elasticity and prevent dull, sagging skin in the future. EFAs enable your skin’s cells to retain their water, preventing sun damage and wrinkles and helping maintain your youthful appearance. They also provide anti-inflammatory properties for acne prone skin. These amazing oils can also help improve the appearance of cellulite as they give skin cells fullness and flexibility.
Capsicum, sweet potato, tomatoes, kale, broccoli, carrots – brightly coloured fruits and vegetables that are full of antioxidants including beta-carotene, protecting the skin from cell destroying free-radicals that cause premature aging. Cooked tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which can help your skin develop a natural defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Think of the beautiful youthful skin on our European friends and how the Mediterranean Diet contains loads of these foods!
Shellfish, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds and red meat – foods containing high levels of zinc have healing properties similar to antibiotics and can help reduce acne and pimples. Zinc also contributes to beautiful glossy hair and strong nails, improves the libido and increases collagen and wound healing, so make sure you’re getting plenty in your diet.
Organic Dark Chocolate: This little super food contains cocoa, or even better, it’s more natural form cacao, which has large amounts of natural flavanols, a powerful antioxidant that helps keep skin plump, firm and hydrated. Make sure you eat good quality varieties with 70% or more cocoa/cacao, and few ingredients. Raw is also best and avoid refined sugars. Try Loving Earth’s raw dark variety and Pana Chocolate, which use organic coconut nectar and agave syrup respectively. Remember to eat it in moderation – about 20g a day max – as it is a very high caloric food.
Papaya, kiwi fruit, broccoli, dark leafy greens, berries – these foods all contain high amounts of Vitamin C, required for producing collagen in the body. Collagen is a protein that plays a critical role in the structure of our bodies and is the framework for our skin and our bones. Without it, we would quite literally fall apart.
H2O – This is an obvious one, but one that I believe still warrants a mention. Good old natural water keeps your skin hydrated, plump and glowing. Add in some lemon juice to stimulate digestion, which will also help rid the body of toxins. Aim to drink 2-3 sips of warm or tepid water (not cold) every 15 minutes to hydrate you, increase absorption, and decrease the need for the loo all the time!
ABOUT PIP REED- co founder of TheHealthClinic.com.au
Pip Reed is a qualified, certified and registered Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Yoga-Fit instructor, with over ten years experience in the health and fitness industry.
Pip specialises in women’s health, weight loss, hormone imbalances, and healthy aging. Her fresh insights into achieving beauty both inside and out using nutrition as the basis of health and well-being are always realistic and designed to work with people’s lives. Her advice is always relevant and do-able.
Pip is the Director and Co-Founder of Australia’s first online nutrition clinic, TheHealthClinic.com.au.
TheHealthClinic.com.au is the first online live Nutrition Clinic to be launched in Australia. All consults take place live online, so you can book in a time whenever you like, wherever you like – no more sitting in traffic, struggling to find a park or waiting around in waiting rooms for your appointment.