Ten Fab Foods for your Face – Part 2

Ten more fab nutrient packed foods that work well for the skin -as well as general health.  As you will see, there is a pattern of common nutrients needed for good skin – but each and every different food type has its own unique properties that would benefit other aspects of health too, hence the importance of variety in the diet.

1.      Cucumber

  • Silicone,vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium

Silicone strengthens connective tissue so  helps improve the appearance of wrinkles and also causes skin to glow

Magnesium also helps to reduce acne (as do many other nutrients like  omega 3 oils, vitamin A and zinc).

Further, they have a very high water content (over 90%)  so great for hydration too, which in itself is vital for great skin.

Tips- salads, cucumber sticks with hummus/dips as healthy snacks

2.      Walnuts

  • Rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids, copper

Omega 3 oils help to improve the skins elasticity and plump up the skin cells for a better complexion

Copper also aids collagen production

Tips- as healthy snack with other nuts, sprinkled over cold and warm salads, ground and sprinkled over cereals

3.     Fish oil/Flax seeds

  • Rich in Omega 3 oils (EPA, DHA) –  help to reduce lines and clear blemishes– for great clear skin. They are thought to help attract water into the cells and so make them plump and hence reduce the wrinkles.

Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, anchovies, and sardines as the most potent choices for clear  skin

For vegetarians, flax seeds are a great alternative to fish oils for obtaining omega 3 oils. Alternatively, fish/krill oil capsules are recommended.

A study in the British Journal of Nutrition stated that participants who had 2g flax seeds had better hydrated skin and less redness/irritation 6 weeks later compared to those who consumed none.

Tips- flax seeds/ground flax  can be added onto cereals

4.      Spinach

  • Rich in beta carotene, iron, calcium, lutein, potassium,folate

Beta carotene is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps skin cells to repair, hence anti ageing and also helps against acne.

Folate   help repair damaged skin cells at the DNA level so reducing cancer risk

Tips- add in salads, blended as part of  vegetable juice with other fruits/veg

5.      Bell Peppers

  • Rich in vitamin C

Studies have shown that people who consume yellow and green veggies tend to have less wrinkles

Tips- salads, cut into strips and eaten with dips-hummus, tzatziki

6.      Strawberries

  • Rich source of many antioxidants–  phenols, ellagitannins and anthocyanins, vitamin C

-shown to protect cell structure and damage from UV rays

All berries have their own benefits though- so aim to eat a variety.

Tips- fruit salad, healthy snack, blended fruit juice

7.      Sunflower seeds

  • Rich in vitamin E

Vitamin E protect the top layers of the skin, especially from sun damage

Tips- mix with pumpkin seeds and other  nuts as a healthy snack

8.      Carrots

  • Rich in beta carotene (vitamin A)

Vitamin A helps to prevent overproduction of cells in the outer layer of the skin (where dead cells and the sebum can collect and clog pores) – hence great for reducing acne.

Tips- soups, carrot sticks with dips, baby carrots as healthy convenient snacks

9.     Dried apricots

  • Rich source of iron, essential fatty acids, vitamin A

EFA- Oleic and linoleic acid help to moisturise the skin.

Tips- have a few as a healthy snack, post-exercise snack

10.  Beetroot

  • Rich in minerals – iron,calcium,magnesium,manganese,potassium, vitamins A,Bs and C, folic acid

The high content of iron and other nutrients make beetroot a very good kidney and liver detoxifier.

The high antioxidant content helps prevent cell damage and gives youthful skin and body

Tips-salads, great as a vegetable juice with celery/apple/carrots.

So ensure a variety of different fruits and veggies (preferably organic) . The recommended serves are 2 fruit and 5-7 veggies daily.  From statistics, this is not attainable for many people  and so  vegetable juice is a particularly convenient way of incorporating this into your diet.  And last but not least, don’t forget the water!