Suffer from skin problems or wish you could achieve younger looking skin? Nutritionist Rick Hay tells us what foods to eat for glowing skin
If you’re after glowing skin, these eight superfoods are the answer you’ve been looking for. They’re packed full of vitamins and minerals to help repair and hydrate skin, whilst promoting both collagen production and collagen cross linking. They’re great for improving skin appearance, texture, hydration and decreasing redness.
Olives and Olive Oil
These two staples of the Mediterranean diet are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which help to improve hair, skin and nail health and also boost circulation and help to keep skin moisturised. These healthy fats also help to reduce skin irritation and redness. Olive fruit contains phenolic compounds such as oleuropein and oleocanthal which are two of nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants. Research carried out by Deakin University’s School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences found that oleocanthal possesses similar anti-inflammatory properties to ibuprofen which also help reduce skin irritation and redness. Olive oil has a number of health benefits as according to a study published in the Pharmacological Research Journal, people who regularly consume olive oil are much less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, and hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels). Cook and dress salads with olive oil and have a handful of olives daily.
Watermelon is rich in vitamin C to assist in collagen cross linking and wound healing. It’s also high in the carotenoid lycopene which helps to improve circulation which helps to keep your skin glowing and radiant. It also assists with overall cardiovascular health. According to research published in The Journal of Nutrition, the consumption of watermelon juice increases our intake of lycopene and carotene and can help the immune system stay strong and defend against cardiovascular disease. Try to have two or three cups per week.
Pomegranate seeds contain ellagic acid and punicalagin which has been shown to preserve collagen and protect against free radical damage. A study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal found that pomegranate skin preparations hold promise in increasing the rate of wound healing. Applying an ointment prepared from pomegranate peel to guinea pig wounds enhanced wound healing by increasing collagen, DNA and protein synthesis. Pomegranates are also high in Vitamin C which helps with collagen production and the high levels of zinc they contain also assist with wound healing. Pomegranates are high in fibre to assist with regularity – a lack of regularity leads to compromised digestive and liver function which results in the skin being used as a vehicle for the elimination of toxins. You can have one or two pomegranates every day or go for a daily glass of cold pressed pomegranate juice.
Spinach contains beta-carotene and lutein which is good news for your skin as according to research published in the Journal of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, these two nutrients have been shown to improve skin elasticity. It’s also high in magnesium to assist with lowering stress levels and chlorophyll to help the body cleanse and alkalise. Have one cup every day for best results.
Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries
Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are packed full of antioxidants and are incredibly nutrient dense. They are the perfect immune boosters which makes them the perfect ally against inflammatory skin conditions, redness and dryness. According to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the regular consumption of berries may play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Have a cup of these colourful free radical fighters every day.
Additional research: Michelle Stylianou
Rick Hay is an Anti Ageing and Fitness Nutritionist with many years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology. He specializes in obesity treatment and weight management. He writes a regular Natural Health and Fitness Blog for Healthista. Find out more at rickhay.co.uk. Follow Rick @nutritiomalphys