When it comes to healthy skin, what you put into your body is as equally important as what you put on it. So if you want to give your complexion a boost, make your first stop your kitchen counter.
We all know a diet rich in all types of fruit and veg is a good place to start, however there are some nutritional standouts when it comes to skin health. Here are five must haves to add to your shopping list.
1. Red, orange and yellow fruit and veg
Okay, so technically this is a colour group rather than a single food, but this bright bunch earns its keep. Fruit and veg like tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin and red peppers are rich in carotenoids, the pigment that gives them their vibrant colour. Carotenoids pack a powerful punch in the beauty department – they act as antioxidants in the body, helping to revert the signs of aging: reducing wrinkles, drying, scaling and thickening of the skin.
Creamy and delicious, avocados are packed full of nutrients that help nourish your skin, and they're a good source of carotenoids, too. This fruit (yup, avos are a fruit) is rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the production of collagen, a structural protein that keeps skin firm and toned. Plus, avocados are full of healthy fats which help to keep skin soft and supple.
Eggs are a high-quality protein and a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Here's a look at some of their skin-saving nutrients: biotin, a B vitamin that helps to strengthen skin, hair and nails; selenium, an antioxidant mineral that helps to reduce inflammation; and lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help to protect skin from UV damage which keeps you looking young. Eggs Benedict, anyone?
4. Dark chocolate
Along with being decidedly decadent, dark chocolate has some pretty impressive beauty benefits. It contains flavonoids, phytonutrients which have an antioxidant effect in the body and help to protect skin from UV damage, increase skin hydration, and promote blood circulation – which means healthy skin cells that regenerate quicker and slow down the aging process.
Here's a skin-savvy tip to add to your morning routine: Start your day with some lemon juice in a glass of warm water. Why? Because lemon juice is a great source of vitamin C, which as we know aids in collagen production and helps to keep skin toned. Lemon juice also stimulates your liver to produce bile, which is necessary for digestion, and in turn helps your body get rid of toxins that in turn will not make it to the surface of your skin.
With all that said, one of the simplest things you can do for your skin is to stay hydrated by upping your H2O intake. If the plain stuff doesn't appeal to you, throw some mint, cucumber slices or a handful of berries into a jug of water for a fresh, fruity flavour.