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What to eat for great skin at any age and why: salmon, olive oil, sweet potato, cocoa and more
June 3, 2015 | By:
What you eat can contribute to healthy, youthful skin. From olive oil to broccoli and strawberries to cocoa, find out which foods are good for your complexion and why
Beauty. Seven foods for good skin. Photo from Stocksy

The right fats and drinking plenty of water are two of the best things you can do for your skin

Liz Taylor famously said that you eat for your body, or you eat for your face. While fat is no longer seen to be the enemy it once was, for those on a diet it is still looked at with a high degree of suspicion. However, it can be the biggest beauty secret of all for both men and women.

Starving yourself to fit into size eight jeans might mean your body stays lanky, but come your later years and your face will not be in its best shape.

Keeping a healthy weight, of course, is a sensible thing to do. But don’t forget that food can provide nutrients for your skin that all the beauty lotions and potions in the world just won’t be able to do.

Omega 3: olive oil and salmon

Beauty. Foods for skin. Olive oil bottles. Photo from Flickr CCWhen it comes to including a little fat in the diet for your face, olive oil and salmon are your friends. Salmon has a lot of omega 3 in it, a fatty acid that is essential to keeping skin plump and wrinkles at bay.

All the evidence you need for the argument to include olive oil in your diet can be found looking at the complexions of our fellow citizens who follow a healthy Mediterranean diet. It really takes years off of you.

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A ton of fresh vegetables and fruit

Beauty. Foods for skin. Quinoa black bean and mango salad. Photo from Flickr CCAnother element of the Mediterranean diet, which will do wonders for your skin, is to include a large quantity of fruit and vegetables in your daily intake of food. (Mainly vegetables, with a couple of portions of fruit a day.)

This will benefit both your face and body, but your skin really stands to reap the benefits from the extra injection of antioxidant compounds from fresh fruit and veg. The compounds reduce skin damage from free radicals and this helps skin look both radiant and younger.

Cocoa (the good stuff)

Beauty. Foods for good skin. Dark chocolate. Photo from Flickr CCScientists in a study conducted in 2006 found that cocoa which had a high level of epicatchin and catechin not only helped protect the skin from sun damage, which is extremely ageing, but also improved the blood circulation to newly formed skin cells and increased hydration levels. All of this has the happy result of making the face look and feel smoother.

This doesn’t mean ‘newsagent chocolate’ (the cheap stuff from the corner shop) as that contains a negligble amount of cocoa but a ton of additives and refined sugar. It means the high cocoa content chocolate bars, and ideally raw to get its full benefits.

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Vitamin C: strawberries, oranges and broccoli

Beauty. Foods for good skin. Strawberries. Photo by Jeffrey Deng on UnsplashVitamin C is a wrinkle buster of note. The main protein in our skin is collagen and for our skin to form that, it needs vitamin C. It’s advised that men and women over 19 years of age get 90 milligrams and 75 milligrams of vitamin C respectively to keep their skin in the best health.

Vitamin C is found in oranges, brussel sprouts, grapefruit and broccoli. Strawberries are also potent vitamin C morsels just in case the brussel sprouts don’t float your boat.

Vitamin E: seeds and sunflower oil

Beauty. Foods for skin. Sunflower seeds. Photo from Flickr CCAnother vitamin to take note of is vitamin E. This can be found in sunflower oil and other seeds, and works with vitamin C to keep the lipids in your skin from deteriorating. For adults, the recommended daily dose of vitamin E is 15 milligrams.

Carotenoids for sun damage: carrots, sweet potatoes, papaya, mango

Beauty. Foods for skin. Papaya. Photo from Flickr CCAlthough sun damage is one of the leading causes of ageing skin, who can blame us for overindulging in the rays when the sun does come out? While it is important to get some sun time in for vitamin D for our bones, keep exposure to the sun in balance. A bit of ageing skin is a vastly different proposition to deal with than skin cancer.

Foods on your plate can play a role in correcting some of the damage caused to your skin by ultraviolet rays. The best foods to fix sun damage are those that include a hefty dose of carotenoids within their own skins.

Not surprisingly, given the name of the compound, carrots come up tops in this category. Gem squash, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, papaya and mango also have a lot to offer in your search for carotenoids.

Water, water and more water

Beauty. Foods for skin. Water. Photo from Flickr CCWater is vital to include in your beauty regime as part of a balanced diet. The old chestnut of needing to drink eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated has now been discredited as not having a basis in science. However, it is true that most of us drink way too little water.

Not only does water help plump out your skin so that the appearance of wrinkles is reduced, it also moves waste products and toxins through the body to be eliminated, which is necessary for a clear and healthy complexion.

Get these basics right and there will be room in your diet to indulge in the occasional treat and still have a face that shows your zest for life and keeps your more extravagant excesses a secret!

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