I am a big fan of eating healthily. I’m also a big fan of wine and ice cream. I think balance is key. Over lockdown I have become more aware of the old saying ‘you are what you eat’. In my opinion, here are the foods that are good for your skin.

Full disclosure here – I’m vegan and I predominately eat a plat based diet (with the exception of the aforementioned ice cream and wine). For me, I feel that this is the best diet, but that is not to say that it is the best diet for everyone. It’s so important to find out what works for you, whether that is meat based, vegetarian or vegan.

My top ten foods that are good for your skin are:

Nuts

  1. Walnuts. If snacking on nuts in general isn’t really your bag, fear not. You can have them in a multitude of ways. For me, I mix them in with cereal. I make my own granola (because I’m that person). My granola is made from a Deliciously Ella recipe and then I blend up some walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts and almonds to add in after my granola has finished baking. I find this to be a really easy way to get some added nuts in to my diet. Walnuts are a great source of Omega – 3 and Omega – 6. omega – 3 can reduce inflammation and add structure to the skin cell membranes. This helps to keep moisture in and toxins out.
  2. Sunflower seeds. I tend to also sprinkle these on my cereal or add them to hummus on toast along with a pinch of sesame seeds. Honestly, if my teenage self could see me now! Sunflower seeds are a great way to get vitamin E. They also contain selenium which helps fight the effects of free radicals when paired with vitamin E. Sunflower seeds are an easy food to get in to your diet to help your skin out.

Vegetables

  1. Kale. I used to hate kale. Actually I used to hate vegetables. But since becoming a fully fledged adult a few years ago (I’m now 34, it took me a while!) I have come to love it and have it at least once a day in a meal. I have tried to make kale chips and honestly, some sort of witchcraft is used because I cannot make it correctly. It’s packed with antioxidants such as beta-carotene, polyphenols and vitamin C. These are not just good for your skin health but your health in general.
  2. Avocado – obviously. I’m a cliche and I love avocado on toast. In fact, it’s my lunch today with tomatoes, hummus and sesame seeds. Practice what you preach and all. Avocados are full of mono-saturated and polyunsaturated fats to help keep your skin hydrated.
  3. Broccoli – Another vegetable that I used to hate. Now I have it with every evening meal. The florets contain sulforaphane, which may have anti-aging and anti-cancer properties, plus lutein which protects your skin from oxidative damage, which causes skin to wrinkle and dry out.
  4. Lentils. Lentils make up a large part of my diet but be cautious of having too many. There is an awfully named problem called leaky gut sundrome which can be caused by eating too many of these, along with diary and grains. Lentils are great for our hair health. Hair is made up of a protein which is called keratin and the skin is made up of a protein called collagen. The protein in lentils hold the skin tissue together to strengthen it.

Snacks

  1. Dark Chocolate. Being vegan, it’s really my only option, but it’s also a blessing in disguise. Dark chocolate with a 70-100% cocoa content is high in high in antioxidants can improve blood flow and general skin health.

Drinks

  1. Green tea. Green tea has been my drink of choice for years (after red wine – did I mention that?). This tea has got tonnes of antioxidants called catechins which can combat cell damage and increase blood flow and oxygen to the skin.
  2. Cumin, coriander and Fennel. I’ve been drinking this concotion for a few months now and it helps to keep me hydrated as it counts towards your water intake. Coriander seeds are high in antioxidants, can improve heart health and may have benefits for your memory. Cumin is also high in antioxidants and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Fennel seeds contain high amounts of potassium, magnesium and calcium which are important for heart health. I made a pot of this in the morning and just top up the hot water throughout the day.
  3. Water. Obviously.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190204/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16702322

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20085665

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21525260

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26799467

check my skincare work here.