Lisa Guy, Naturopath and Herbalist from Bodhi Organic Teas shares her prescription for beautiful, fresh glowing skin this summer.
Eating a good wholesome nutrient-rich diet is paramount to promoting good health and radiant, youthful looking skin. Unfortunately, not all of us eat well. A lot of people, especially those who follow a typical Western diet, don’t get the recommended daily intake of these important nutrients which results in dull, unhealthy skin that ages prematurely.
Here are 10 of the best skin-nourishing foods you can enjoy this summer, for beautiful, healthy skin.
Avocadoes are the perfect skin loving food. They are jam-packed with nutrients that work wonders for keeping skin soft, supple and healthy. Avocadoes are rich in beneficial fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants that enhance skin health from the inside out. The carotenoids in avocado have an antioxidant effect which protects the skin from the damaging effects of the sun and other environmental stressors that lead to wrinkles and other visible signs of ageing. Avocadoes are particularly rich in vitamin E too. This important skin nutrient can reduce the damaging effects of pollution and UV radiation from sun exposure. It’s the oleic acid content of avocadoes however that benefits skin the most. This beneficial monounsaturated fatty acid has a moisturizing effect on the skin, helping the skin retain moisture to keep it soft, supple and well hydrated. Add avocadoes to salads, grainy toast, guacamole, healthy raw cacao mouse or green smoothies.
Drinking green tea regularly is one of the best ways to promote beautiful healthy, glowing skin. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, namely catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which are powerful antioxidants that fight oxidative damage that leads to premature skin ageing. EGCG slows down collagen and elastin breakdown and can help regenerate aging surface skin cells. These are two important proteins in the skin that gives the skin strength, tone and elasticity. Drinking green tea can also help enhance blood flow to your skin to promote a healthy supply of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells. Aim to drink 3 cups of organic green tea daily to reap its complexion-boosting properties. Try Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA.
Pomegranates contain many wonderful skin nourishing nutrients. Including pomegranates in the diet regularly can help regenerate skin cells and boost collagen production to help keep skin smooth and well toned. This beautiful red fruit is abundant in the polyphenols, anthyocycanins and ellagic acid, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect skin cells from oxidative damage caused from sun exposure, which is a major skin age accelerators. Pomegranates also boast high levels of vitamin C and A, which help rejuvenate the skin. Pomegranates also contain punicalagins, a super antioxidant nutrient that helps preserve collagen in the skin, giving your skin a smoother firmer appearance. Toss pomegranate through salads or muesli, or mix through yoghurt.
Rosehips, which are the fruit of the rose, are a very rich source of vitamin C. This important nutrient is vital for collagen production and for restoring the skin. Vitamin C also helps improve skin healing and prevents infections such as acne, and reduces any inflammation. Rosehips are also abundant in vitamin A, which has strong antioxidant activity to help protect the skin from premature ageing. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin cell turnover and is essential for repair and maintenance of the skin. Rose hip tea, or as an iced tea with a squeeze of fresh lime, is a great way to enjoy this skin-loving food. Try Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and beetroot greens are packed with beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which helps to promote healthy repair and maintenance of the skin. Deficiency in vitamin A usually results in dry skin. Green leafy vegetables also contain skin friendly vitamin C and antioxidants. Try adding some kale or spinach to your next smoothie, delicious blended with pineapple pieces, mint, cucumber and chilled green tea.
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of the antioxidant mineral selenium, which is needed for good tissue elasticity. It also acts to reduce cell damage from free radicals, and may play an important role in reducing the risk of skin cancer. Add a few raw Brazil nuts to a trail mix for a healthy snack.
Salmon is one of the best sources of healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are beneficial fats needed to keep the skin soft and supple. Salmon also provides plenty of amino acids, which are also important for building collagen and elastin, which are major proteins in the skin. Salmon is also an excellent source of the super-carotenoid, astaxanthin, which is responsible for giving salmon their characteristic reddish-pink colour. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants with exceptional ability to fight skin-damaging free radicals and prevent premature skin aging.
Antioxidants are our best line of defense against damaging free radicals, which are one of the main culprits when it comes to ageing. The super spice turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin, which has been studied extensively for its powerful antioxidant properties and potent anti-inflammatory effect. Turmeric has many wonderful health benefits for the skin including alleviating skin inflammation, preventing acne and reducing premature skin ageing. Some delicious ways to enjoy turmeric is added to a mango smoothie, or drank as a tea with some ginger and lemon. Try Bodhi Organic ZesTEA.
Enjoying berries is a delicious way to promote radiant skin. Berries are jam-packed with skin-loving nutrients including vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are brilliant for boosting collagen production. They are also rich sources of powerful antioxidants, called anthocynanins, which help protect the skin against free radical damage caused from overexposure to the sun.
Consuming wheatgrass can help promote clear, healthy skin and reduce the likelihood of breakouts. Wheatgrass is a superior source of chlorophyll which is a natural detoxifier. This super food also contains skin-nourishing vitamins A, C and E, which are potent anti-oxidant nutrients with collagen protective effects. Wheatgrass is a super-oxide dismutase (SOD) boosting food. SOD is one of the most powerful antioxidants made by the body that helps slow down cellular aging. If you don’t have enough SOD, cells in the body, including skin cells, will start to age faster and die. As you get older SOD production is reduced.
TOP TEN SKIN DON’TS
- Limit processed and junk foods that lack nutritional goodness and are high in added sugars and unhealthy fats that have a negative effect on skin health.
- Limit sugars in your diet. Sugar is the skins enemy. Having too much sugar will promote breakouts by increasing skin inflammation and the risk of infections. Sugar is also a well-known cause of wrinkles and skin aging.
- If you’re a smoker now is the best time to give up. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your skin - even worse than getting too much sun. Smoking creates a barrage of skin damaging free radicals that cause premature aging and wrinkles.
- Limit your alcohol intake if you want to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking. Enjoying a few glasses of red wine a week can actually be beneficial for your health, as it contains high levels of the antioxidant resveratrol, which is valued for its potent anti-aging effects. However, overdoing it will have a negative effect on your skin.
- Don’t drink too much coffee as too much caffeine has a dehydrating effect on the skin. Go for caffeine free herbal teas instead like ginger and lemongrass, peppermint, chamomile, or licorice, or green which only has a small amount of caffeine along with the added benefits of potent skin protective antioxidants. Dandelion root is a great caffeine-free alternative to coffee which is also great for liver health.
- Don’t get too much sun. Try to avoid being out in the sun too long during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
- If you like to have really hot, long showers you will be stripping away your skin’s natural moisturising and protective oil layer, which can lead to dry skin. Have warm, shorter showers instead.
- Don’t stress! Working out how to manage stress in your daily life through different techniques such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, calming herbs and nutrients will do wonders for your skin’s health and prevention of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
- Avoid using harsh drying face washes and soaps that strip your skin of its natural oils. Natural cream cleansers and body washes are a gentle and effective way to remove dirt and grim from your skin without drying it out.
- Don’t leave make-up on when going to bed. Use a gentle natural cleanser to remove all traces of make-up, dirt and bacteria before hitting the sack.