Fruits and vegetables
Getting your five a day is about more than keeping your weight down and avoiding cancer – it is also about improving your skin. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, which are able to protect our skin from the ravages of our environment. This includes sun damage, pollution damage, damage from smoking and from chemicals. The cells of your skin will grow more healthy and your skin will feel and look fresher. Foods that are deeply colored such as greens are especially potent, while orange fruits and vegetables containing beta carotene will give you the best results. But the aim should be to eat a variety of these foods every day.
For some reason, we often add fat to the outer layer of our skin (as a moisturiser) but fail to eat enough fat to moisturise it from within. Low-fat diets will result in dry skin that feels taut and uncomfortable, so eating a variety of healthy vegetable and animal fats is vital. These include coconut oil (which also works as a moisturizer), meat fats such as lard, fish oils, avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds. Avoid processed oils at all costs as these contain free radicals that can have a detrimental effect on our health.
We all know that drinking plenty of water can flush out the toxins in our body and therefore will result in better and clearer skin. But it doesn’t have to be just water (although it is always best). Weak tea, herbal or green teas, coffee, and sugar-free fruit waters can also be a good alternative for when you can’t face yet another glass of water. The general consensus on water drinking these days is that we should drink to thirst and that we don’t necessarily need 6-8 glasses a day. But staying adequately hydrated is still very important.
Insulin can play havoc with your skin and is known to increase wrinkle production and damage collagen. The best way to limit the production of insulin is to keep sugar levels low and this means limiting carbs – or sticking to low GI options. If you choose to eat carbohydrates, choose vegetables, pulses, and oats as they are slow release and will limit the influx of sugar into your system.
These ideas will certainly improve your skin but don’t expect overnight miracles. You need a good couple of months for the effects to be noticeable and in the meantime, you will be starting to feel great – both inside and out.