You already know that filling your diet with power produce—like dark leafy greens, dark chocolate and citrus—is crucial for good health and OTT energy.
What’s not quite so widely known? The fact that certain foods can also work wonders on your skin.
If you’re a latte lover, that daily java could be much more than just your morning wake-up call. Women who drank coffee every day had an 11% lower prevalence of non-melanoma skin cancer (the most common form) compared to those who didn’t imbibe, according to a study in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. So while slathering on SPF is still the best way to protect your skin, that daily coffee may help.
Although we don’t need an excuse to savour a few squares, turns out indulging could have a host of hidden health perks. The sweet treat is rich in cocoa flavanols, plant compounds with antioxidant properties, which help hydrate skin and improve circulation. Cambridge University scientists have invented a chocolate bar that promises to boost antioxidant levels and up circulation to smooth fine lines and furrows. What will they think of next?
Stop discarding your orange peels and start munching on them instead. A study published in the World Journal of Dermatology reported that when d-limonene, a compound found in the oil of the peels, was given to mice it provided protection against ultraviolet damage.
Love tucking into tuna at lunch? Try mackerel instead. This oily fish is one of the best sources of vitamin B12. Many people miss out on this vital nutrient, which helps synthesise red blood cells. One of the symptoms of B12 deficiency? Hyperpgimentation (dark spots) and vitiligo (white spots).
Here’s another good reason to drizzle extra virgin olive oil on your salad—research published in Plos One reported an analysis of the diets of 1264 women, which found that a higher consumption of olive oil was associated with fewer signs of facial skin photoageing compared to people who ate less. Why? About 75% of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which may play a role in promoting younger skin.
This little fruit packs a wallop of vitamin C—nearly double your daily needs in one fruit. “C stimulates collagen synthesis, which keeps skin taught and smooths fine lines,” explains Lisa Drayer, registered dietitian and author of The Beauty Diet.
These seeds are chockers with vitamin E. Not only will a handful of these tasty little wonders contribute to your daily recommended intake of 7mg but they will also help keep your skin pimple-free according to a study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology.
Not just good for putting a bit of zing into your relationship, you’re also looking at the best source of dietary zinc. Six of these ocean treasures provide over four times the RDI. The mineral plays an important role in the growth and function of skin cells and, though more research is needed, studies suggest that acne sufferers have lower than normal zinc levels.
Hungry? Try snacking on a few slices of this brightly coloured wonder vegie—one study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the people who ate the most yellow and green produce had fewer wrinkles, compared to those who ate the least.
Brewing this before bed could be just what your skin needs. A study in The Journal of Nutrition revealed women who drank a beverage containing green tea polyphenols daily for 12 weeks had skin that was more elastic and smooth. The brew’s flavonoids helped to improve overall skin quality, say researchers. A youth-boosting cuppa? We’ll drink to that!