SKIN AND COLLAGEN BOOSTING SUPERFOODS LIST!
An alkaline based diet rich in omega 3 essential fatty acid, antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E can help promote skin health by stimulating circulation, boosting the digestive system, clearing toxins from the body and building collagen and elastin.
Collagen and elastin are proteins that help the skin stay smooth, flexible and healthy. To help fight signs of ageing it is beneficial to consume foods daily that help build these proteins. Antioxidants help protect the skin from the effects of free radicals and drinking water ensures we help flush any toxins out of the body. Here are some tips to help you add foods to your shopping list to include daily in your diet.
Vitamin A helps boost production of collagen in the skin. Orange coloured fruit and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, oranges and mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted in the body Vitamin A.
Tips – Enjoy carrots, and peppers raw with dips. Bake sweet potato and pumpkin to enjoy with salads or with a roast dinner. Chop orange fruits and sprinkle some seeds and coconut flakes on top for breakfast.
Antioxidants help prevent or delay the effect of free radicals. Including antioxidant rich foods in the diet can help protect your skin from the inside out. Berries like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are high in antioxidants and are a rich source of vitamin C. Turmeric is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory too.
Tips – Sprinkle some berries on your breakfast, eat them as a snack or add them to a smoothie. Add turmeric to chicken recipes or rice or try adding a pinch to your smoothie!
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that works with Vitamin C and selenium to help protect cells against the harmful effects of free radicals. Foods such as avocados and olive oil are rich in Vitamin E and fantastic for skin health.
Tips – Enjoy avocados or fresh olives in salads or extra virgin olive oil with apple cider vinegar as a salad dressing, spread avocados on bread instead of butter or blend avocados in smoothies and juices.
Vitamin C – helps both collagen and elastin function within the body. Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, rocket and citrus fruits like lemons, limes and grapefruit are great sources of vitamin C. Leafy greens are also rich in Lutein, an antioxidant, which helps build Elastin.
Tips – Include plenty of leafy greens and citrus fruits in salads, vegetable juices and smoothies, add leafy greens to stir-fries or steam them to eat with dinner.
Essential Fatty Acids are substances the body cannot manufacture in adequate quantities so they must be obtained from the diet. EFA’s like omega 3 are anti-inflammatory and a part of healthy cell membranes. Foods rich in EFA’s include; oily fish like mackerel, salmon, trout and sardines; nuts like walnuts; and seeds like flaxseeds and hemp seeds. These foods are also high in Vitamin E.
Tips – Sprinkle seeds or walnuts over salads and enjoy fish as a great protein source with meals.
Green Tea is rich in antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals, reduce inflammation and protect cell membranes. Green tea is also high in polyphenols, which help fight ageing in the skin. It contains around between 20 – 40 mg caffeine per cup (depending on the brand) so don’t go overboard, but enjoy 2-3 cups per day.
Water helps flush toxins from the body and will help keep your skin supple and hydrated. Listen to your bodies natural thirst mechanism and remember that water in caffeinated or sugary beverages does not count towards you intake.
Tips – Enjoy filtered or spring water, add some lemon, lime or ginger to enhance the flavour or enjoy herbal teas without caffeine as these count towards water intake for the day.
Epsom Salts are a rich source of minerals particularly magnesium, which is a muscular and all over body relaxant. The salts help cleanse and detoxify the body and are extremely hydrating to the skin and therefore therapeutic for skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. They can also help decrease inflammation. Epsom salts can be dissolved into bath water, making the minerals highly absorbable to the skin. Try soaking in an Epsom or Himalayan Salt Bath once a week for a minimum of 20 minutes and reap the benefits.
And here’s a cheeky bonus! Dark chocolate and red wine are rich in antioxidants that can help the skin stay healthy, so enjoy these too (in moderation of course)!
SKIN BOOSTING JUICE RECIPE
This juice stimulates circulation and promotes the body systems to get moving and eliminate toxins making it a fantastic skin cleanser. It also boosts digestion helping the body absorb important nutrients. The avocado increases the vitamin E and essential fatty acid content. Spinach is rich in lutein and vitamin C. Ginger root stimulates circulation, parsley is a natural blood cleanser and tonic, celery is rich in potassium making it fantastic for cleansing and skin health and cucumber is a natural kidney cleanser.
Ingredients – makes one large juice (enough for 2 people or 2 serves)
- 1 medium cucumber
- 5 sticks of celery
- 1 cup of spinach (or kale)
- 1 – 2 apples (depending on how sweet you like it)
- Juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
- 1 avocado
- A handful of chopped parsley
- 1 inch knob of ginger peeled
- 8 ice cubes
- 1 cup of filtered water
I prefer making juices in a blender to retain all the nutrients. You need a high speed blender and it’s best to add the ingredients bit by bit with some water so the blender doesn’t get stuck. You can also juice the vegetables and then add these to a blender with the lime, avocado, parsley and spinach if you prefer your juices smoother and without the pulp!