It’s time again to welcome Ruth from Let Her Eat Clean to write about health and pick out her top food posts of the month that will keep us all in tip top condition. This month, Ruth is focusing on skin and what we should be eating for a gorgeous complexion…
It’s the biggest organ in our body and has a surface area of around two metres and accounts for just shy of 20% of our body weight.
Our skin is a bit like the weather forecast of our health. Dark circles under your eyes? That’s usually a sign of something grey and gloomy going on. Radiant, rosy cheeks? That’s as good as every cell in your body doing cartwheels on freshly cut grass. What’s happening on the outside is a pretty darn good interpretation of whether you need to send in some reinforcements to lend a helping hand on the inside.
When it comes to supporting skin health, our dear friend, the well balanced and varied diet, is pretty awesome at providing essential nutrients that strengthen, support and protect skin cells. Some of the essential things for good skin care are protein (skin tissue relies on this for its formation) and fluid intake – if you find yourself with constantly cracked corners of the mouth, the chances are. you’re not drinking enough. And sorry, you can’t count the occasional glass of vino as fluid, as alcohol is a skin dehydrating diuretic.
Vitamin A, Beta-carotene, Lycopene, Vitamin C, Copper, Zinc, B Complex and Omega 3 Fatty Acids are all brilliant nutrients for skin production and protection. So where do we get them from?
Vitamin A and Beta CarotenE
Animal sources of protein like eggs, meat and dairy are great for Vitamin A with green leafy veggies and intensely coloured fruits being excellent for Beta Carotene. Both offer protection against sun damage and this superb carrot-fest of a soup from Cook Sister is pretty much sunshine in a bowl.
Our good friend lycopene is back from the immunity post but this time it’s going to help protect your skin against premature ageing. Along with last month’s suggested tomatoes, watermelon and grapefruit are also good sources of lycopene. For some, grapefruit can have a bit of a strong flavour but what a brilliant way of disguising that with Baba Duck’s campari and grapefruit cake.
Collagen is a regular on the beauty column headline circuit but it’s not always overly clear that vitamin C is essential to help you produce it. Berries are antioxidant and vitamin C powerhouses. Healthy blackberry jam from Natural Kitchen Adventures anyone? It’s a must.
So if I told you one of the best food sources of copper is found in liver, I probably wouldn’t make myself very popular, would I…? But it’s OK. I’ve done a bit more research and found in 1oz of chocolate you’ll find a leetle bit of copper (0.3mg). Copper stabilises collagen; supports melanin production and can easily be used as the perfect excuse to treat yourself to one of Chocolate Log Blog’s amazing creations, like these coconut and ginger cake pops.
When it comes to wound and skin healing, zinc is unrivalled. Red meat and non-animal sources like pumpkin seeds are an excellent way to get your fix. But nothing compares to a steak really, does it…? And here’s steak with a bit of a twist from How To Cook Good Food.
omega 3 fatty acids
No health food round up is complete without an ode to our fishy friends and superb sources of omega 3s. Omega 3 fatty acids can also promote wound healing, increase collagen production and provide protection against sun damage. Salmon’s usually the one everyone thinks of for an omega 3 boost but what about mackerel? It’s a heck of a lot cheaper too. I’m a big fan of Fuss Free Flavours‘ mackerel and white bean pate.
So next time, remember, your skin care routine starts in the kitchen and not necessarily the bathroom.