For many people the appearance of their skin is one of their top beauty concerns, and as we age our skin begins to lose its plumpness and fullness, and becomes more prone to wrinkles and sagging. Genetics plays a large part in how our skin ages, but our lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking or lack of sleep, can also affect its appearance.
The skin is one of the biggest indicators of our overall health, and some common skin concerns like wrinkles and acne, can be exacerbated by eating an unhealthy diet with too much fat or sugar. Choosing the right foods can go a long way in protecting your skin and help you maintain your youthful appearance. Food which are good for your skin, are also good for your general health overall. We've put together a list of the top five superfoods which will help you get a glowing complexion, and maintain one for longer.
This berry was ranked the top antioxidant by the U.S Department of Agriculture, compared to 40 other fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are key in fighting off free radicals, caused by pollution and UV rays, which attack the skin cells and cause premature ageing. Blueberries are also a great source of Vitamin C, another super antioxidant, which is important for producing producing collagen and keeping skin plump. Try adding a handful to some yogurt or cereal for breakfast
Another great source of antioxidants, this dark green leaf is packed with Lutein which helps to improve the hydration and elasticity of the skin. It's also plays an important role in keeping your eyes sparkling and healthy. Spinach is rich in nutrients and is packed with Vitamins B, C and E as well as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. It's a great alternative to lettuce, or blend a handful into a fruit smoothie for an extra antioxidant boost - we promise you won't be able to taste it.
3. Brazil Nuts
These nuts are inredibly rich in selenium, and just 4 of them will help you achieve your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Selenium is another powerful antioxidant mineral which helps protect the skin from sun damage, and also helps it maintain its elasticity and firmness.
4. Oily Fish
Fish like sardines, tuna and salmon are all great sources of essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. They are essential for maintaining the health of our cell membrane, which influences the cell's ability to hold water. Healthy cells leads to softer, hydrated and more wrinkle free skin. Seafood is also a good source of zinc, which is vital to the immune system and production of collagen. Lack of zinc can lead to stretch marks and stubborn blemishes.
If you suffer from blemishes and breakouts then you should think about adding more tomatoes to your diet. Tomatoes are the best source of lycopene, the phytochemical which makes tomatoes red, and it may help ton lower acne-prompting hormones. Lycopene is also a anti-ageing antioxidant, which helps protect the skin from the sun's harmful rays. This antioxidant is most easily absorbed by the body when it has been cooked, so stock up on canned tomatoes to make your own pasta sauces.