Are you ready to eat your way to beautiful-looking skin? You are what you eat, so it makes sense that some foods can help give you naturally glowing skin, while others can do the exact opposite. We want the best for our MACROS fam, so we’ve done our research and found 10 of the best skin-loving foods that you can eat to stay looking forever young (or at least age gracefully!).
Do the benefits of eating salmon ever really end? It’s the omega-3 fatty acids in this nutritious fish that can help reduce inflammation. Inflammation in the skin breaks down collagen and elastin over time, which are two of the key things that keep you looking fresh and youthful. Vitamin D is also found in salmon, which can naturally help protect skin against damaging UV rays and is also great for skin growth and repair.
If you want to reap the full benefits of salmon for skin, try and eat it at least once or twice a week. One of our favourite ways to ensure we’re getting some salmon in our diet is with our MACROS Herb Crusted Salmon, served with a side of sweet potato mash, which is another skin-loving food.
Walnuts are also packed full of omega-3, meaning they’re another great way to reduce inflammation in the skin. The healthy plant-based fats in walnuts can help protect against sun damage, and as a bonus, can reduce scalp irritation, keeping your hair lush and glossy. Vitamin B can also be found in walnuts, which can work to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
One of the foods with the highest antioxidant content, blueberries should be a staple in the diet of anyone on the quest for healthy skin. A special antioxidant found in blueberries, anthocyanin, is what gives them their deep blue colour, and delivers vitamins A, B, C and E to your body. That’s not all these tiny little berries do though, as they also have zinc, iron, selenium and copper. All up, blueberries can help protect against damage from free radicals, counteract acne, strengthen capillaries (protecting against spider veins) and can help alkalise your skin, which prevents redness and inflammation.
Popping a handful of blueberries in the freezer is a delicious and easy snack that will help you reap the goodness from blueberries. If you’re after some other fun ways to incorporate blueberries into your diet, check out our MACROS Berry Bomb smoothie recipe.
Not just good for the skin when eaten, the natural oils in avocado make it perfect for applying topically as well. Vitamins C and E (we’re beginning to see a common thread between skin-loving foods and the benefits they share) can be found in avocado and protect against free radical damage. More skin-boosting goodies found in avocado are lutein, a carotenoid (plant pigment) that helps with skin elasticity, as well as oleic acid and chlorophyll, which work to reduce redness and inflammation.
Mash it up with some lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve on toast for an easy DIY smashed avo, or mix half an avocado with natural yoghurt and organic honey to make a moisturising face mask that boosts hydration.
Is there anything that eggs aren’t good for? You might already know that eggs have plenty of protein, which is great for when you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle, but did you know those proteins provide a source of amino acid for your skin? Skin-loving lutein and antioxidant-rich, skin-protective selenium are also found in eggs, as well as vitamin A and D.
Whether you have them scrambled for breakfast, boiled and tossed with spinach for an easy high-protein snack, or baked in shakshuka for a casual dinner, there are endless tasty ways you can add a few extra eggs in your diet.
Packed with antioxidants, pomegranate seeds are another great skin food that has plenty of benefits when both eaten and used directly on your skin. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in pomegranate have helped to decrease age spots and wrinkles, which is thought to be by boosting cell regeneration. Pomegranate seeds can also act as an anti-inflammatory for the skin. When used topically, vitamin C in pomegranate can help prevent bacteria and fungus on the skin which can lead to breakouts, and some studies have found the antioxidants can help protect against UV damage.
The best way to eat pomegranate is by simply enjoying the seeds as a snack on their own, or tossed through a fresh dish like a salad with pear and feta. Try to avoid pomegranate juice and it can often be blended with additives or preservatives, which are not overly skin-friendly.
Definitely one of our favourite veggies, sweet potato is delicious, filling and also incredibly nutritious. Sweet potato has vitamin E and C, which can help boost collagen and keep skin healthy and glowing. Beta carotene is responsible for giving sweet potato its vibrant orange colour, and is also a precursor to retinol, which everyone in-the-know about skincare praises it as an essential ingredient in every successful beauty routine. Retinol helps to neutralise damage from free radicals on the skin, and protect against premature aging.
Just one cup of sweet potato can give you two times the daily recommended amount of beta carotene. With all the delicious and easy ways you can incorporate sweet potato into your diet, like our Seared BBQ Steak with sweet potato mash, this one should be an easy addition.
Who doesn’t love a fancy evening of champagne and oysters? Turns out these seafood delicacies are more than just a sophisticated appetiser and would-be aphrodisiac – they’re also chock-full of zinc, which is used to create collagen to keep your skin healthy, and as a bonus, zinc also helps to keep your nails, hair and scalp healthy. Best of all, you can easily enjoy them on their own, with a squeeze of fresh lime or with a zesty vinaigrette. Minimal effort, maximum reward.
If you’re going to eat chocolate (and let’s be real, who doesn’t love chocolate?) dark chocolate is the way to go. The more cocoa in chocolate, the less sugar, which means you can reap more of the benefits with less of the nasties. The flavanols in dark chocolate can help protect your skin against sun damage, while also improving blood flow to the skin, hydration and density. If you’re new to the dark chocolate game, start at 70% and slowly work your way up to 85%. After a while, anything less than that will seem too sweet anyway!
Want to know how to make your own DIY collagen booster? Save all your leftover chicken or cow bones and turn them into a nutritious broth with a bunch of veggie scraps and some water. The longer you allow the broth to simmer on the stove (or even easier, the slow cooker), the more collagen and gelatin is released from the bones, as well as amino acids and minerals. Plus you’ll get some added flavour and nutrition from the veggie scraps. You can drink it as is or freeze it and use it when making soups, sauces or anything that could benefit from some delicious homemade stock.
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