May 14 2019 – Talya Cayce
With all the different methods and procedures, not to mention debates, about how to achieve beautiful, supple skin, the one thing that experts agree on is eating the right diet. How nutritious or un-nutritious your food intake is, really does show on your skin.
Eating good food, as opposed to junk food, is not enough. Your body needs a variety of healthy foods live to its fullest, it cannot get all the nutrients it needs from one or two food staples alone. Enter superfoods, they are the key to not only healthy body but also healthy, glowing skin.
What Makes Food a Superfood?
The food that does more than the average food? It is worth noting that superfood is not a scientific category nor is it a nutritional food group. There are no set criteria nor determining qualifications for any natural food to be deemed superfood. Studies about discovering the specific health benefits and ascertaining more information about superfoods are still in the works.
Superfoods deliver a variety of health benefits. Moreover, the nutritional benefits of these superfoods do more than the just to allow the body to survive. Indeed, superfoods make the body thrive and flourish. A superfood’s nutritional content is much high that what the body needs to merely survive.
As your body cannot get all its nutritional needs from a couple of food types, you would need to consume a wide variety and generous servings of food. Superfoods alleviates this situation because superfoods are what you call a ‘dense food’; they have more nutrients per gram of volume. That means you get more nutritional and health benefits per mouthful.
Superfoods are not only rich in, but they have more than just one of the following:
• Good fats
• Essential fatty acids
• Amino acids
• Clean protein
Superfoods Best for Skin
Aside from having a healthier body and a better quality of life, eating superfoods often show its effects first on the skin, hair and nails. Containing more nutritional and cosmetic benefits in every bite, here are some of the best superfoods nature has to offer.
Avocados are rich in poly and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-9s. They help regenerate skin cells, reduce irritation and tone down redness. The omega-9s work to keep the top layer of your skin moisturised, giving you well hydrated, noticeably healthier looking.
Avocados are also a great source for vitamin E, which helps restore moisture, retains skin elasticity and aids in skin healing. Vitamin E, being an antioxidant, acts as an anti-aging agent by protecting skin from free radicals. Free radicals prevent skin from healing from damage and premature ageing.
Broccoli is high in vitamins C and E, and eating it promotes healthy, youthful skin by stimulating collagen production. Vitamins C and E have antioxidant properties which are effective in fighting pre-mature ageing. Antioxidants help fight free radicals which prevent cell renewal and healing.
Broccoli contains vitamin K, an often-overlooked vitamin. Vitamin K is effective in alleviating common skin problems such as spider veins and dark under-eye circles. A cup of steamed broccoli can give around 250% of your daily vitamin k need.
Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, a compound found bountifully in broccoli, helps to regenerate and produce younger, healthier cells. Consuming broccoli regularly can help fight off ageing: reducing wrinkles, skin ailments and even discolorations.
Free radicals are one of the skin’s worst adversary. They damage skin cells and hinder collagen production, thereby causing dryness of skin and wrinkling. Antioxidants are natures answer to block free radicals. Blueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants. Phenols, the antioxidant found in blueberries can calm down skin irritations and visibly subdue redness.
Berries contain natural vitamin C. A cupful of berries will more than adequately fulfill 100% of recommended daily allowance for vitamin C.
Blueberries and other berries, in varying strengths are not only rich in antioxidants, they contain plenty of vitamin A. Vitamin A assists in normalising oil and moisture levels in your skin, making berries effective against excessive oil and acne.
Chia seeds are often touted for their health benefits, but chia seeds also offer remarkable beauty benefits. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to plump the skin’s surface, making wrinkles less visible. Omega-3s are also anti-inflammatory, which means redness and irritations will get soothed readily.
Chia seed in oil form will not only restore moisture and diminish redness, they also strengthen hair strands, skin and nails.
Another natural superfood that is packed-full of omega-3s fatty acid is Salmon. Generally, any oily fish are a great source for omega-3s. Omega-3s naturally reduce inflammation in the body, not just the skin.
Omega-3-rich salmon, helps to strengthen hair, skin and nails. A University of Manchester study showed that taking omega-3 fish oils regularly may protect again skin cancer.
Salmon contains vitamin D which helps to heal damaged skin, protect sun damage and keep cell membranes hydrated.
You may love or hate the taste of spinach but turns out Popeye was right after all. Spinach has 'super' powers. It’s rich in iron, folate, chlorophyll, magnesium fiber, plant protein – all things good for your health and your skin.
This deep green veggie is an abundant source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, all of which are antioxidants that help fight free radicals and other environmental hazards to the skin.
Raw tomatoes hold an abundant source for vitamins C and K, folate, and potassium. Tomatoes are touted to alleviate all sorts of health ailments, including lowering of blood pressure and heart disease and even cancer.
For the skin, tomatoes act as a pore-shrinking astringent which helps to eliminate excess oil on the skin’s surface and thereby preventing oil and dirt to build up. Reduced build up means less clogged pores which leads to less skin breakouts.
Cooked tomatoes contain lycopene, a bright red carotenoid phytochemical and a powerful antioxidant, helps protect the skin from environmental damage and UV rays. Tomatoes also has skin lightening effects, and help reverse over-tanning and treat sunburns.
Eating five tablespoons of tomato paste every day in a 12-week duration showed less DNA damage from UV exposure, a Newcastle University, UK, study revealed. Still, don’t forget to apply sunscreen if you’re going to be exposed for long periods under the sun.
An incredible anti-inflammatory superfood, turmeric, has been praised for reducing inflammation in the body. Turmeric helps relieve inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema. Turmeric is great for the skin, it relieves puffy, tired looking skin that can lead to wrinkles and other skin problems.
Turmeric contains phytonutrient curcumin, a volatile oil with yellow or orange pigments, which is an antioxidant and a powerful calming agent. Its potency is comparable to today’s anti-inflammatory drugs but without the varying levels of harmful components found in the drugs.
Coconut can be enjoyed young and raw and mature, either raw or cooked. Oil expressed from mature coconut meat contains a unique blend of fatty acids that acts as an anti-microbial agent to help protect the skin from bacterial and heal acne.
Coconut oil is a natural edible oil, that you can use to for cooking or for salads. Coconut oil ,purportedly, will give you a host of health benefits from wound healing, to fat burning to helping raise good HDL cholesterol. Coconut oil is also arguably one of the best natural moisturisers around – you can use it to moisturise hair, skin, and nails.
Coconut oil users claim that coconut oil has a natural anti-inflammatory effect. And they’re not wrong, lauric acid and capric acid contained in coconut oil are known to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.