Winter isn’t the best season for Skin – it’s constantly exposed to sudden changes in temperature. From the cold winter air, to the central heated indoors, there is no doubt that the season wreaks havoc on Skin, leaving it dull, dry and blotchy, increasing the risk of wrinkles!
While there are many cosmetics that can help soothe the Skin, it is what you put inside the body that really counts. Here, Linda O’Byrne, nutritionist from Atkins, the low-carb expert, shares her top five ‘Skin saving’ foods, which will guarantee a glowing complexion throughout the year.
Avocado – the top food for healthy skin is always the avocado. This fruit is packed with healthy fats and fibre and has a good dose of the potent anti-ageing vitamin E.
Eating avocado with some vegetables can also increase their nutritional power. The carotenoid anti-oxidants lycopene and beta-carotene, which prevent premature ageing and are found in tomatoes, romaine, spinach and carrots, increase significantly when eaten with this super food.
Avocados can also be mashed up and applied to skin for a moisturising DIY facemask!
Salmon – for glowing skin, aim to eat two to three servings of oily fish, including at least one serving of salmon, each week. Salmon is the king of all fatty fish, containing a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and obtain moisture from within, warding off fine lines and wrinkles, decreasing the chance of getting blocked pores, which cause spots and blackheads.
One omega-3 fat in particular, called EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), has been shown to preserve collagen, so skin stays firmer and younger looking. Salmon also contains vitamin A, an antioxidant which may slow down the ageing process by helping with skin rejuvenation.
Eggs – also a rich source of vitamin A, eggs are one of the purest forms of protein. Skin is made up of protein and amino acids, which are used to repair skin tissue.
Eggs contain selenium, a great anti-oxidant which has been linked to a lowered incidence of skin cancer. Selenium also boosts the immune system, which improves the appearance of skin, leaving it looking healthy and radiant. This food hero also contains copper, which aids skin tissue regeneration and boosts elastin, a compound that keeps your skin strong and firm.
Spinach – this vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse for skin as it contains lutein, a carotenoid that protects your skin from UV damage. Spinach also contains the anti-oxidants vitamins C and E, and good levels of vitamin K, which promote skin elasticity and may help to protect against premature ageing and the development of wrinkles.
Turkey – choose turkey breast slices, instead of chicken, for a lower fat, healthier addition to meals. Turkey contains a high concentration of zinc, which maintains the collagen and elastin fibres that firm the skin and decreases the chances of developing fine lines.
Turkey also contains arginine which improves blood circulation, this in turn, increases the reproduction of cells and therefore improves the appearance of the skin.
Broccoli – this popular vegetable is full of anti-oxidants and contains vitamin C and B complex, vitamin E, A and K - to name a few! Pick the darker florets, as they contain more potent vitamins and provide more power to fight off those crows’ feet. Broccoli also has cleansing properties and stimulates liver function, aiding the detoxification process in the body.