8 ways to eat your way to younger skin
You’ve heard the saying ‘you are what you eat.’ And when it comes to maintaining youthful skin, this couldn’t be more true.
Nutritionist and skin expert Kim Pearson gives her anti-wrinkle tips and recipes.
1. Boost your intake of omega-3
As we age, our skin becomes thinner and can become more prone to dryness. Essential fatty acids are needed in order for our skin to remain supple and moisturised from the inside out. Omega-3s are often lacking in our diets so it’s a good idea include plenty of oily fish, unroasted nuts and seeds (especially linseed and flaxseed) in your diet for a healthy boost!
2. Increase your body’s antioxidants
Antioxidants are important for good skin health, as they help to combat free-radical damage to our cells – known to contribute to the appearance of prematurely aged skin.
Taking a beauty supplement rich in antioxidants like Revidox (£35 for a two-month supply, revidox.co.uk), which contains skin-loving ingredients including selenium, Vitamin C and pomegranate extract, as well a new breakthrough super ingredient called Stilvid – an antioxidant derived from the skin of grapes, which studies show can boost skin moisture and improve the appearance of wrinkles in just 60 days.
3. Try a DIY antioxidant vanilla and pomegranate smoothie
- 80g pomegranate seeds
- One scoop of naturally flavoured, dairy-free vanilla protein powder
- One tablespoon of flax seeds
- Unsweetened almond milk – enough to achieve desired consistency
This smoothie combines a variety of skin-loving ingredients. Antioxidant-rich pomegranate is combined with omega-3-rich flax seeds and easily absorbable protein to support healthy skin structure and function.
4. Sugary swaps
Most of us are aware that too much sugar leads to weight gain, but did you know that it can also accelerate skin ageing? When we eat sugar and refined carbohydrates like white bread, noodles and pasta (which break down to simple sugars), they enter our bloodstream where they can then attach to the skin’s collagen and elastin. This causes the skin’s structure to weaken, which results in visible signs of ageing.
Choosing healthier alternatives like swapping sugar for a natural sweetener like xylitol and stevia and adding more veg to your meals in place of starchy carbohydrates can make a healthy difference to skin.
5. Eat a rainbow
Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables contain phytonutrients – plant nutrients that act as antioxidants and have been shown to directly protect skin cells from free-radical damage. The more colour and variety the better – think broccoli, tomatoes, blueberries, lemons, peppers and oranges.
6. Super skin food salad recipes
- Two handfuls of leafy green salad (such as spinach, rocket and watercress)
- Leftover chilled roasted vegetables (cherry tomatoes, butternut squash, bell peppers etc)
- Two boiled organic eggs
- A small handful of chopped walnuts
- Dressing: one tablespoon of linseed oil shaken with one tablespoon of lemon juice and black pepper.
This recipe combines protein, healthy fats and antioxidant-rich vegetables, which are all essential for keeping your appearance youthful from the inside out. When we think of protein, many of us automatically think of meat – but organic eggs, wild fish, seafood and tofu are all good-quality, healthy sources of protein that help to support our skin.
7. Green power
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant drink for the skin and sipping a cup throughout the day is a good way to provide a regular skin boost. If you prefer an iced tea in the summer, simply allow the tea to cool and then pour the tea in to a jug and add cold water and pop it in the fridge. Once chilled pour a glass and add some fresh mint and a squeeze of fresh lemon – a great source of vitamin C, which is vital for skin’s collagen production.
8. Skin-boosting soup
- Half a medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 cups of organic vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon grated root ginger (or powder if fresh is not available)
- 1 teaspoon grated turmeric root (or powder if fresh is not available)
- Pinch of ground black pepper
Place the butternut squash, carrots and stock in a large pan. Cover and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for approximately 20 minutes or until the squash and carrots are soft.
Cool and blend the cooked squash, carrots, then add the turmeric, and ginger with a little of the cooking liquid in a jug blender, or use a hand blender. Pour the mixture back into the pan with the rest of the leftover cooking liquid. Add the coconut milk and stir.
Heat to desired temperature and serve immediately topped with black pepper. You can keep any leftovers in the fridge or freeze in portions.