Top skin foods for the New Year!

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Now that the New Year is upon us, let's talk skin. Really healthy, glowing skin! Just over a year ago, I completely changed my diet. A complete munching overhaul. My problem has always been that I just love food. Anything and everything, put it near me and, in the past, I would eat it. I'm an active person so have managed to maintain a small frame over the years but have gained weight in all the standard areas - stomach, bum and thighs. Not only that, I used to suffer from a mild form of acne. It wasn't until I moved to Australia that I realised how important a healthy diet is. And since changing the way I eat, I feel like a different person! I mean, I'm not saying I've turned into Cindy Crawford (I wasn't blessed with long legs), but my skin has completely cleared up, my hair feels shinier, my body feels more toned and my positively levels have increased significantly! I'm just an all-round happier person. And it finally makes complete mind boggling sense that what you put in your body directly correlates to how you look and feel. I have since become totally obsessed with nutrition and understanding the benefits of different foods. I wanted to share my top 5 foods which all go a long way to help repair, renew and regenerate your skin and nourish your body.

Avocado

Ah, the avocado. My favourite green fruit is a great source of vitamin E, which boosts the skin’s vitality and luminosity. It also possesses vitamin C, which can be used to reduce skin inflammation. I try to use avocado oil as much as possible when cooking as it is thought to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin, which improves its tone and texture. Eating a regular portion of avocado can also improve the skin’s ability to keep itself moisturised.

Berries

These little balls of colour and flavour are very high in antioxidants which not only helps to improve your health, but also protects your skin and hair. Vitamin C tops the long list of antioxidants which is largely responsible for the health of collagen. Berries are also very juicy which means they contain a lot of water to hydrate your skin and fill you up quickly.

Green Tea

I’m obsessed with drinking green tea! I used to think it was horribly bitter but have grown to love the taste and always feel amazing after gulping down a mug of Twinings' finest.

These impressive green leaves are loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants. Drinking anti-oxidant polyphenol-rich green tea will improve your skin and boost your beauty.

TIP: I love to drink my green tea with a freeze squeeze of lemon which helps the antioxidants to remain in and benefit the body longer, rather than being digested quickly.

Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the best things in the world to snack on. Not only are they completely delicious (especially as part of a home-made trail mix), they are also exceptionally good for your health. Here’s a few of my favourite walnut facts:

  • Walnuts are rich source of energy and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids which strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, locking in moisture and nutrients that make it glow.
  • Research shows that the nourishing fats in walnuts sooth dry skin and reduce skin inflammation (read: clearer skin!) and play a role in protecting the skin against harmful UV rays.

Wild Salmon

Eating wild salmon is one of the best ways to get omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, which helps keep your skin feel supple and nourished. The vitamin D in salmon keeps your bones and teeth strong and it also contains selenium, a mineral that protects the skin from sun exposure (especially important in the Aussie sun!)

It is so easy to incorporate salmon into your diet. Try it baked, grilled, with a salad…the list goes on!

Almonds

Native to the Middle East and South Asia, almonds are another of my favourite foods to snack on during the day. Not only are they one of the best food sources of vitamin E (help to nourish your skin and protect it from the sun's damaging UV rays), they are also rich in dietary fiber, B vitamins, essential minerals such as magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium, and potassium as well as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

They make an excellent snack or can be added to salads, cereal, yogurt, stir–fry or baked goods. I love to toast almond slivers and serve them on top of homemade Bircher museli.

Coconut Oil

This tropical marvel is truly unique. The combination of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and hydrating properties mean that it is exceptionally good for your health (if eaten/applied in moderation):

  • It has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs so if you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating, try adding coconut oil to your diet.
  • It is an excellent moisturiser and good anti-inflammatory
  • It is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance
  • Research has shown that it hydrates your skin by repairing the skin barrier and trapping water. Try rubbing a little around your eyes at night and a more generous amount onto legs, elbows and feet. You will notice a big difference in the morning!
  • Finally, it smells AMAZING and reminds me of drinking pina coladas on a beach.

As well as eating these foods, I also drink 2-3 litres of water per day – water is so important to a healthy diet and body!

I hope you enjoyed this article and I’d love to hear any thoughts or questions.

Have a wonderful day!

CSK x