Nutrition is important for health - that much we should all know by now. An unhealthy diet can cause damage to your metabolism, cause weight gain and can even affect organs such as your heart and liver. But what many of us don't realise is that what we eat also has an effect on another crucial organ - our skin. It's becoming more and more understood that what we eat can have a significant effect on the health of our skin, minimising acne, damage and signs of ageing. In fact, what we eat could be as important to our skin as the lotions and moisturisers we choose. Here's our list of the best food for great skin.
1. Dark Berries
Berries are crammed full of great skin clearing antioxidants which makes them one of the best food for great skin. Try mixing up a berry smoothie for breakfast or mix them with some yoghurt of porridge.
It's true! Cocoa is great for hydrating your skin, which makes it firmer and more supple. Dark chocolate also contains high levels of flavonols, which are a particularly strong form of antioxidant which is great for keeping your skin clear of blemishes. Chocolate that has a cocoa percentage of at least 70% will usually have the most effect - but try to keep to just a couple of squares a day. You only need a small amount and too much isn't good for your general health.
A whole grain oatmeal is not only a great, healthy way to start your day. It's also one of the best food for great skin. A good whole grain oatmeal contains refined sugary carbohydrates that prompt the production of insulin and hormones called androgens. This causes your skin to secrete more oil which would otherwise clog up your pores and lead to the development of spots and pimples. Try adding some chopped fruit for some added natural sweetness.
4. Nuts and seeds
Another of the best food for great skin is nuts. People who are deficient in zinc and selenium tend to be more prone to acne. Nuts and seeds - particularly Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds - are high in both of these minerals, helping to reduce your risk of acne. Selenium is great for increasing the volume of white blood cells in your body, strengthening your immune system against infection. Nuts and seeds are also full of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, calcium and iron which are all essential for skin health. They're also a great alternative to sugary afternoon snacks.
Kiwi fruits are packed full of vitamin C. In fact, almost 12% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C could be gained from one medium sized kiwi. Vitamin C is great for stimulating the production of collagen, helping to keep your skin taut and smoothing the appearance of fine lines.
If you would like more information on the best food for great skin, or how to maintain healthy skin, talk to our dermatology department.