We all get older. But we have a lot of influence on how we grow old. Our skin is often seen as an indicator of our age. Yet one has far fewer wrinkles or imperfections than the other. Much of this has to do with our health. The appearance of your skin reveals more about your inner self than you might think.
Eat your skin healthy
Did you know that you can literally eat your skin healthy ? Which foods you can specifically take to please your skin, I want to pay attention to that in this article. Do you suspect that your skin is suffering from your way of eating or living? Then read on. With a tasty recipe for a real skin boost!
As you probably already know, nutrition is very important for our health. How healthy we are is reflected on our outside: our skin. It is not for nothing that it is said: ‘healthy skin starts from within’.
Food intolerances can cause skin problems
To give an example, skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis often indicate a problem in the gut . A leaky gut, or an allergy to dairy or gluten, but also a food intolerance is often associated with it. If you want to know more about food intolerances, click here.
So there is a direct link between what we put in our mouth and what our skin looks like. But beautiful skin isn’t just about healthy eating. Reducing stress, getting enough sleep, feeling good: they are all just as important to look radiant. Our overall lifestyle. The way you prepare your food or which substances you come into contact with on a daily basis also influence the condition of our skin. More on that later.
Food has such an influence
Healthy skin means more than just eating right. The fact is that nutrition is at the heart of all this . A few examples:
- If you eat healthy, you will naturally feel the urge to exercise more. This way you run less risk of getting saggy skin and when you go outside you get a portion of daylight and a healthy tan.
- If you fill your daily menu with lots of vegetables and healthy fats, sooner or later you will have more energy to work on beautiful dreams. You can see that life energy in your skin and those twinkling fun eyes!
- Those who opt for pure and unprocessed food will sleep better and therefore suffer less from circles under the eyes.
Our skin is the largest organ we own and reflects our health.
Plenty of antioxidants…
When we eat fresh, nutritious food, our body will show it through the largest organ it possesses: our skin. You can’t make your skin happier than with plenty of antioxidants. You need them every day to resist damaging internal and external influences (called free radicals). Antioxidants ensure that these free radicals do not have free rein: they counteract the oxidation process. This limits the damage to cells and tissues: the biggest secret against skin aging.
… against all those free radicals
You can largely control the amount of free radicals that enter your body . For example, by not eating processed food, not smoking, not sitting too long in the sun, consuming little sugar and using natural cosmetics and care products. Also, steaming and stewing instead of frying and frying helps reduce the number of free radicals (called AGEs).
Now you may understand why wrinkled skin is often associated with a lifetime of smoking or too many tanning sessions. You can’t beat that!
Eat the whole rainbow against wrinkles
Even if you pay close attention to limiting harmful influences, you are still exposed to them. Take air pollution, for example. So avoiding it completely is impossible. That is why we need these antioxidants every day. How do we get it?
The antioxidant effect has been clearly demonstrated for vitamins E and C, beta-carotene (A) and the trace elements selenium and zinc. These substances are found in vegetables and fruit with a lot of color. It’s not for nothing that I always say: ‘eat the whole rainbow!’ The brighter and darker the color, the better . Researchers have concluded that eating fruits and vegetables is the best way to combat dull complexion and fine lines. (1) We need these delicious antioxidants every day to limit oxidation damage.
Feed your skin with healthy fats too
In addition to brightly colored fruits and vegetables, healthy fats play a vital role in beautiful, nourished skin. Especially the important skin vitamin E can be found here. Avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut products: they are full of them.
Do you suffer from dry, tight or itchy skin? There is a good chance that you are not getting enough omega-3 fats. Many women apply all kinds of moisturizing creams to combat those dry spots, but the solution is inside! Take an algae or fish oil supplement and/or eat fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, linseed and algae and you will see that your skin will improve.
Ten toppers to prevent skin aging
You now know that antioxidants and healthy fats are important for healthy skin. These two categories contain a dozen toppers that work specifically well against skin aging. Do you want to know which these are?
A healthy vegetable to add for very happy gut bacteria – and therefore intestines – is sauerkraut. Especially if you made it yourself.
Sauerkraut is fermented white cabbage. This fermentation creates probiotics: a range of healthy bacteria for a balanced intestinal flora. A healthy gut also means that no nutrients can leak into the bloodstream, which can cause inflammatory reactions in the skin. This is also known as a leaky gut.
Watercress is a fairly unknown leafy vegetable and that’s a shame! With a lot of nutrients and a beautiful green color, the leaves would not look out of place in your lunch salad. Especially the vitamins A and C are present and as you now know we count them among the antioxidants. Research shows that these can strongly neutralize the free radicals in the body. (2)
Did you know that watercress also acts as an antiseptic (disinfectant) for the skin and that it increases the circulation and release of minerals?
Have you ever peeled raw beetroot? Then you know what your hands look like afterwards. Washing, cooking: you see the red dye everywhere. As you have been able to read, bright vegetables in particular have a lot of antioxidants. So beets score sky high! So great for your skin.
In addition, beets have a blood purifying effect , which can help especially with acne-like complaints. A glass of (home-pressed) beet juice every morning is a blessing for the skin!
4. Wild Blueberries
I don’t mean the blueberries that are massively available in the supermarket, although these are also quite healthy. Wild blueberries are smaller and deep purple in color inside and out. In addition to vitamins A and C, blueberries contain anthocyanin: a powerful antioxidant that can protect against sun damage and collagen loss. (3)
Collagen is an important protein for a firm and elastic skin . It comes from the Greek word ‘kolla’, which means to bind or glue together. Collagen is produced in the skin, among other things, and needs vitamin C for this. But that process gradually diminishes with age. And unfortunately that is sooner than you think.
From your early thirties, your skin begins to lose about 1% collagen per year. External factors such as free radicals accelerate this process.
By the way, you can only find wild blueberries on the frozen shelf. Enjoy your smoothie!
Anyone who has been following me for a while knows that I am a huge fan of broccoli. It is one of the healthiest vegetables out there. They especially help with the disposal of used hormones . Raw, steamed, in a pesto, in a salad: I eat it in as many ways as possible.
Broccoli has a variety of antioxidants that are important against skin aging. Vitamin C also stands out. Eat broccoli briefly blanched or put florets in water that has just boiled for 5 minutes. This way they cook lightly and they stay beautifully green.
6. Sweet potato
The sweet potato’s orange color comes from an antioxidant called beta- carotene . This is actually the precursor of vitamin A. It helps to maintain the elasticity of the skin and restore it if necessary.
Did you know that the vitamin A can also help to shed dead skin cells? A real skin vitamin!
Avocados contain healthy fatty acids that have an anti-inflammatory effect . This promotes smooth, even skin. The vitamins A, C, E and K help with this. Beta-carotene also helps block toxins and damage from exposure to too much sun. An avocado face mask is highly moisturizing and reduces red spots.
Spinach is a hydrating leafy vegetable: it contains a lot of moisture. If you have ever stir-fried a good amount of fresh spinach, you know that after the water has evaporated, there is little left.
In addition to all kinds of nutrients, sufficient water is very important for supple skin.
In addition to drinking enough, vegetables that contain a lot of water are a nice bonus. Especially if these contain powerful plant substances such as vitamins A, C and E. So hurray for spinach!
Pomegranates have been used as a medicinal fruit for centuries.
They are high in vitamin C and a number of other powerful antioxidants. These very healthy fruits also contain a compound called punicalagin . The special property of this substance is that it can help maintain collagen in the skin . This delays signs of aging. A lot of work? You can find the seeds of pomegranate in the freezer compartment with the wild blueberries.
Antioxidants are not only found in fruits and vegetables. Nuts, especially almonds, are a great source of vitamin E. This can help repair skin tissue, retain skin moisture and protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The healthy fatty acids in nuts also strengthen skin cell membranes, protect against sun damage and maintain the skin’s natural oil barrier.
It is healthiest to eat the nuts with skins. Studies show that up to 50% of the antioxidants in the hulled nut are lost. (4)
Preferably soak almonds overnight in water before using them. This breaks down the phytic acid .
Recipe: power salad for the skin
You will need this for 2 people
75 grams of watercress or spinach
1 sweet potato, diced
½ small broccoli, in small florets
1 avocado, in strips
Handful of almonds, possibly briefly toasted
4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
For the dressing:
A splash of good extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp mustard
A splash of apple cider vinegar
This is how you make it:
Divide the watercress between two plates. Steam the sweet potato until al dente. Add the broccoli florets and steam for a further 3 minutes. Let cool briefly. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing. Divide the steamed vegetables over the watercress and finish with the avocado strips, pomegranate seeds and almonds. If you want to give the salad even more body, add some cooked quinoa or wild rice.