Eat your way to a healthier complexion, body and mindset
It’s undeniable that it’s quite a scary time to hit the supermarket. The coronavirus pandemic has caused mass shop shortages along with a serious case of anxiety about general health and venturing outside.
There’s no pasta, rice or bread but it seems like local supermarkets, farm shops and markets still have a wealth of fresh and healthy produce on their shelves.
In a frightening time like this, it’s important to keep your body as healthy as you can. From the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you get from the likes of fresh fruits, green veggies and fatty fish not only do you boost your immune system, but you keep your skin healthy and hydrated too.
Below we’ve rounded up a list of the foods that we’ve still seen on supermarket shelves, and that can keep your skin and body nourished during these trying times. Let’s ride this craziness out together and remember to shop responsibly and share where we can. See you all on the other side (and hopefully with a youthful glow!)
Bursting with antioxidants, blueberries are one of nature’s finest superfoods. These tiny berries help to boost the strength of collagen fibres thanks to their high concentration of anthocyanins and are a great source of prebiotics. This means they help your gut bugs ferment into anti-inflammatory fatty acids, aiding your immune system and alleviating inflammation induced skin conditions. You only need a small handful of these to have a great impact and they can be easily frozen, too!
This fruit doesn’t only look good in a home-edition weekend brunch picture but is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. These acids have been confirmed to both hydrate the skin and shield it from the risk of premature aging caused by UV rays. Eat it on toast with chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon for a tasty snack that also protects your skin from fine lines caused by the sun. A win-win we say.
3. Fatty fish
Salmon, mackerel, herring – you name it, these fatty fish are excellent foods for helping to maintain healthy skin. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and zinc, fatty fish has the ability to help reduce inflammation, produce new skin cells and help to keep your skin moisturised. There’s plenty of fish in the sea but we promise these are the ones for you.
Ginger is most well-known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties found in the root of the spice. You may already know that it is great for helping with an upset stomach, but it also rejuvenates your skin by evening your skin tone, improving elasticity and protecting it against aging by inhibiting the breakdown of elastin – one of the main causes of fine lines and wrinkles. Consume enough of this ancient healing spice and retain a youthful appearance for years to come.
- Tomatoes (but cooked!)
You say tom-ay-to, she says tom-ah-to, we say you’ve got to KNOW how amazing tomatoes are for your skin. If you’re looking for a food that can give your skin a taut, youthful radiance then tomatoes are it. They are one of the best sources for lycopene, an anti-aging antioxidant that can also help prevent heart disease. Lycopene helps boost collagen strength and fights off the oxidising effects of UV rays. It’s also more easily absorbed by your body when cooked, so if you go crazy on those tomato sauces and stews, you’re on to a winner.
Leafy greens like spinach are full of vitamin K, a powerhouse nutrient when it comes to improving blood circulation. But spinach and its benefits don’t end there, it is also packed full of vitamin A, C and E, iron, folate and zinc. Zinc, historically known for helping wounds to heal, also helps reduce inflammation and prevent acne break outs. If spinach isn’t really your jam, try whisking it up with some fruit to make a smoothie – you won’t be able to taste it, but you will be able to reap its benefits.
- Green tea
Green tea can help to protect your skin from damage and aging. The powerful antioxidants found in a pot of this herbal remedy are called catechins and they can help to reduce your skin’s redness whilst, you guessed it, protecting you against sun damage. Green tea can also improve the elasticity and hydration of your skin, making you literally glow! Hop on your yoga mat, stretch out all that stress and tension and finish with a cup of hot green bliss.
Tropic like it’s hot! Papaya is sweet to taste, vibrant in colour and contains a whole host of health benefits. Not only does one serving of fresh, ripe papaya pack a highly concentrated amount of collagen-strengthening, immune system boosting Vitamin C, but it also contains the enzyme chymopapin which has been used to relieve inflammation common to several skin conditions. Throw some papaya cubes into a fruit salad or eat it as is and expect to see great results.
- Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, which is a nutrient found in plants and can be converted into vitamin A inside the body. Carotenoids like beta carotene help keep your skin healthy by acting as a natural sunscreen, which helps to prevent cell death and a dry, wrinkled face. Additionally, because sweet potatoes contain such high amounts of beta carotene, they may also be able to add a warm, almost tan-like glow to your skin contributing to an overall healthier appearance. They also last about 3-5 weeks in a dark cupboard. Joyful!
- Red wine
Hallelujah we hear you say! Your Friday night ritual with this sultry smooth red liquid now has a justification. Just as a fine red gets better with age, it also helps you age better too. Loaded with antioxidants like flavonoid, resveratrol and tannin, red wine helps you fight aging by restoring collagen and elastic fibres. I mean, you don’t need to tell us twice. Light a candle and sip on a glass of this whilst facetiming your friends for an extra pub-like feel.
Words by Lauren Wallace.