Happy National Pancake Day! I’m aware this is supposed to be for our US neighbours but we can always do with another excuse to celebrate pancakes. Plus I’m pretty sure I could easily convince Jacinda (our current NZ Prime Minister) to get on board.
I’ll bet you’re hoping this blog post is wholly centred around pancakes, but I’m sad to say it’s not. That was simply a clever ruse to get you to read about how what you eat affects your skin. You’ve heard this before, I’m 100% sure of it “you are what you eat” is an obvious phrase that comes to mind. So instead of telling you what you already know, how about I just give you a list of some lesser-known super food skin boosters that will help you keep your largest organ in tip-top shape?
Walnuts have many characteristics that make them an excellent food for your skin. They have essential fatty acids (omega-3 and 6), which you can’t make yourself. These fatty acids can help reduce inflammation which is helpful for skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis.
By only eating a small amount each day (a handful of various nuts each day is recommended), walnuts give you zinc, vitamin E, C and selenium. All wonderfully skin-happy super food nutrients.
In general, nuts and seeds are good sources of skin-boosting nutrients.
One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds has 37% of the RDI for vitamin E, 32% of the RDI for selenium, 10% of the RDI for zinc and 5.4 grams of protein (source).
Plus, eating seeds from such a bee-utiful flower just has to give you a sunnier disposition right?
Kumera contains beta-carotene, it helps your body convert vitamin A into a nutrient it can use (how nice is that!). It can also help protect your skin cells from sun exposure which can help prevent sunburn and extra wrinkles. Let’s be clear though, you still need to use your SPF every single day – this is just a supportive antioxidant that is part of the super food skin-health team, not the sole player.
Tomatoes are a fantastic source of vitamin C and contain all of the major carotenoids (we like those!). They’ve been shown to help protect your skin from sun damage, and can also prevent wrinkling (source).
If you eat carotenoid-rich foods with sources of fat (avocados, olive oil etc.) those healthy fats can help increase your absorption of the carotenoids.
Soy is the utlimate super food for skin. It contains isoflavones, a category of plant compounds that can either mimic or block estrogen in your body.
“One small study in middle-aged women found that eating soy isoflavones every day for 8–12 weeks reduced fine wrinkles and improved skin elasticity (source).
Let me reiterate just in case you missed it – DARK Chocolate. We’re not talking about your Milky-Way or Milk-anything chocolates and if you’re not used to the actual taste of chocolate (cocoa powder) then I’d recommend you take it slowly. It has a very bitter taste.
Cocoa powder has incredible health and skin benefits but you’ll only receive enough of the antioxidants if you purchase chocolates with little to no milk or sugar in them (70% or higher of cocoa powder).
After 6–12 weeks of consuming a cocoa powder high in antioxidants each day, participants in one study experienced thicker, more hydrated skin. Their skin was also less rough and scaly, less sensitive to sunburn and had better blood flow — which brings more of those super food nutrients to your skin (source).
Just in case you wanted to add some super foods topically, we do have a mask that’s full of antioxidants – our Blackberry Mask is an antioxidant infused mask treatment, packed with a unique blend of nourishing superfood berries to help revitalise tired skin.
Are there any super foods you love to boost your skin health? Share the wisdom around and tell us in the comments section below!