My go-to foods for nourished skin during my middle years
I am constantly being asked what products should be on our bathroom shelves and what foods we should eat for gorgeously glowing skin at every age, but most especially during midlife when the affects of the years really do show on our faces. More to come on the product side, but yes we really are what we eat, and unless you are prepared to regularly eat at least some of the following you cannot expect your skin to glow. These key skin foods are as essential as the serums and oils that decorate your bathroom.
These foods work. While they don't stop the lines (in my opinion nothing does, bar a face lift!), but they help keep them under control, while also nourishing the skin, boosting collagen and keeping it hydrated and supple. Many can be whizzed together for a perfect start to your day (obviously excluding the salmon!). Seaweed flakes can be added too. There are so many recipes out there, I don't need to include more here, but do let me know if you need more specific advice.
My favourite foods for skin health:
Pomegranate (I eat these 4-5 times/week): The whole fruit in fact (minus the very tough outer skin) is loaded with antioxidants to help combat sun damage, pollution and other external skin aggressors, while also boosting collagen and softening the skin.
Salmon & other oily fish like tuna, mackerel, herring (I try to include these twice per week): Overflowing in the essential omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) these marine foods keep the skin seriously nourished and supple. I know I go on about oils, both in food and on the skin, and this is just one of the many reasons why!
Turmeric: See my previous post on this powerful superfood here. (I take turmeric almost daily). It's active ingredient is a group of polyphenol plant pigments called curcumin, which give the distinctive saffron/orange colour. Studies have shown how powerful these are in protecting against inflammation throughout the body, as well as joint pain and so much more. I prefer using the fresh root but dried works too, especially in cooking (the dried variety is made by peeling, boiling and drying the turmeric root, then grinding to bottle it)
Blueberries and in fact most berry fruits (I eat these almost daily): Overflowing with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, these colourful berries enjoy numerous health benefits - think cancer prevention, heart health, weight loss and much more. Eaten regularly, they protect our skin while also keeping it radiantly nourished.
Seaweed ( I am trying to include this a couple of times each week but must admit to struggling!) Bursting with minerals, vitamins and trace elements, seaweed is high in protein and iron and proving to be anticancer, anti-inflammatory and lipid lowering amongst many other benefits. When steamed, seaweed produces amazingly luxurious oils, which help to detoxify and nourish the body while bathing in warm water (think seaweed baths). Hardly surprising that brands like Crème de la Mer and Voya have cottoned on to the benefits of the algal polyphenols and carotenoids that have been found to protect the skin against environmental damage, while their vast store of essential fatty acids and anti-ageing ingredients help maintain skin’s suppleness and elasticity. See Prannie Rhatigan's fab website Irish Seaweed Kitchen for cooking suggestions.
Avocado: Rich in vitamin E and C, both of which repair damage to the skin, hair and nails, avocados also promote collagen and elastin production. They are rich in carotenoids too to help fight free radicals and protect skin from premature ageing, while the monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid) content keeps skin soft and hydrated.
My skin nourishing smoothie blend
For a super skin smoothie: Whizz together pomegranates (the fruit minus the tough outer skin), blueberries, strawberries, some fresh pineapple chunks, seaweed and anything else you fancy Add enough coconut water for consistency. OR for a great all rounder whizz 1 medium sized cucumber, 3-4 sticks of celery, juice of 1 lime, about a quarter of a fresh pineapple (for sweetness and added nutritional benefits) and an apple or pear or apple. Your skin will soon feel the benefits.