While many of us lather our skin with lotions and potions in the hope of staying youthful, what many don’t realise is what we ingest is just as important as what we apply to our skin.
Enter Kathleen Alleaume. The Australian nutritionist has put together a shopping list of foods to eat in order to get your skin glowing from the inside out.
From salmon to tomatoes and even dark chocolate, FEMAIL presents the youth-giving foods you need to put on your plate for a perfect complexion.
Good skin: While many of us lather our skin with lotions and potions in the hope of staying youthful, what many don’t realise is what we ingest is just as important as what we apply
Helping hand: From salmon to tomatoes and even dark chocolate, FEMAIL and nutritionist, Kathleen Alleaume (pictured) present the youth-giving foods you need to put on your plate
* Dark chocolate
* Citrus fruits
* Brown rice
For a long time, fatty fish has been touted as good for your health.
But not only is salmon filled with Omega 3 which keeps your cell walls supple, Ms Alleaume said it also allows water to ‘better penetrate the epidermis (top layer of the skin)’, leaving it plump and well hydrated.
Experts recommend you try to eat two servings of Omega 3 fatty fish each week. If salmon isn’t your thing, you can also opt for tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines, and lake trout.
Alternatively, walnuts, flaxseeds, tofu and pumpkin seeds also work.
Daily dose: According to Ms Alleaume (pictured), fatty fish such as salmon and blueberries are extremely good for keeping your skin looking youthful
For many nutritionists, blueberries have so many health benefits it’s hard to know where to start.
As well as being rich in Vitamin C, they are high in potassium – which helps to combat puffiness – and provide minerals and salts which help the body to fight the ageing process.
‘Blueberries are the highest-ranking food source of skin-loving antioxidants, which target DNA-damaging free radicals, reducing skin cell damage and premature ageing,’ Ms Alleaume said.
For those partial to a snack between lunch and dinner, you can’t get much better than blueberries.
Endorphin boost: ‘Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids – an antioxidant that helps to equip the skin with a stronger defence against wrinkle-causing UV rays,’ Ms Alleaume said (stock photo)
While many women think they ought to stay away from chocolate if they want a perfect complexion, the experts argue to the contrary.
‘Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids – a type of antioxidant that helps to equip the skin with a stronger defence against wrinkle-causing UV rays,’ Ms Alleaume said.
Not only this, but chocolate makes you happy thanks to the endorphins it releases.
Your mother wasn’t wrong when she told you to eat up all of your carrots when you were younger.
As well as helping you to see in the dark, the orange vegetable also helps with cell growth and repair:
‘They are chock-full of beta-carotene (converted to vitamin A in the body), which is essential for proper cell growth and repair – that means fewer dead cells to combine with sebum and clog pores,’ Ms Alleaume said.
Carrots are easy to incorporate into your diet. Simply eat them raw as a snack with hummus, grate them into salads or toss a few into a stir fry.
According to Ms Alleaume, almonds are full of Vitamin E: ‘a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect skin cells from UV light and other environmental factors that generate cell-damaging free radicals’.
As an added bonus, almonds also help to lower cholesterol.
Good for you: Ms Alleaume said that yoghurt helps to aid digestive balance and helps your body to absorb all of the nutrients your skin needs from diet (stock photo)
Yoghurt has had mixed press in recent times. While the natural, Greek or coconut variety is often eulogised on account of being filled with live probiotics, sugary, fruit-filled options are said to aggravate inflammation.
Ms Alleaume said that yoghurt helps to aid digestive balance and helps your body to absorb all of the nutrients your skin needs from diet.
Use yoghurt sparingly at breakfast, replace your mayonnaise with it at lunch and eat is as a snack. Your skin will thank you.
Got a summer holiday coming up? You could do worse than eat a few tomatoes before you head out into the sun.
‘Tomatoes are rich in age-defying ingredient, lycopene,’ Ms Alleaume said.
‘This natural pigment makes tomatoes red and can help to protect against sunburn and skin ageing caused by sunlight exposure.’
The best way to eat tomatoes is when they’ve been cooked or processed as the body absorbs the lycopene better.
Try tomato soup or tinned tomatoes for a youth-enhancing, sun-protecting hit.
Sun protection: Tomatoes are great for defying age, as well as protecting against sunburn and skin ageing caused by sunlight exposure (stock photo)
‘The citrus family is brimming in Vitamin C, which not only is good for warding off the sniffles, but also a prime skincare ingredient which smoothes out wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen,’ Ms Alleaume said.
Aim for one piece of citrus fruit a day, whether it’s an orange in the morning or some lemon juice on your fish dinner at night.
Simple to make, delicious to eat and packed full of goodness, brown rice is a skincare saviour.
‘As opposed to refined grains such as white bread, pastas and cakes, eating wholegrain doesn’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar,’ Ms Alleaume said.
Other wholegrains you can try include rye, corn, oats and barley.
Finally, the importance of water for anti-ageing your skin cannot be underestimated.
‘Water hydrates skin cells, allowing efficient absorption of nutrients and removal of toxins,’ Ms Alleaume said.
Keep some water at your desk with you all day, and mix things up with tasty herbal teas.
To read more from Kathleen Alleaume, click here.