Raise your hand if you want glowing, clear skin which looks like that of a new-born baby? Of course you do! Raise your hand if you want to spend hours researching the perfect creams and serums to achieve this? No? Anyone? Don’t get us wrong, the plethora of creams, peels and procedures that work by sloughing away dead skin and kick-starting the cycle of new cells are fantastic, but the glow we can achieve from within as a result of eating the right foods is *chefs kiss*.
The foods that we eat gets digested, enters the bloodstream, and is subsequently circulated to our skin- so really, you are what you eat. There are loads of foods you can eat that will work to give you a glow the sun would envy, and there are some that will actively work to make your complexion unhappy.
We’ve rounded up the best foods to help you achieve healthy, glowing, and plump, bright skin. Disclaimer: we’re not suggesting you live exclusively on coconut oil or spinach, that would be weird. Try to incorporate these foods into your diet in portion-controlled ways to best reap their benefits.
The best foods for glowing skin
Leaf it to the greens
Fresh, ideally organic, leafy green veg is fantastic for the skin and body. Spinach and kale, for example, are jam-packed with antioxidants that can help to repair and renew our skin, reduce inflammation and protect the skin from sun damage. They can also help to slow aging, increase elasticity, and combat acne. Hello elixir of life?
To Brussel sprout or not to Brussel sprout? This question is often brought up on a Sunday before a roast. Next time you consider heinously turning them down, remember how much they can benefit your skin and eat your greens.
Egg yolks are packed with fatty acids that are great for moisturising the skin, while the whites contain proteins that help to repair the skin, tighten pores and increase skin firmness. Egg whites also have the ability to absorb excess oil on the skin, which can be a godsend for those that struggle with acne and breakouts. Anyone for an omelette?
Avoca-do eat this stuff
The best friend of sourdough toast- the avocado, isn’t just great for a hangover, but is a big skin saviour too. Avocadoes are full of healthy fats that keep the skin plump and hydrated, as well as being high in antioxidants, which can be extremely beneficial in protecting the skin from UV and pollution damage. Don’t use that as an excuse to skip sun cream though! Use it as an excuse to go out for brunch instead.
Squash your skin troubles
Oh my gourd! Everything from pumpkins to butternuts, skin and seed, are packed with goodness. This family of veg is a great source of beta-carotene- which is known to be beneficial for regular skin cell development and a healthy and even skin tone. They’re also chocka with vitamins and antioxidants, which are great for reducing wrinkles and helping to fight UV damage. B-vitamins in these veggies are great for helping to keep pesky acne at bay, too. Now that’s pumpkin to talk about!
I wish for Oily fish
Oily fish, like salmon, herring, and anchovies, are not only delicious for dinner but are also fantastic sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are endlessly beneficial for glowing skin. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 can help smooth the skin, make it more supple and clearer, and help to combat redness and acne. Smoked salmon face mask anyone? Omega 3 is also beneficial in keeping skin soft, moisturised, glowing, and strong, and has been recorded to reduce UV ray sensitivity. Who knew the idea of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs could get any better?
In a nutshell, Almonds are great
An easy and tasty snack on the go, and absolutely irresistible in butter form on toast, almonds are rich in magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin E, phosphorus and protein. Vitamin E plays an active role in reducing visible signs of ageing and nourishing your skin, helping to promote your glow. Almonds are also loaded with additional antioxidants, making them a significant help in fighting against inflammation, acne, psoriasis and rashes. We beg you though, avoid wild bitter almonds, as they are weirdly loaded with cyanide and eating just 50 can be deadly. The final snack.
Chia your skin up
Teeny tiny chia seeds are absolutely packed with fibre, omega- 3 fatty acids, and are rich in vitamin A and C, which can boost skin radiance and elasticity, helping to achieve glowing skin. Who’d have thought something so dinky could be so good for you? They are also great sources of antioxidants, which means they can help to fight free-radical damage caused by UV rays, helping to keep early signs of ageing at bay. Chia seeds are fantastic at hydrating the body as they hold huge amounts of water- like tiny little sponges ready to supply your body with great moisture.
Cucumber can help your skin out of a pickle
I like to call cucumber chewable water, as they are literally 96% water. That’s an impressive shot of hydration with every crunch which can rejuvenate dull skin and plump out fine lines and wrinkles. They also contain calcium, magnesium, potassium and folate – which are all great for the skin, as well as vitamins A, B1, B6, C and D. How on earth there’s space for all that goodness with the 4% of content left will remain one of the natures great mysteries, I guess.
Cucumbers contain antioxidants that can help to reduce oxidative stress- subsequently reducing the risk of disease and keeping our skin healthy and happy. Applied directly to the skin, cucumbers can help to soothe and cool the skin, as well as help to reduce inflammation, swelling and puffiness. Catch me with cucumbers over my eyes every day in the bath, at work, on the tube, in Waitrose…
We’re nuts for Coconut oil
I’m not suggesting you stand at the fridge eating it from the jar, but coconut oil can be a great inflammation-busting, skin-hydrating, and acne-fighting ingredient to use in cooking or on the skin. Not only does it raise your good cholesterol to help ward off heart disease, but it’s also a great source of energy and contains a lot of antioxidants. Look for high-quality coconut oil- it should be food grade, chemical-free and ideally organic. Then you can go ahead and use it in cooking (remember portions, fat is still fat); or massage it into hands, face, body and hair. It can help to heal wounds, reduce inflammation and moisturise the skin. Its coco-nuts that one ingredient can be so beneficial!… I’ll let myself out.
I Zinc, therefore I am
Zinc is an essential mineral- meaning our bodies can’t produce it, and instead has to nab it from the foods we eat. The good news is that we only need a tiny amount of zinc in our diet each day. Once ingested, it plays a crucial part in a tonne of processes in the body- including wound healing- which is ideal for helping to treat acne. It’s also important in producing collagen and elastin, which are what keep our skin plump (amazing word), glowing, and wrinkle-free.
Zinc promotes cell division and repair, which is what gives the skin that ‘dewy-just-got-out-the-shower-but-20-years-earlier’ look. It’s also great for eczema sufferers. Have no fear dry skin! Zinc is here.
Zinc-rich foods include oysters, grass-fed beef, organic milk, lamb, cheese, eggs, shellfish and certain cereals and nuts. Try using supplements if you’re not getting enough zinc through your diet.
Keeping your skin glowing from within is easily achievable when you eat lots of the delicious glow-promoting foods that are healthy and nutritious at the heart. At Balance Box, we want you looking and feeling your absolute best, which is why we pack our meals with glow-inducing foods to help you on your way to brighter and healthier skin.
Whether you want to lose or maintain weight, boost your brainpower or nourish your skin and hair, it has never been so easy to eat yourself beautiful with meal plans prepared and delivered to your home daily. Choose your package here.