“You are what you eat.”
It’s true. What you put into your body does show up on your skin. Which is why a late night spent snacking on salty or fried food and/or downing a few drinks leaves your skin puffy, dull and tired.
The same goes when you eat right. It instantly shows up on your face. Your skin looks smoother, it has an inner glow and it even feels softer and plumper.
So what should you be eating and drinking to get the most amazing skin ever?
Here’s a list of foods and beverages that are extremely nourishing for your skin but also easy to include in your daily diet.
First thing in the morning: Hot water with honey and lemon.
Most of us start our day with a cup of caffeine (coffee or tea). It wakes you up and gives you that much needed jolt (especially on dreadful Mondays). But it’s not the smartest way to start your day.
Leave the caffeine boost for the mid-morning slump instead and try this.
Boil a cup of water. Add 1 tsp of honey and the juice of 1-2 lemons.
Drink it on an empty stomach.
What this does: The lemon juice gives you an instant shot of Vitamin C that increases collagen production (less fine lines and wrinkles).
The anti-bacterial property of honey reduce acne and blemishes.
The hot water hydrates your skin from inside-out. Woohoo!
Breakfast: Add 2 fruits and 1 tablespoon each of chia seeds and flaxseed to your usual breakfast.
Whatever your choice of breakfast, just add 2 fruits and 1 tablespoon each of chia and flaxseed to it. Why?
Because fruits are bursting with vitamins and anti-oxidants that protect your skin from all kinds of damage, even that done by the sun. They also boost collagen production, keeping fine lines and wrinkles away.
And chia seeds and flaxseed have so much Omega 3, they give tuna and salmon competition!
Omega 3 is great for skin as it reduces acne and sensitivity, while moisturizing your skin from inside out.
Just add a tablespoon each of chia seeds and ground flaxseed to your breakfast cereal, smoothie, glass of milk or juice and you’re covered.
Tip: Flaxseeds need to be crushed to release the Omega 3. So make sure you grind them in a food processor (into a flour) to get the most out of them.
Mid-morning drink: Coconut water.
Touted as ‘nature’s Gatorade’, it hydrates the body and replaces lost electrolytes. It’s also filled with cytokinins that slow down the aging process, making your skin more youthful. And let’s not forget, it’s got tons of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that enhance the production of collagen, making your skin more plump and supple.
To get the most out of this anti-aging beverage, drink it every day.
Mid-afternoon drink: Green tea.
Green has so many amazing benefits, so it comes as no surprise that it’s even good for your skin. Green tea is chockfull with antioxidants that fight free radicals that harm your skin.
So switch your regular cup of caffeine with green tea instead. Green tea contains enough caffeine to give you that pick-me-up you so crave, along with a host of other great benefits.
Tip: If you can’t give your normal tea or coffee, you can still add one cup of green tea in a day to reap its benefits.
Mid-afternoon snack: Nuts and seeds.
Nuts and seeds have the good essential fats that make your skin plump and luminous. They are also packed with loads of vitamin and minerals, which have anti-inflammatory properties that help treat skin problems like acne and eczema.
Chomp on a handful of mixed nuts and seeds every day to radically improve the quality of your skin.
Tip: Don’t fret over the number of calories nuts have. Processed food is so much worse and has no benefits whatsoever. You would rather have ‘good’ calories that make a big difference to your skin and overall health.
All through the day: Water.
Everyone knows it. But very few actually practice it.
The more water you drink, the clearer, more radiant your skin will be.
Water literally flushes out all the toxins from your system and hydrates and plumps your skin from within.
The unfortunate thing is that water reaches your other organs before it reaches your skin. So you need to drink more for it to have a real impact on how your skin looks. The normal 8 glasses just isn’t enough. You actually need 12-16 glasses a day to visibly see the magical effect water has on your skin.
Tip: So how to do you know you’re having enough water? Check your pee. It should be the colour of water. Even if there’s a slight yellow tinge, you need to drink up.
You don’t need to change what you eat. You just need to include these into your diet and you will see the difference it makes to your skin. But it’s most important to be consistent. Don’t expect results by doing it once in a while. Do it every single day. Your skin will thank you for it.