When Newton declared his third law, “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction”, he definitely didn’t have super foods on the brain.
Because, when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating, you get out exactly what you put in. That’s the thing with our bodies: when you treat them like temples, it shows. If you trash your temple, that shows too. And while eating well is important, not all food is created equal so we enlisted the help of Eat Fit Food Nutrition & Wellness expert, Jaime Rose Chamber, to school us on the foods we should eat more of for gorgeous glowing skin and good overall health.
OILY FISH (MACKEREL, SALMON, SARDINES, TROUT AND TUNA)
No surprises here. Fish isn’t just great for the body and brain, it’s also a skin saviour. “Oily fish in particular contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory,” says Chamber. Good fats keep the skin supple and moisturised, and speed up the healing process. Just cap yourself at four portions a week to get the full benefits of oily fish.
Also flying the flag for good fatty acids are avocados. You’ll find avocado oil in many a skincare product because it’s as beneficial when applied topically as it is when consumed whole. And while the task of finding a perfectly ripe one in the supermarket on a whim is never easy, it’s worth it; the humble avo also has optimal amounts of vitamin C and E that are important for cellular reproduction and anti-ageing.
Oats are famously low GI, which means they’re famously high on our beauty super foods list. Chamber suggests starting the day with a bowl of low GI oats, which slow release carbs so you’re getting a steady flow of energy rather than a sudden spikes that can increase hormone androgens to produce excess oil in the skin.
Vitamin A is another one of those superfood skin ingredients you’ll here about because of its importance to skin-cell renewal that keeps out skin looking new, healthy and bright. Sometimes called beta-carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A), the ingredient is abundant in sweet potato and many other orange-coloured foods including carrots and pumpkin. Sweet potato just happens to be one the richest sources of vitamin A and is also low GI.
Chamber calls this her vitamin C powerhouse. “One cup [of red capsicum] contains two to three times more vitamin C than an orange,” she says. How does this affect the appearance of your skin? Put simply, vitamin C is, in part, responsible for collagen production and “strengthens blood vessels that deliver nutrients to the skin”. Vitamin C is also water soluble so it does get flushed out of your system so its important keep it high in the daily diet. Add is to your salad so your skin reaps the rewards.
Aphrodisiac or not, here’s a good excuse down a few oysters: “They contain a high dosage of zinc, which is essential for the growth and function of skin cells”. While slimy in texture, the zinc in oysters are an essential building block of strong hair and nails, as well as good skin. And finally they have antioxidant properties, which we know works to reduce signs of ageing like skin sagging and wrinkles.
“This one’s a no brainer, but is important to mention as dehydrated skin can look tired and dry,” says Chamber . The human body is about 60% water; it is our life force, so topping up your two litres or eight glasses a day is non-negotiable when it comes to hydrated, healthy and clear skin.
We’ll drink to that. Bottoms up.