Beauty Tips

8 foods for flawless skin

  • Eggs
    Eggs contain the highest quality of protein of any whole food. “Protein is needed for growth and repair of tissues in your body, including proteins in the skin such as collagen and elastin, which maintain your skin’s elasticity,” says Alex Thompson, Holland & Barrett’s nutritionist (hollandandbarrett.com).
    “Levels of collagen and elastin gradually drop in the skin as you age, so it’s important to eat enough protein-rich foods to provide the building blocks to maximise your body’s production of these proteins.” Starting your day with an egg-based brekkie will help keep you fuller for longer – great if you’re looking to whittle your waistline, too.

  • Strawberries
    The juicy berries contain very high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins. “Antioxidants help to neutralise the effects of free radicals,” Alex tells us. “These are unstable molecules produced in large amounts from exposure to environmental pollutants such as car exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke, exposure to chemicals, radiation, UV rays from sunlight and also from heavy exercise. Free radicals contribute to the ageing process by damaging hyaluronic acid – a protein found in skin, that keeps it firm and supple. Strawberries are also rich in vitamin C, which is key for collagen production and also the antioxidant effects.”

  • Tomatoes
    “Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and beta-carotene, two carotenoids that have powerful antioxidant effects,” says Alex. “These carotenoids have been shown to be particularly useful for neutralising free radicals produced from exposure to the UV rays in sunlight, plus they are jam packed with vitamin C,” explains Alex. Tomatoes are deliciously versatile and extremely refreshing, as they’re made up of 90 percent water – ideal for keeping your skin well hydrated, too.

  • Apples
    An apple a day can keep the wrinkles at bay! “Apples are very rich in quercetin, a flavonoid with strong antioxidant effects,” Alex tells us. “The fruit is also a good source of a fibre called pectin, which contains a special type of carbohydrate called oligogalacturonides, which has been shown to boost collagen production in your skin.”

  • Tuna
    Tuna, like eggs, is a very rich source of protein. “It also provides omega three essential fats, which are an important component of cell membranes in the body, including in your skin,” says Alex. “These cell membranes are important for keeping your skin looking plump and maintaining a supple appearance. Opt for fresh tuna rather than tinned though, as the canning process removes much of the omega three content of the oily fish.”

  • Almonds
    “Almonds provide good levels of vitamin E, another antioxidant vitamin, as well as an abundance of flavonoids, which have antioxidant effects,” says Alex. “The nuts are rich in zinc, the main mineral needed for collagen formation. They also provide one of the highest levels of protein of any nut, second only to peanuts. Try Neals Yard Wholefoods Whole Almonds, available from Holland and Barrett.”

  • Olive Oil
    Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and also a type of antioxidant called polyphenols. “The benefits of olive oil can also be obtained through massaging it into your skin, as the plant oils have excellent moisturising properties,” Alex says. Use it to cook with or drizzle over a leafy green salad, too.

  • Avocados
    “Avocados are rich in vitamin E and are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids with antioxidant properties,” explains Alex. “They also contain a special type of carbohydrate called Dmannoheptulose, which has been shown to stimulate collagen production in your skin.” So, top your plate high with the creamy, salad staple.

}

Health & Wellbeing