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Healthy diet foods

Foods to include into your healthy diet to improve breakouts!

Foods to include into your healthy diet to improve breakouts!

Alfalfa Sprouts are tiny sprouts packed with valuable skin clearing nutrients such as calcium, folic acid magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and zinc amongst others as well as supplying a full range of vitamins A, B complex, C, E and K. Try adding these to a salad, sandwiches, or red, green curry for extra crunch.

Artichoke – regular consumption of these woody fibrous vegetables has been linked to healthier skin and in particular improved skin luminosity. Artichokes are frequently used as a herbal remedy in creams and cosmetics because of their high antioxidant potency, and when included as a part of a healthy diet, can also benefit the body by easing digestion, lowering cholesterol and helping the body’s natural immune system defences. Artichokes are easy to prepare; trim back the thorns and boil for 25 to 45 minutes or use baby artichokes which are quicker to cook by simply sautéing in garlic and mint.

Avocado is a great source of vitamin E which boost the skins vitality and luminosity. However, it also possesses good qualities of healthy fats, vitamin C and fiber which can be used to reduce inflammation. Eating regular portions of avocado (half a pear will do) can also improve the skin’s ability to keep itself moisturised.

Purple Beetroots are particularly high in vitamin A as well as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E which is essential for epidermal health and healing. Combined, these nutrients make a powerful all round body cleanser helping to eliminate toxins from the body and lower cholesterol too. If you don’t like beetroot, try blending it into a juice with carrot, apple, and ginger and always add some greens, like spinach.

Dark coloured berries contain phytonutrients and antioxidants that are good for clearing the skin and are a good source of fibre too. Great for staving off hunger pangs and regulating insulin production. Try making a berry smoothie for breakfast or add them on top of your porridge or salads.

Dragon Fruit  (purple) is rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, phenolic acid, betacyanin and vitamin C. It is also high in fiber and may help lower your blood sugar levels. It contains prebiotics, which are foods that feed the healthy bacteria in your gut and strengthen your immune system. Delicious in a smoothly or fruit salad.

Broccoli – apart from Kale we struggle to think of a vegetable more worthy of a super title than broccoli. Containing antioxidants, vitamin, A, B complex, C, E and K, all of which help to add the radiance to the skin and revitalise damaged tissue while omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and folate support the healing process and proper function of skin cells. Eat raw added to smoothies or salads, or lightly steam to get the most out of your Broccoli. Include other dark leafy greens that also help clear impurities from the body which can aggravate breakouts.

Brown Rice (wholegrain) is known to be a low glycaemic food because of its slow digestion, causing a gentler change in blood sugar release which prevents blood sugar spikes. Swapping out processed white rice for wholegrain brown rice as a portion can provide a rich source of vitamin B protein, selenium, and magnesium as well as several antioxidants.

Eggs, especially the yolks, are full of skin-clearing selenium, zinc, and protein as well as plenty of vitamins. If you have a busy schedule, simply boil three or four on a Sunday night, peel and shell, place them in a Tupperware lined with paper towel to absorb moisture and store in the fridge. Use as a quick snack or add to salad throughout the week.

Fennel is a liquorice flavoured root vegetable which aside from aiding digestion, reduces swelling in the body, and helps to flush out excess fluid and toxins. It also works wonders for the health of your skin and hair so try as a tea or pick up a few roots for roasting.

Garlic – each clove of garlic is full of a naturally occurring chemical called allicin, which when digested, reacts with the blood to create a product capable of killing off many harmful bacteria and viruses which your body might be harbouring, including those which cause acne and other skin infections. Combine this with a potent cocktail of antioxidants and it’s almost unbeatable.  To get the most out of garlic, eat raw, chopped finely into a salad or stirred into most meals before serving.

Green tea contains a type of polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a rich antioxidant that protects you from environmental stressors and has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties that may improve health and boost your skin.

Kale is a super food that contains a complete range of vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K as well as potent levels of manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, protein, folate, and phosphorus. Kale can be added to vegetable soup, used as a base for salads or even blended into any homemade pesto’s or smoothies.

Kefir is one of the most probiotic rich foods that is excellent for assisting digestion, which if not addressed can lead to inflammation in the skin. Please don’t consume if you have a dairy allergy and/or unable to digest dairy well.

Legumes (including lentils, peas, broad beans, chickpeas, soybeans, beans, and peanuts) – Any healing process needs protein for energy, and legumes have this in abundance. They also contain a whole cocktail of vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, and iron as well as being particularly high in dietary fibre which aids the body’s natural digestion process and assists detoxification. This assists the process towards clearer skin, so try switching your usual portion of carbohydrates for a few spoons of beans and see if it helps. If you are sensitive to beans but still would like the benefits the following may help you select:

Best beans for digestion Worst beans for digestion
Mung beans

Lentils

Black-eyed beans

Adzuki beans

Peas

Red kidney beans

Soybeans

Black beans

Lima/butter beans

Pinto beans

 

Mackerel – if you want a glowing, radiant complexion and spot-free skin, increase your intake of oily fish like mackerel. Each fillet is loaded with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which combat acne inflammation. Western diet contains too many omega-6 fatty acids in our diet, which cause inflammation. Try to increase intake of oily fish such as sardines, herring, cod, trout and tuna.

Moringa is plant native to India and the leaves are the most nutritious containing vitamin C and minerals, moringa is rich in carotenoids which have been found to accumulate in the skin and help protect it against damage from UV light. Moringa powder can be added to smoothies or juices or even used as an ingredient in baking or dips as it has a much milder flavour than some other green foods such as spirulina. Also available as a tea from some health shops.

Nettles taken in tea, capsule, or soup form; you might be surprised to discover they have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to calm the skin and improve conditions like eczema and acne. Nettles are also extremely detoxifying thanks to the high levels of antioxidants which protect the body from an overproduction of free radicals, chemicals which can cause damage to proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and DNA in your body.

Nuts can help with deficiency in minerals such as selenium which has been identified as one of the contributing factors in some acne sufferers. Pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts are a healthy snack and a great way to increase your levels of infection-fighting white blood cells in the body, strengthening their fighting power while vitamin E, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, and iron are all vital to skin health and function.

Oat milk can be used as a substitute for dairy milk as it may ease symptoms for some who suffer from acne.  It does take 4 – 6 weeks to see any change in your skin, so be patient. Most oat milks contain gluten, so if you have an intolerance to gluten, please seek out a gluten free option or another alternative such as Almond milk. Diarise the date you change your diet and keep monitoring your progress to see if it helps. Oat milk is high in fibre, lactose free and is particularly high in vitamin E and folic acid which supports healthy skin. I also recommend Oats porridge (wheat free is available) as a savory breakfast option packed with vitamin B’s and serve with chia seed pudding that contains Omega 3’s, topped with berries. Please see attached recipe in blog.

Oysters are packed with skin clearing nutrients for reasonably few calories. Expect to find everything from vitamin A to zinc and selenium in these bite-sized sea-dwelling beauties.

Peppermint is known for its potent healing and calming properties. Not only can it help to aid digestion, relieve stress which is a common acne aggravator, treat headaches and clear sinuses, it is seriously good for the skin, so try swapping it for the usual cup of coffee and see if it makes any difference.

Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin E, Zinc and Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids making them a good skin-clearing vegetable substitute, if you are not keen on seafood.  Try making your own trail mix of pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, and dried dark berries which are both delicious and nutritious. Sprinkle a handful over salads or just eat as a snack between meals.

Red grapes and their seeds contain powerful natural chemicals and antioxidants that have been shown to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. As a natural antihistamine, grapes can also help to control the side effects of allergic reactions. Try popping a few washed grapes with seeds into a fresh salad or enjoy a handful as part of a healthy snack between meals. Don’t consume too many as the sugar content in grapes is known to be high and will elevate your glucose levels.

Salmon is another cold water fish that is high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids that can help speed up the skin’s natural healing process. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties not only help clear your skin, but also assist blood sugar levels and improves cholesterol.  Plant based alternatives include walnuts and flaxseeds.

Sweet potato – there is evidence to suggest that higher cortisone levels, one of the main hormones released by the adrenal glands in response to stress, can lead to breakouts. Regulating fluctuating blood sugar levels can help combat stress by lifting our mood. Try eating sweet potato, which is packed with vitamins and complex carbohydrates which release sugar slowly over time. This root vegetable also contains beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A when it’s digested and may improve the circulation of oxygen in your skin. Add a little cinnamon before serving to help reduce blood sugar levels further. Beta-carotene can also be found in pumpkin and yellow peppers.

Tofu is a great alternative to animal protein in your diet. It’s a soft, jelly-like substance made from soybeans that is a good source of healing protein which contains calcium and healthy unsaturated fats, a great combination for anyone suffering from skin conditions as it is also a rich source of antioxidants as well as minerals, iron, copper, and manganese. Sprinkle over a salad or cook into a stir fry. Try combining some of the other ingredients on this list for a super skin-boosting meal.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C which helps keep the skin firm and taut by adding collagen production. They also contain lycopene, the red pigment, which not only gives them their bright red colour but also stimulates blood circulation. Try adding a serve to salads or a cracker snack with avocado.

Watercress can be substituted for lettuce leaves and adds a peppery flavour. The leafy greens are full of antioxidants as well as minerals, manganese, carotene, and potassium. These powerful cleansing agents, nourish the skin while helping to flush out toxins and excess fluid in the process.

Water is one of the most effective ways to help your body flush out toxins. Check your urine colour throughout the day; if it’s a mustard yellow colour, drink more water until it resembles a light lemon yellow. Aim for 8 glasses per day. Topping up your water levels, assists in keeping your brain fully functional, and helps you cope better with stressful situations.

Zinc is an important mineral when it comes to blemishes, as those who suffer from breakouts seem to have low levels of zinc. You can take a zinc supplement providing you have had your zinc levels tested first to check if they are low, or you can try and include natural products that have high levels of zinc. Oysters mentioned above are a great source, as are toasted wheat germ, roasted pumpkin, squash, and watermelon seeds which can be sprinkled on salads and steamed vegetables. Meat such as veal liver, roast beef and steak are also good sources of zinc. We do have plenty of zinc options available in our food source although levels have decreased due to the quality of soil which varies from country to country.

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