I originally wrote this article for Missbish.com, an awesome lifestyle blog based out of Hong Kong, featuring strong, female-driven content and inspirational women. They cover everything from fashion, fitness and food. I figured I should probably share it with all of you here in case you missed it!
Eating a diet packed with nourishing foods has endless benefits, increased mood and energy, decreased risk of chronic disease, and weight management to name a few. Lucky for us, the benefits don't stop there. The foods we eat can have a huge impact on helping us feel great from the inside out.
Make these 10 foods go-tos on your grocery list for a daily dose of skin protecting goodness. After all, our skin is our largest organ so show it the love it deserves!
Green tea is a great source of flavonoids, a type of phytochemical that gives plants their bright color. These flavonoids, called catechins, appear to help block UV penetration, promoting DNA repair and helping to reduce inflammation. For an even more potent source of these beneficial compounds, try Matcha. Matcha is a form of green tea where the leaves are actually consumed vs. being steeped and then discarded before drinking.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit are high in the well known antioxidant, vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a role in collagen production and protects the skin from the aging process.
Salmon is best known for its high Omega-3 content. These fatty acids, appear to help protect against UV radiation and sunburn and may also help reduce wrinkling in sun exposed skin. Don't forget to lather up though, food does not replace the need for the gold standard, sunscreen! This Baked Salmon with Sundried Tomato Aioli is a favourite for my clients.
These nuts are packed with selenium, a potent antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage caused by sun exposure. Selenium also helps maintain skin elasticity to prevent premature aging. When it comes to Brazil nuts, more isn't always better. Although they are nutrition power houses when taken in small doses, keep it to 1-2 nuts per day to ensure you're under the tolerable upper limit of 400 micrograms per day. Over indulging can lead to selenium build up in the tissues, which can become toxic.
Chickpeas, Beans and Lentils
Legumes are a good source of zinc. Zinc plays a role in preventing and repairing cell damage as well as building new cells. Zinc is often found in sunscreen and topical acne treatments. Try out this Lemon Pesto Rainbow Chickpea Pasta for a pasta dish with the benefits of a salad!
Avos are a great source of healthy fats and vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, so consuming it in the form of avocados will actually help you absorb more and reap the benefits. Consuming this delicious fruit provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to keep skin healthy and glowing.
Walnuts are a good plant source of skin protecting Omega-3s. Sprinkling these on your morning oatmeal or eating them on their own as a mid morning snack will help keep your daily dose of anti-inflammatory fats up.
This comes as a surprise to many, but broccoli is actually one of the best sources of vitamin C. It is also in the cruciferous vegetable family, well known for their anti-oxidant, cell protecting properties. Try this broccomole, a twist on your classic guac, for a powerhouse skin protecting combo.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, another powerful anti-oxidant to help keep skin glowing. Bonus: it's also high in vitamin C to further support its title as a skin protecting food.
OK, this isn't exactly a food but staying hydrated is key for healthy, smooth, supple skin. Add a squeeze of lemon or orange for extra flavour and a vitamin C boost.
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