Whether you suffer the occasional spot, hormone-related breakouts or recurring acne, the foods you’re dishing yourself up every day can actually be guiding you toward clearer skin.
And with ingredients (and recipes) this delicious, it shouldn’t be too tricky to find some space on your shopping list.
Salmon: We’re starting to think that salmon may very well be nature’s fix-all remedy; not only do the omega-3 fatty acids salmon is packed with help to lower blood pressure and calm anxiety, but they also reduce inflammation, soothing breakouts. For a quick, healthy lunch, tuck into salmon and quinoa salad.
Artichokes: A little left-field, but a tasty addition to any shopping trolley, in our opinion. Artichokes boast plenty of antioxidants and heaps of vitamin C, but they’re also a fantastic source of fibre, flushing your system of toxins. If you haven’t already, try Roman-style artichokes. Lip-smackingly delicious!
Red grapes: Sweet, juicy and chock-full of antioxidants and natural chemicals, red grapes have been shown to calm skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Studies also suggest that grapes can help to control the skin-related side effects of allergic reactions, so give fried haloumi with red grapes and grilled nectarines on couscous a go.
Fennel: It’s a love-it-or-hate-it food, but if you can tolerate fennel, embrace it big time. This root veg improves digestion and reduces swelling, so that while you’re enjoying that lovely liquorice flavour, your body is ridding itself of toxins and excess fluid. We’re obsessed with this fennel with goat’s curd salad for a winter-appropriate side-dish.
Brown rice: If you suffer from acne, vitamin B is the nutrient you should be looking out for, helping to regulate hormone levels and preventing breakouts. And deliciously healthy brown rice is a great source of your new favourite skin stress fighter; load up on a brown rice and kale stir-fry.
Broccoli: Turns out there was a reason your mum made you eat your greens every night. With vitamins A, B, C, E and K, those mini trees are packed with antioxidants that fight radical damage, giving your skin a beautiful glow. Broccolini, asparagus and miso chicken salad is a quick and easy mid-week meal your skin will love.
Garlic: We’re of the opinion that pretty much any dish can be improved with an extra clove or two of garlic, so this one is music to our ears. A naturally occurring chemical called allicin can knock off a lot of harmful bacteria and viruses hanging out in your body – which is why plenty of people recommend gnawing on the raw stuff to kill off coughs and colds. We’re gonna go right ahead and put this free-form garlic bread recipe down here.
Nuts: Some acne breakouts have been linked to deficiencies in minerals like zinc and selenium, which is where nuts come in. Bursting with plenty more minerals and vitamin E, they’re a must-have snack for anyone wanting to give their skin a little extra attention. Stick to the recommended 30 g handful a day, either nibbling as is or tossing through a beef and ginger stir-fry.
Avocado: Again. Is there a list this theft-worthy fruit isn’t on? Avocado is not only a great source of omega-3 but also of vitamin E, making them a double-threat in the fight for clear skin. Try haloumi and avocado bruschetta for something a little different.
Alfalfa sprouts: Yum! Live enzymes in alfalfa sprouts fight inflammation, which is always welcome news. Add a sprinkling to a creamy egg open salad sandwich for an easy everyday fix.
By Deirdre Fogarty
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