There are an abundance of plantbased foods that are great for your skin and will help you glow from the inside out.
Our top seven which are easy to integrate in your diet include – soy, red kidney beans, tomatoes, almonds, kale, sunflower seeds and oats.
Soy not only helps skin look bright and radiant but improves skin texture due to its antioxidant compound isoflavones which can reduce signs of wrinkles – opt for organic whole edamame, tempeh or tofu for the least processed variety.
Red kidney beans contain a flavonoid called proanthocyanidis which is present in higher amounts than even blueberries! They reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help your skin glow by preventing cellular damage. Add to power bowls or combine with sautéed bell peppers and season with garlic, ground cumin and paprika for an easy wrap filling.
Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene which can help protect you against sun damage from within and also boast high levels of Vitamin C – imperative for collagen production and therefore skin firmness and elasticity. Simmering tomatoes for at least 20 minutes increases absorption of lycopene into the body which makes it a great base for warming wintery dishes.
Almonds contain high levels of Vitamin E which helps protect us against free radicals and oxidative stress – both of which are visible on the skin’s surface. Minimise dark under-eye circles and benefit from tighter skin by adding soaked almonds to your breakfast bowl or almond milk to your daily smoothie – soaking almonds overnight is an ancient Ayurvedic principle that increases their bioavailability.
Kale is an incredibly versatile leaf that can be used in place of spinach and offers up to four times the amount of collagen promoting Vitamin C and high amounts of Vitamin K which reduces visible signs of skin ageing. You only need one cup to satisfy almost all your daily requirement and it can easily be added to stir fries, sautéed with garlic, chilli, lemon zest and olive oil for a light pasta sauce or massaged with a drizzle of tahini dressing for a highly nutritious salad base.
Sunflower seeds are another great source of Vitamin E and the perfect versatile alternative to almonds if you have a nut allergy. Naturally high in selenium (imperative to repairing tissue) and fat-soluble antioxidants which work to reduce the sensitivity and redness associated with acne-prone skin. Blend toasted seeds with garlic, miso paste (or tamari), lemon juice, Dijon mustard and a little filtered water for an easy vegan dressing to use on salads or roasted vegetables.
Oats are an easy to use and inexpensive ingredient with underrated skin benefits thanks to the antioxidant effects of beta-glucan (soluble dietary fibre) which protects against dryness and wrinkles. Consuming first thing in the morning as part of a breakfast bowl or soaked overnight also helps reduce water retention which can present itself as swelling in the face and undereye. Add to your smoothie for a quick, filling and on-the-go snack at any time of day.