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#1 Green tea
Chock-full of antioxidants, green tea is not just great at dealing with free radicals. One powerful antioxidant in green tea that’s particularly relevant is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is known to be a potent anti-inflammatory and works to reduce redness in the skin. Some people prefer to apply green tea topically to the skin because of its potent de-puffing and detoxifying benefits.
#2 Peppermint tea
Peppermint makes for an incredibly calming tea, and reducing stress levels does benefit your skin in the long run (fewer breakouts, at the very least). The menthol content in mint can help relax your muscles, which also makes it easier to fall asleep. Peppermint tea helps with stomach issues like bloating, gas and constipation, and I find it helps me when I feel nauseous. Stomach health is more important than we realise, as 70 percent of the body’s immune system resides in the digestive tract, and our immune system, as we know, plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of our skin.
I sincerely believe you can’t go wrong with avocados. They’re so creamy and delicious and taste neutral enough to be mixed in with lots of other ingredients, or used as fat and binding substitutes in cooking. Monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids in avocados help maintain the moisture levels in your skin, while vitamin E serves as a great antioxidant. Avocados also contain carotenoids which studies have shown can improve your skin thickness, tone and appearance while fighting signs of ageing.
If you’re worrying about ageing and damaged skin, make sure you get more spinach in your diet. This dark leafy green has beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps repair skin cells. It is also full of lutein, potassium, fiber and folate, which help with DNA repair and restores skin cells damaged by the sun. Spinach also has vitamin K (good for bone health), vitamin A which encourages skin and hair growth, plus a high water content of 91.4 percent which helps with hydration. It’s one of my favourite leaves, whether in a salad, three-egg vegetable dish, on pizza, or in a smoothie.
One of the best sources of vitamin C, kiwi is such an easy fruit to take with you to work and perfect for those of us who enjoy a tangy kick in our fruits. Loaded with vitamin C, E and other antioxidants, it helps your skin fight against the damage done by the sun while aiding in collagen production. The vitamin C also helps with healing scars and smoothing rough skin. With our bodies producing less collagen as we age, we could probably do with a little help by way of our diets. Eat it by itself, throw it in a salad or blend into a smoothie and you’re good to go.
Celery is a great source of vitamins A, C, and E, which are all crucial when it comes to skincare. We know that Vitamin E helps block free radicals which is great for anti-aging, while C helps brighten skin and fight UV damage. Vitamin A is also a key skin saviour in the form of retinoids. While I’m not a huge fan of the taste (bitter veggies are not my thing), including some in a fruit smoothie can help mask its flavour.
#7 Pumpkin seeds
Gwyneth Paltrow declared last year that pumpkin seed oil was her new favourite oil, and when you take a look at all the vitamins and minerals in pumpkin seeds, it’s easy to see why. They are high in vitamin E, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids, which are all great for your skin and hydration levels in your body. You can keep pumpkin seeds at work to snack on, or throw them in a salad for some crunch.