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How to eat your way to a summer glow

If you think a cabinet crammed with beauty concoctions is the secret to glowing skin, you’d be partly right. While a consistent cleaning routine can help, it’s actually a combination of genetics, lifestyle habits and diet, that’ll keep the body’s largest organ looking its best.

The foods we put on our plate can have a positive impact on the health of our skin. In fact, recent studies have shown that drinking smoothies rich in carotenoids —  a type of phytonutrient found in foods that are often red, yellow or orange (e.g. papaya) — can actually make skin look more golden and healthy!

As a general rule, foods that are good for you are also good for your skin. Look for fruit and veggies packed with dietary fibre, vitamins C, E and A, minerals such as potassium and phytochemicals.

While no one food is a cure for skin problems, including some skin-friendly foods regularly in your diet will help give you a gorgeous glow:

Vegetables and fruits – look for fruits containing a good combination of vitamins and minerals, especially ones with red, yellow or orange hues.
  • Try: papaya, pineapple, berries, avocado, kale, spinach, carrot and sweet potato

Wholegrains – packed with dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals, wholegrains are a great source of nourishment for your skin.
  • Try: buckwheat, barley, quinoa, wheat and rye

Nuts and seeds – these little nutrition nuggets contain B-vitamins, essential fats, vitamins and minerals like selenium, a powerful combo for glowing skin.
  • Try: brazil nuts (selenium) and walnuts, almonds and pistachios

Plant proteins – our skin, hair and nails are mostly protein, and happily, there are plenty of plants packed with proteins that can help you shine.
  • Try: broad beans, chickpeas and peas

Soy foods – containing essential fats, phytoestrogen, vitamins and protein, soy foods are a great addition to your diet and your skin will thank you for it.
  • Try: soybeans, tofu, soy milk

Now you’ve got plenty of good skin foods to graze on, what should you avoid? High GI (glycaemic index) or highly refined flours and sugars, and those foods that contain trans fats. And of course, alcohol and tobacco should be avoided to keep you glowing inside and out.