My go-to foods for nourished middle years skin
I am constantly being asked what products should line our bathroom shelves and what foods we need for gorgeously glowing skin at every age, but most especially during midlife when the affects of the years really do show on our faces.
More to come on the product side, but yes we really are what we eat, and unless you are prepared to regularly eat at least some from the following recommendations, you cannot expect your skin to glow. These foods work and are as essential as the serums, oils and other jars decorating our bathroom.
While they won’t stop the lines (in my opinion nothing does, bar complete sun avoidance or a face lift!), but they do help keep them under control, while at the same time nourishing the skin, boosting collagen and keeping it supple and hydrated. They are gentle too, so also perfect for hormonally-aggravated menopausal skin. There are plenty of recipes out there, I don’t need to add more now, but do let me know if you need specific advice.
Fresh colourful skin saviours
Turmeric (I eat this almost daily): See my previous post on this powerful superfood here. Turmeric’s active ingredient is a group of polyphenol plant pigments called curcumin, which give the distinctive saffron/orange colour. Numerous studies have shown how powerful these are in protecting against joint pain and inflammation throughout the body and so much more. I prefer to use the fresh root but dried turmeric works too, especially in cooking (the dried variety is made by peeling, boiling and drying the turmeric root, before grinding and bottling it).
Pomegranate (I eat these 4-5 times/week): The whole fruit (minus the very tough outer skin) is loaded with antioxidants to help combat sun damage, pollution and other external skin aggressors, while also boosting collagen and contributing to that sought-after glow.
Blueberries, strawberries and indeed most berry fruits (I eat these daily): Overflowing with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals these colourful berries enjoy numerous health benefits – think cancer prevention, heart health, weight loss and much, much more. Eaten regularly, they protect our skin while also keeping it radiantly nourished.
Avocado: Rich in vitamins E and C, both of which help repair damage to the skin, hair and nails, they avocadoes enhance collagen and elastin production. They are rich in carotenoids that help fight free radicals and protect the skin from premature ageing. They are also high in the essential monounsaturated fatty acid - oleic acid - that keeps the skin hydrated and soft.
Goodness from the sea
Salmon & other oily fish like tuna, mackerel, herring (I try to include these twice a week at least): Overflowing with essential omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) these oily-rich fish keep our skin nourished and supple, while also working wonders on almost every other body part to boot!
Seaweed ( I am trying to eat this a couple of times each week but must admit, I am struggling!): Bursting with minerals, vitamins and trace elements, seaweed is high in protein and iron and proving to be anticancer, anti-inflammatory and lipid lowering amongst many other health benefits. When steamed, seaweed produces amazingly luxurious oils, which when added to a bath help detoxify and nourish skin (hence the success of seaweed baths). Hardly surprising that brands like Crème de la Mer and Voya have cottoned on to the benefits of the algal polyphenols and carotenoids that protect the skin from environmental damage, while their vast stores of essential fatty acids and other anti-ageing ingredients help maintain skin’s suppleness and elasticity. For cooking suggestions and lots more on seaweed visit Prannie Rhatigan’s fab website Irish Seaweed Kitchen.
The smooth blend for all-around health
Super skin smoothie: Whizz together pomegranates (the fruit minus the tough outer skin - or the seeds), blueberries, strawberries, some fresh pineapple chunks, seaweed and anything else you fancy with enough coconut water for consistency OR for a great all rounder blend 1 medium sized cucumber, 3-4 sticks of celery, juice of 1 lime, about a quarter of a fresh pineapple and a pear or apple. Add as much coconut water as required.