Foods that help you beat the clock
By Jean Tong, nutritionist, Halley Medical Aesthetics

We have all heard of the saying: “We are what we eat.” Aside from a good skincare regime, the food we eat plays a very important role in our skin health too.

Time to visit the supermarket and put these items in your shopping basket to eat your way to glowing, youthful skin. But be careful what you put in the basket too, as some foods can harm your skin. Happy shopping!

Put these in your shopping list

Green tea

We are often exposed to free radicals that come from various sources such as cigarette smoke, air pollutants, alcohol, and even fried foods. As we age, our body loses its ability to fight the effects of free radicals, which damage our cells and speed up the ageing process. Exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun and environmental toxins around us can also wreak havoc on our skin.

Skin health food

Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol that has potent antioxidant effects that help protect our skin against oxidative damage. So go on and sip on that cup of green tea.

A colourful array of fruits and vegetables

skin health food

The key to beautiful, hydrated, and dewy skin may well be as simple as eating fruits and vegetables from a rainbow of colours. Fruits and vegetables contain naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, most of which are phytonutrients and antioxidants to fight against free radical damage and ageing.

Be sure to take your two servings of fruits and vegetables every day for a glowing, pretty skin. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins A and C such as papaya and oranges provide the extra dose of antioxidants dose!

If it is glowing skin you want, stay away from junk food if you crave for a bite in between meals. Try popping nutritious, foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and grapes instead.

Protein-rich foods

Our skin is made up of the all-important building blocks of protein called amino acids, which is needed for smooth, supple skin. Nine essential amino acids found in different types of protein are what make collagen, which gives our skin the youthful, vibrant glow.

skin health food

Collagen accounts for 30 percent of our body’s total protein. Examples of foods rich in protein include meats such as beef and chicken, as well as fish. For non-meat eaters such as vegans and vegetarians, protein-rich foods include peas, nuts, legumes, and pulses.

But take less of or remove these from your list

Alcohol and caffeine

An excessive alcohol and caffeine intake dehydrates our body and skin as they are diuretics. They could dry our skin, which may lead to break-outs, as well as skin redness. While a glass of red wine a day introduces a dose of supple skin-loving antioxidants, anything more than a glass may affect our skin’s glow and elasticity. If you do drink, one good tip is to remember to take a glass of water for every glass or cup of wine, cocktail, beer, tea, or coffee to stay hydrated.

Junk foods

Studies have found a possible link between the intake of high glycemic index (GI) foods and skin health. Examples of high GI junk foods are foods rich in sugar like sweets, cakes, cookies, and chocolates, as well as sugary drinks like soda.

Research shows that these foods spike our blood glucose level, which increases the insulin level in our blood. This drives up the oil production in our skin, leading to clogged pores, acne outbreaks, and other skin issues and conditions.