More foods for great skin from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
Avocado is a fruit rich in vitamin C and vitamin E. Both these vitamins are known for their antioxidant properties. In particular, vitamin C helps to reduce skin inflammation and to optimise the production of collagen. This in turn improves skin tone and reduces wrinkles.
Don’t be put off by the avocado’s high fat content. It mostly consists of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which help in reducing “bad” cholesterol.
Apart from direct food consumption, you can consider using skin products containing avocado oil extract, which have also been shown to promote skin hydration, elasticity and smoothness.
Lycopene, another powerful antioxidant, gives tomatoes their bright red colour. Studies have found that lycopene can protect the skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays, a major cause of wrinkles. Unlike most fruits that are best eaten raw to minimise nutrient loss, tomatoes acquire their maximum antioxidant effect when exposed to heat during cooking.
Tomatoes are also high in beta-carotene. In the body, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, which plays a key role in skin regulation.
Fluid is important in keeping cells well hydrated. Good hydration helps nutrients and vitamins to penetrate cells and, conversely, toxins to be flushed out of the body. The usual recommendation is to drink at least 8 cups of fluid per day. The fluid should ideally be low in calories, with no added sugar, to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
Apart from water, an excellent option is green tea. Recently, studies have shown that green tea can promote good skin, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Some of these antioxidants, called polyphenols, have well-documented benefits with regard to sun protection.
Don’t forget that ultimately, a well-balanced diet is the key to healthy and glowing skin.