Do you want smoother, younger-looking skin, without having to resort to expensive lotions or plastic surgery? Surprising at it may seem, what you eat can make a huge difference to your skin’s appearance.
Dr Jessica Wu has spent years helping the world’s A-list look and feel fantastic on the red carpet. Her 28-day plan for younger, smoother skin – called Feed Your Face – reveals that what you put in your body is crucial to the appearance of your skin, and how you can go about improving the look of your skin.
Here are some of the important components of Dr Wu’s Feed Your Face diet:
Cooked and canned tomatoes: Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene (for extra UV protection), so keep a variety in stock. Sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes and tomato paste are all great. Aim to incorporate tomatoes in at least one meal a day and you’ll help protect your skin from sun spots, freckles and premature wrinkling.
Grains, nuts and seeds: Whole grains are lower on the glycemic index (a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar) than refined grains and contain a lot of essential nutrients. If you suffer from rashes you’ll want to avoid gluten but there are plenty of gluten-free grains, such as brown rice, millet and quinoa. Nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans are loaded with beneficial omega-3 fats, magnesium, vitamin E and other nutrients, and are also full of fibre. If you’re concerned about the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, add Brazil nuts to your diet – they are one of the richest sources of selenium, which is essential to preventing the breakdown of collagen. Seeds, including sunflower and flaxseeds, also provide a range of nutrients but they must be ground for your body to absorb the nutritional benefits.
Veggies and fruit: Load up on green, yellow and red varieties of veggies, as these contain the most anti-ageing and sun-protective antioxidants. And be sure to keep green beans in your salad drawer since these have a high silicon content for smooth skin. Just remember not to overcook your veg, as this will leach out water-soluble vitamins (such as vitamin C, which is essential for collagen production). When it comes to fruit, berries such as blueberries and raspberries are a great bet, as they’re packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants. Beware overripe fruit, however, as it will have a more dramatic effect on your blood sugar – and your skin!
Dairy alternatives: While dairy foods aren’t forbidden on the Feed Your Face diet (unless you are suffering from breakouts, in which case they are), you should be limit your intake of dairy – most of us eat way too much. Opt for reduced-fat milk and cheese, and 0% fat Greek yogurt if you enjoy your dairy. However, there are now lots of good alternatives too: try soya-based products such as soya milk or almond or coconut milk and yogurt.
Lean meats: Red meat can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol but it’s also an excellent source of zinc, a natural anti-inflammatory as well as an inhibitor of P. acnes bacteria (so it’s great if you’re suffering from breakouts). Get the benefit of red meat without the fat by choosing lean cuts and limiting your intake to twice a week. Avoid processed luncheon meats and instead choose fresh roast turkey and grilled chicken. Ham is fine, too, provided you choose a low-sodium variety that isn’t full of additives.
Taken from Feed Your Face – the 28-day plan for younger, smoother skin and a beautiful body by Dr Jessica Wu, dermatologist to the stars