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care for your skin- inside and out

We all know the saying “you are what you eat”, but few of us actually take the time to consider how what we put in our bodies affects us on the outside; our energy, health and appearance.

Diet plays a key role in achieving that “glow” when it comes to your skin. Eating a healthy, balanced diet full of superfoods is vital for this, specifically Vitamin C. It’s a powerful antioxidant that’s needed to maintain a strong immune system, as well as providing that all-important radiance. Thankfully, Vitamin C isn’t too hard to find, and it’s in many fruits and vegetables. Besides the obvious source (oranges), stock up on blueberries, papaya, strawberries, kiwi and even sweet potatoes! Many of these ingredients can be added to meals such as breakfast cereals, or blended to make a smoothie. 

Also look for foods loaded with healthy fats - unfortunately we don’t mean the kind found in our favourite sweet treats. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids which are so important for keeping the skin thick, supple and moisturised. In fact, an Omega-3 deficiency can cause dry skin. Other great sources of essential fatty acids can be found in avocados, walnuts, and even sunflower seeds. These food items are also packed with Vitamin E - an antioxidant that protects your skin from oxidative damage.

If those foods sound a little bit too much like hard work, we’ve got some good news for you. The effect of cocoa (yes, that’s chocolate!) on your skin is pretty amazing. A study whose participants consumed cocoa powder high in antioxidants each day for 12 weeks found that their skin was thicker, more hydrated and less sensitive to sunburn. If you can, try and stick to dark chocolate containing a high level of antioxidants. 

But don’t forget to stay hydrated, too! It’s said time and time again, but drinking enough water is essential for maintaining youthful, hydrated skin. And let’s not forget it has a whole load of other health benefits too! If you find it hard to remember to drink enough water, try keeping 2 1-litre bottles in the fridge and make it your aim to finish them by the end of the day. If the thought of just water doesn’t excite you, coconut water is just as hydrating - and also contains Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium - win win!

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