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Boost your complexion with these eight natural foods

SKIN BOOSTER: Low-fat natural yoghurt is a skin-friendly food

THE SAYING "beauty starts from within" couldn’t be more true. With thousands of products and treatments on the market to choose from, it’s hard to believe that people still struggle with their skin. The truth is that what we put into our bodies has much more to do with the appearance of our skin than you might think.

Foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fatty acids play an important role in both the health and appearance of our skin. Life & Style pick out some of the top skin-boosting ingredients to treat skin from the inside out...

Blueberries
Blueberries contain powerful antioxidants that help fight the signs of ageing skin, and are a great fighting source. Rich in vitamin C, blueberries can play a healthy role in your diet and used for desserts, cereal toppings and tossed into salads.

Other surprising sources of antioxidants that you can include in your healthy diet are red wine and dark chocolate. Eating raw fruit and vegetables will provide you with more antioxidants than if they were cooked.

Fish
Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, should be part of a healthy skin diet. It is a great source of oil for the skin without clogging pores.

It should be eaten – or taken through a supplement – on a regular basis.
Many people try to cut all fats from their diet, but without some fat, your skin may suffer. Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthy fats, and a diet that is too low in healthy fats can lead to dull, dry skin.

Water
Without drinking enough water your skin will become dehydrated and look less plump over time. You will notice your skin also becomes dry when it loses too much water, so you need to drink plenty of liquids to replace daily water loss.

Sugary drinks should be replaced by water as these sweet beverages can negatively affect your skin by causing insulin levels to rise and fall dramatically.

Low-fat natural yoghurt
Yoghurt is often recommended for a healthy diet because it contains probiotics – or ‘healthy’ bacteria, – which are beneficial for digestive health.

Consuming yoghurt will help with digestion and in turn improve related skin conditions such as skin inflammation and acne.
Probiotics are increasingly being used in skin care lines because of the benefits they have on the skin.

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain a healthy dose of vitamin A, which has been found to help reduce wrinkles and other signs of ageing.

There are a number of topical creams on the market that contain vitamin A, but take caution as too much can be drying and irritating. It’s better to include sweet potatoes and other foods rich in vitamin A as part of a healthy diet.

Broccoli
Broccoli and other green vegetables are great for the skin. The richer the colour of vegetable and fruits, the more likely they are to contain the nutrients you need for a healthy diet.

Darker broccoli florets provide more vitamins A and C, and both of these vitamins help fight fine lines and wrinkles – the most obvious signs of ageing.

Avocado
Avocados are rich in healthy fats, vita- mins A and C and fibre, which make them an almost perfect healthy food that will noticeably enhance your complexion and fight ageing skin.

Avocado is also a common ingredient when making homemade or natural skin masks. It is best, however, to consume the fruit, especially if you have acne-prone skin, as it may clog pores and cause acne.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is not one found naturally in the diet, but it is important for healthy skin, especially as the skin matures.

Vitamin D is usually found through sun exposure, but if you live in colder climates, alternative ways to get it into your diet include drinking vitamin D-enriched beverages, eating foods containing vitamin D or taking a supplement in order to help slow down the ageing process.

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