There are some foods that we can't help but let get the better of us. Afer all, a juicy cheeseburger with fries sounds far more appealing than a salad with a sugarless low-carb dressing. But while you might be able to get away with eating endless amounts of junk providing you're regularly exercising, working out has little bearing on the state of your skin.
In fact, according to Jessica Wu, a leading dermatologist, and author of 'Feed your Face', a healthy diet can be as crucial to your skin as the creams and mask you apply.
With that in mind, here are 10 foods that could drastically improve the appearance of your skin.
According to a 2008 UK study, participants who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste, along with almost a tablespoon of olive oil for 12 weeks, had 33% more protection from sunburn compared to those consuming only olive oil.
So whether you say "tomato" or "tomato", we reckon you digest more than you currently do.
2. Dark chocolate
Rich in antioxidant properties, dark chocolate is known to keep skin hydrated while improving circulation. In fact, women who consumed a powdered cocoa drink every day for 12 weeks experienced less scaliness and roughness compared to other participants who drank the equivalent of 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate- far too many calories for most women, according to Lisa Drayer, author of The Beauty Diet.
It appears that with chocolate, at least the dark kind, moderation is key, with Drayer suggesting that around 150 calories are more than enough reap the benefits without gaining weight.
3. Grass-fed beef
Not only does grass-fed beef contain a high number of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids- acids that fight inflammation- but it's also filled with protein. 30 grams per 3-5 ounce serving to be precise.
“Protein is the building block of collagen and elastin tissue, which keeps skin taut and less wrinkled,” Dr. Wu informs.
Oysters aren't only natural aphrodisiacs. Just 57 calories of these bad boys contain over 500% of your daily need of dietary zinc.
The growth and function of skin cells are also thought to improve, though more research needs doing before doctors can come to any firm conclusions, with some studies believing that acne sufferers have lower than average levels of zinc.
Vitamin C can play a significant part in keeping skin radiant and smooth, as Lisa Drayer explains. "Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis, which keeps skin taut and smoothes fine lines."
Drayer's findings come from a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The results found that the skin on those whose diets were high in Vitamin C had less dryness and noticeable wrinkles.
One of the most protein-rich foods on the market, eggs also contain little fat, which one study found to be a key component of ageing skin.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, just a 17-gram increase in fat intake improved the chances of developing wrinkles by 28%, so it's worth investing in as many eggs as possible. After all, they go with just about anything and aren't in the least bit expensive.
They can enhance your eyesight, but carrots can also do wonders to your skin.
A 2011 UK study found that people who ate a higher amount of carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables- like carrots- have more yellow tones in their skin, and thus giving them a complexion that others agreed look healthier.
Researchers in Korea found that leading a low–glycemic diet for just 10 weeks visibly reduced pimples and red spots. High-glycemic diets include foods such as pasta and oatmeal, foods which rapidly increased blood sugar and higher insulin levels that are thought to lead to breakouts.
Chickpeas, however, are low on the glycemic index since they possess an abundance of protein and fiber. Thus, it is often best to avoid carb-heavy foods.
9. Sunflower seeds
Rich in Vitamin- E, sunflower seeds will help keep your face pimple-free if a study published in Experimental Dermatology is to be believed.
Analyzing 100 acne sufferers, researchers concluded those with severe acne had almost 30% lower blood levels of vitamin E compared to a clear-skinned control group. What's more, Vitamin E is thought to improve your immune system and to allow the body to fend off the inflammation that leads to acne.
Cooked pumpkin is one of the top sources of beta-carotene- a vitamin that acts as a cell-protecting antioxidant.
Even just a half cup of cooked pumpkin can aid the growth of skin cells and thus reduce wrinkleless and promote a more glowing complexion.