Dr Vicky Dondos is an award-winning skin care doctor featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, The Times, Hello, and Elle. Her best-selling book "The Positive Ageing Plan" takes a modern, holistic approach to not only feeling good, but looking good as well. In her "Lifestyle Medicine" chapter she explores the foods that are vital to the health and structure of the skin. Her fantastic book is available on Amazon.

Top ten foods for your skin

Dr Dondos explains that:
“Skin, like every organ of the body, needs the correct balance of nutrients. That means carbohydrates for energy, protein for collagen and keratin synthesis, fats for a strong barrier, and micronutrients for optimal structure and function.” It is this balance that makes for healthy skin - there is no one single answer. Just support nature with high quality natural food and let your body do the rest. We have a look at her top ten choices: We like extra virgin olive oil ("EVOO") because it's:
  1. Good for skin. High levels of polyphenols act as antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory.
  2. Good for weight loss. In fact, it's good for the body as a whole due to its anti-inflammatory properties. An EVOO-enriched diet helps weight loss.
Tip: fats like EVOO help fat soluble precursors like beta-carotene to be absorbed better, so don’t be shy with the EVOO on your vegetables. Olive branch for extra virgin olive oil We like them because they're:
  1. Good for the skin. Packed with vitamin C as well as lots of antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect collagen from damage and pigmentation formation.
Fact: raspberries and blueberries actually have a low glycemic index (i.e. they don't cause a sugar spike) so are good for an energy boost with a smooth release of energy without the following slump. Body: good for balanced energy release. Raspberry bush We like them because they're:
  1. Good for our skin. They have high levels of vitamin C and E. Vitamin E is the master antioxidant in the skin and vitamin C the servant that replenishes/ recycles it to keep it active. Both vitamin A and E are best boosted with food sources because supplementation can cause toxicity unless carefully monitored.
  2. Good for general health. Vitamin C is great for the immune system, skin, nails and anything that has a collagen structure. The healthy fats in avocados are anti-inflammatory.
Avocados on branch We like them as they're:
  1. High in monounsaturated fatty acids ("MUFAs"), which can help improve blood sugar control and lower LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol).
  2. A good source of the vital mineral selenium. Selenium is essential for the enzyme that makes the all-important antioxidant glutathione. This protects the skin from UV damage and damage to DNA. It is also essential for detoxification in the body.
Brazil nuts on tree branch We like them because they are:
  1. A superfood that provides omega 3 for the cell walls, protein for cell structure, as well as zinc, which is an essential mineral for skin health.
  2. Great for the brain. 60% of grey matter in the brain is made from omega 3.
Chia Seeds We like them because they are:
  1. Good for skin protection due to their high antioxidant content. They contain ellagic acid which reduces UV-induced pigmentation.
  2. Good for the eyes. A great source of beta-carotenoids, which are converted into vitamin A, an essential vitamin for eye health.
Pomegranate tree We like them because they're:
  1. Good for the skin. They contain lots of beta-carotene, the precursor for retinol (aka vitamin A).
  2. Vitamin A deficiency causes severe dry skin, immune and eye problems.
Bright orange sweet potatoes We like watercress because:
  1. It's a cruciferous vegetable, which means it contains an important compound called DIM that supports detoxification.
  2. It helps to get rid of by-products of unwanted hormones and other metabolites.
Water cress We like salmon because it's:
  1. High in omega 3 and high in astaxanthin (a really potent antioxidant that reduces cholesterol). Great for cell structure and antioxidants.
  2. Great for the brain, cell health, and reducing inflammation.
Salmon We like dark chocolate because it's:
  1. Rich in antioxidants that support the skin and gut due to high levels of polyphenols.
Dark Chocolate
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