Which foods are good for dry skin?
Suffering from dry skin can be tricky and sometimes it’s difficult to know what the best way of supporting your skin really is. Most of you probably know that drinking plenty of water is a good idea but how else can your diet help? As it turns out your diet could be the key to helping your skin recover from a nasty bout of dryness, as it relies on a delicate balance of nutrients – vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega fatty acids.
And the best way of getting these valuable nutrients is through your diet! So today I’m going to cover 7 of my favourite foods for dry skin, including handy tips and advice on how to incorporate them into your diet!
1 - Oily fish
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, are incredibly rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase your skin’s capacity to retain moisture. Omega-3 can also play an important role in strengthening your epidermis, preventing bacteria and other nasty pathogens from penetrating your brittle skin and entering your body. Oily fish isn’t a one trick pony though and does contain a whole host of nutrients, including vitamin D, B vitamins and selenium!
B vitamins are great for encouraging healthy digestion while selenium, an often overlooked mineral, can help to protect your skin cells from damage. Brilliant for lowering inflammation, according to the NHS a healthy diet should include one portion of oily fish a week!1
My favourite recipe: Grilled Honey Lemon Sardines with Herbed Rice
2 - Avocados
On trend and full of goodness, avocados are definitely in the spotlight at the moment and I’m definitely not complaining about the recognition they are finally getting. An incredible source of healthy fats, avocados are naturally rich in vitamin E, a skin-boosting antioxidant that contains a whole plethora of benefits for your skin.
Useful for preventing free-radical damage and reducing the effects of UV radiation, vitamin E isn’t the only nutrient that avocados contain. They’re also rich in collagen-boosting vitamin C and beta-carotene, which can help to improve your skin’s density and decrease the signs of premature ageing!
Avocados are extremely versatile so there are plenty of ways you can go about including them in your diet. They go extremely well with poached eggs or mashed over wholemeal toast! You can also add them to smoothies for a delicious, creamy texture!
My favourite recipes: Cucumber & Avocado Smoothie
3 - Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are famous for helping to improve your digestion but they’re also pretty handy for dry skin too! This is in part due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids, and they are the richest source of alpha-linolenic acid in the world! They also contain plentiful amounts of fibre, magnesium and B vitamins too!
Excellent at soothing symptoms of dry skin, flaxseed normally comes in the form of an oil that you can take internally, although you can still buy flaxseeds and mix them into dishes. Our sister company Jan de Vries offers an excellent array of flaxseed oils and capsules, although I would personally recommend Vridian’s 100% Organic Golden Flaxseed Oil.
If you want to try eating more flaxseeds, I’d recommend sprinkling them over your porridge or adding them to your smoothies. Linwoods offers different flaxseed blends, including Milled Flaxseed & Goji Berry or Milled Flaxseed Cocoa, Strawberries and Blueberries!
My favourite recipe: Chocolate & Cherry Energy Bites
4 - Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are definitely catching up with ordinary potatoes in terms of popularity, and with good reason! Not only are sweet potatoes an excellent source of magnesium, they also contain tons of beta-carotene and anthocyanin, helping to reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative stress!
They can help to improve your complexion and have even been known to improve the elasticity of your skin thanks to their content of vitamin C. Chockfull of vitamins, including vitamins A, C & E, sweet potatoes are also incredibly versatile and make for a low GI alternative to potatoes. You can add them to soups, cut into wedges or even bake instead of your typical baked potato.
My favourite recipe: Broccoli, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup with Fitness Mix Sprouts
5 - Coconut oil
You’re probably already aware of the benefits of coconut oil. In recent years, it’s skyrocketed in popularity, both as nutritious cooking oil and a great, nourishing, skin-boosting treatment. It’s incredible at softening rough, hard skin and it’s a natural anti-bacterial agent! It’s arguably the most versatile food on this list and it’s also famous for its rich content of fatty acids, specifically lauric and caprylic acids, which can help to support your immune system and increase your energy levels.
Fatty acids aren’t coconut oil’s only benefit, though; the substance is also high in vitamin E and proteins which can help to promote tissue repair and healthy skin cells. There’s so many ways you can take this product – you could use it instead of cooking oil, add it to your smoothies or incorporate it into baked treats such energy balls or healthy banana loafs.
Our sister company Jan de Vries offers a range of excellent raw, organic coconut oils – my favourite would have to be Coconut Merchant’s Organic Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil!
My favourite recipe: Apple, Macadamia and Coconut Crumble
6 - Asparagus
A tasty alternative to traditional broccoli, asparagus is a delicious and nutrient-packed vegetable that’s brimming with fibre, vitamins A, C, E as well as the elusive vitamin K! In terms of antioxidants, it’s one of the best vegetables, making it excellent for fighting free-radical damage.
It also contains a range of B vitamins, making it quite effective at regulating your blood sugar levels, preventing a drastic insulin spike that may encourage inflammation. Asparagus can also be quite cleansing, helping to detoxify the liver which, in addition to its high levels of collagen-boosting vitamin C, makes it a great option for supporting healthy skin.
A seasonal vegetable, asparagus is always best enjoyed during the summer and you can include it in a wide range of dishes or have it grilled as a side!
My favourite recipe: Asparagus Fries
7 - Cucumbers
You might only think of cucumber as that watery salad that occasionally appears in your sandwiches, and, if so, you are definitely underestimating their capabilities. In fact, due to their high water content, cucumbers can help to moisturise your skin and they also contain high levels of nutrients, such as vitamins A & C as well as potassium.
As a natural anti-inflammatory, you can apply cucumbers to your skin topically or mix with other oils to form a cooling face mask. However, I’m also in favour of including them in your diet too and fortunately, there are numerous ways you can do this from making a refreshing salad to including them in your smoothies!
My favourite recipe: Cucumber Feta Cheese Salad