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Article: The super-salad to eat for natural skincare from within

The super-salad to eat for natural skincare from within

Throw together a salad of blanched broccoli, cooked kumara and avocado chunks; sprinkle it with walnuts and sunflower seeds; then top it off with a piece of grilled salmon. Drizzle some miso dressing over it all and you have heaven on a plate. That’s how easy it is to eat for skin health. Incredibly delicious too.

We all know we should eat our 5+ a day for general good health. But did you know there are specific things you can eat for skin beauty? Here’s a quick summary of foods that deliver an amazing bang for your skin health bucks.


We don’t know how broccoli manages to squeeze so many vitamins and minerals into such a small space! It’s rich in zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C – all things that benefit skin health. It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that protects your skin from oxidative damage. And broccoli has something extra-special called sulforaphane, which protects against sun damage. [1]

Broccoli is affordable all year round, so it should always be in your fridge. Don’t think of it as a vegetable that is only eaten hot. If you blanch broccoli in boiling water for three minutes (or give it a short microwave), then rinse it quickly in cold water, you have the perfect base for a salad.

Kumara and other forms of sweet potato

When you ditch potatoes in favour of kumara, you’re absolutely winning in the nutrition stakes. Kumara and other sweet potatoes are excellent sources of beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, manganese, copper, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. They are also a source of potassium, niacin, vitamins B1 and B2, phosphorus and dietary fibre. All of this is good for your body and your skin.


It seems like everyone is constantly raving about the benefits of avocados, but they really are pretty impressive. They taste nice too, which isn’t always the case with things that are good for you. (See our article on 8 ways that avocado oil helps your skin).

Spreading avo on your toast each morning is a way to get a healthy dose of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects your skin from free radical damage. You’re getting some other vitamins too – K, B6, B5 and C, which are all helpful for cell growth, development and overall body functioning. Avo also gives you useful amounts of potassium and lecithin, which help to keep your skin moisturised from within.


Walnuts look like little brains. Strangely, they’re good for your brain too because they’re rich in DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Those omega-3s are great for your skin as well, because they strengthen the membranes of your skin cells. Strong skin is beautiful skin.

When you’re buying walnuts, freshness is important – look for nuts that are light brown, not nasty and black. Always check the best-before dates.

Sunflower seeds

Toasted or raw, sunflower seeds can be sprinkled over almost any dish. They add crunch and texture, as well as healthy fats, beneficial plant compounds, and numerous vitamins and minerals. In particular, sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E and selenium, antioxidants that help to protect your skin cells from free radical damage.  Studies have also shown that eating sunflower seeds five times a week can reduce inflammation. [2]

Oily fish

When you’re out for eggs benedict on a Sunday, order the smoked salmon option - oily fish is one of the best things you can eat for skin health and beauty.

Oily fish, like salmon, sardines and tuna, contains omega-3 fatty acids that helps to maintain youthful skin density and suppleness. A deficiency of omega-3 is a reason for dry skin. Recently a study suggested that omega-3 may even help to prevent skin cancer. [3]

Omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce inflammation (like the redness you get with acne and rosacea) and make your skin less sensitive to the sun. And some studies show that oily fish helps with chronic skin problems like psoriasis. [4]


Miso is a fermented food with known skin and health benefits when consumed in small quantities. It’s made by fermenting soybeans, barley, rice and the fungus kojikin for a period of several months to several years. Miso is famous for supporting healthy digestion, which is essential for skin health. It also contains vitamins B12, B2, E and K, which are all ‘skin vitamins’, as well as manganese and copper – both important for collagen synthesis.

To make a great-tasting miso dressing for your salad, mix one tablespoon of miso paste with grated fresh ginger, three tablespoons of cider or rice wine vinegar, one teaspoon of sesame oil and a splash of water.






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