Nutrition for Healthy Skin


The nutrition advice below is brought to you by dietician, Dr Joanna McMillan

What you eat can make an enormous difference to how your skin looks and feels and impact common skin conditions and your risk of skin cancer. Australian research has shown that a low GI diet can help reduce the symptoms of acne and improve the quality of your skin. If you suffer from acne, consider the types of carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet. This means eating more wholegrains and legumes and reducing or cutting out processed foods. Your overall health will benefit and not just your skin.

Key nutrients, antioxidants and other phytochemicals have been shown to be beneficial or essential for healthy skin. Here are my top 10 foods for the skin.



Nuts & seeds provide all the right kinds of fat that nourish our skin. They are also rich in the antioxidant vitamin E to combat free radical damage, which contributes to skin ageing.




Australian research has recently shown that a low GI diet containing wholegrains such as barley helps to relieve acne and improve skin health. Barley also provides the antioxidant mineral selenium and good levels of several other vitamins and minerals that play roles in the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails.


Different teas contain different antioxidants, but they all have the potential for anti-aging benefits. Green tea has even been shown to help rejuvenate skin cells. However, tannins in tea can reduce your absorption of minerals in food, so try to drink your tea between rather than with meals.



Image by David Dewitt at TheCozyCoffee

Are high in protein, good sources of omega-3 fats and the clear front runners for providing zinc, a mineral essential for skin healing and preventing infections. Increased zinc can help acne and other skin conditions but is also essential for all of us to maintain healthy radiant skin. If you are plagued with dandruff, upping your zinc might help.

Oily fish, such as salmon, are rich in the essential omega-3 fats. These reduce inflammation and provide essential nourishment to the skin. To gain the benefits you need to eat it a minimum of twice a week. Other oily fish include sardines, mackerel, anchovies and trout. I also recommend taking an additional daily omega-3 supplement otherwise optimal levels are hard to reach. If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis up the dose – there is good scientific backing to show it can help.

This humble veggie is one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, which acts both as an antioxidant and can be made into vitamin A, which repairs and maintains healthy skin.

These are a daily must for maximum anti-ageing power. The darker the green the better as this usually indicates higher levels of antioxidants. These fight the free radicals that damage cells and accelerate aging of the skin. Feed your skin from the inside out and include leafy greens daily and watch your skin bloom. Spinach, silverbeet, kale, rocket, watercress, Asian greens and dark green cabbage varieties all qualify.


Rich in the essential fats we need to nourish our skin and hair from the inside out and a great source of vitamin E to help protect the skin from aging free radical and sun damage.

Berries top the charts for antioxidant power. They are also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant to combat the ageing process, but also necessary for the building of collagen, the protein that gives skin its elasticity, and strengthens capillaries to help reduce spider veins and easy bruising.


We tend to think of citrus fruit as the best sources of vitamin C, but the kiwi fruit ranks second only to guava but is far more available and easier to eat. Vitamin C is essential to make the collagen protein, which gives skin its youthful elasticity, maintains hydration and prevents wrinkles.

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