Does your diet really affect your complexion? Although not every single food type has undergone clinical trials or studies, findings progressively point towards the idea that food is a natural medicine for our bodies and contributes to the basic building blocks for our skin. In other words, the food you choose to take in could possibly be as vital as the skincare products you are using right now.
So, if you would like to try extra measures to give your skin a healthy boost the next time you have a meal at your neighbourhood foodcourt, consider these dishes!
- Sliced Fish Soup
Fish, especially the kind that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids is wonderful because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which in turn calms the skin. While white fish has less of this than salmon, it’s still a good alternative to eat. Ask for more vegetables, green veggies especially, when you order this dish and your skin will thank you for the double boost of nutrients!
- Yong Tau Foo and Mixed Vegetable Rice
One of the joys of eating at these two stalls is the power of choice you have. Exercise this power wisely and add more veggies on your plate because they contain phyto-estrogens, which can help in stabilizing our hormones. Greens like spinach are also rich in antioxidants that help in reducing the damage our skin takes from free radicals.
Tofu, a form of soy protein that us Asians should be familiar with, is also commonly available at these stalls, and even with Nasi Padang. It’s a great side to add to your meal because it is a protein that doubles as a fantastic skin replenisher. Read more about the health benefits of tofu here.
- Tomato Dishes
The tomato is a potent ingredient to add to your meals because it contains beta-carotenoids, which is the same stuff you can find in pumpkin! A second important nutrient you can get from eating tomatoes is lycopene. Lycopene is an excellent skin protector and booster and tomatoes can usually be found in soups, claypot dishes, or the yong tau foo stall, so there’s no reason not to add some on your plate!
- Chinese Soups / Double boiled soups
If you prefer not to eat fish at all, a secondary option could be the soup stall. With choices ranging from bittergourd, to lotus root, and ABC soup, these broths contain components that can help to keep skin healthy. Lotus root in particular is high with Vitamin C. This gives a boost to collagen, the compound that strengthens our skin.
Pumpkin rice (jin gua fan) is an option that would be a great complement to these soups! Pumpkin contains beta-carotene, which gives your skin all the good-stuff it needs, improving your glow and radiance while offering anti-aging benefits on the side.
- Other Fish Dishes
If you’re not a soup person, there are other stalls where you can find fish that is rich in skin-friendly omega 3 fatty acids. The first would be the grilled saba/mackerel from Korean food stalls, or alternatively, the Japanese food stalls which serve teriyaki salmon sets.
- BONUS: Which drinks are skin friendly?
Water is the superior choice above all, especially compared to carbonated drinks or flavoured sugary drinks. This is because introducing too much sugar into our systems can lead to inflammations, which results in skin aeing. This is why we should keep our skin adequately hydrated by drinking plain water, as constant hydration is one of the easiest ways to keep our skin looking and feeling healthy.
If you prefer to have some taste in our drink during meal times, fruit juice is a great secondary choice. Not only do fruits have high water content, but ingredients like apples, oranges or even carrots (which also provide beta-carotene) are healthy choices when we are being mindful of our complexions.
To summarize – eat more fish, fruits, and vegetables whenever you can, and your skin will be thanking you for these small but meaningful choices. Start with minor changes to your daily habits and be positive about the effects they could have on your skin! #miraclesdohappen