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Eight spring snacks for vibrant skin

Looking for some nutritious springtime snack ideas that will also help promote healthy, radiant skin? These eight spring snacks that are loaded with skin-nourishing antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, zinc and selenium are paramount for supporting skin health and for slowing down premature skin ageing.

Hummus, carrot, celery and cucumber sticks

Supercharge your skin’s health by snacking on hummus with carrot, celery and cucumber sticks. Hummus is rich in protein, which delivers important amino acids essential for skin growth and repair. It also contains healing zinc, beneficial fats and the antioxidant vitamin E, which can help give your skin a youthful, radiant glow.

Carrots are considered a super skin food as they contain high levels of beta-carotene. This important nutrient, which gives carrots their bright orange colour, aids in skin repair and regeneration and increases skin cell turnover. Celery and cucumber (including the skin) contain the trace mineral silica, which is vital for healthy skin. Silica can slow down skin ageing by boosting collagen production and the skin’s hydration. If your diet is lacking silica your skin will heal slowly and have reduced elasticity.

Guacamole with dehydrated veggie crackers

Avocados are the perfect skin-nourishing food. They are loaded with beneficial fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants that enhance skin health from the inside out. Avocados are rich in the monounsaturated fat oleic acid, which has a moisturising effect on the skin. It helps the skin retain moisture to keep it soft, supple and well hydrated.

Avocados are also rich in vitamin E. This important vitamin plays an integral role in the skin’s antioxidant defences. Vitamin E helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun and other environmental stressors like pollution, which cause the breakdown of collagen and increased risk of premature ageing. Eating more vitamin E-rich foods can also help keep the skin moist and supple, as it has a moisturising effect that improves the skin’s ability to retain water.

Both avocados and tomatoes are rich in carotenoids including beta-carotene and lycopene, which have a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action to help maintain healthy, youthful skin. Tomatoes are also great sources of vitamins C and A, both important skin-nourishing nutrients.

Apple wedges with almond butter

Apples contain protective antioxidants and they’re rich in vitamins A and C, which help accelerate skin cell rejuvenation and boost collagen production. Almonds are an excellent source of amino acids, healthy fats and zinc, which plays a vital role in the health of our skin. Zinc is needed for the proper structure of skin proteins, it helps promotes healthy wound healing, and it has an anti-inflammatory effect. Zinc also helps to protect the skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Trail mix of raw nuts, seeds and raw cacao nibs

Raw nuts and seeds are an excellent source of skin-nourishing polyunsaturated fats, zinc, selenium and vitamin E that aid smooth, radiant skin.
Walnuts are particularly great for the skin as they are a good source of beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids. Increasing omega-3s in the diet will promote smoother, more youthful-looking skin. Due to their ability to reduce inflammation, omega-3 fats can help ease inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne.

Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of the trace mineral selenium, which is needed for good tissue elasticity. Selenium is also a component of glutathione, one of the body’s most important antioxidants. Glutathione protects the skin from inflammation and ageing. Including selenium-rich foods in the diet may also offer protection from skin cancer. You only need to add a couple of Brazil nuts to your trail mix for your daily dose of selenium.

Nuts, seeds and cacao are all rich in zinc. Zinc is beneficial for acne sufferers as it helps control the production of oil in the skin along with helping balance hormones responsible for breakouts. Zinc is also required for a strong-functioning immune system to help fight off skin infections.
Raw cacao contains high levels of polyphenols, namely flavonoids and resveratrol, which have a superb antioxidant action. These polyphenols can prevent oxidative damage and can slow down the ageing process by protecting collagen from the sun’s harmful UV rays. These polyphenols can also help improve blood flow to the skin. This increases the delivery of oxygen and important nutrients to skin cells, which results in healthy, glowing skin.

Yoghurt with berries and pomegranate seeds

Snacking on berries and pomegranates is a delicious way to promote radiant skin. These delicious fruits are jam-packed with skin-loving vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help rejuvenate the skin and keep it well toned. Vitamin C plays an important role in regulating collagen production and encourages healthy wound healing. It also aids the prevention of bacterial infections associated with acne.

Berries and pomegranates are also abundant in polyphenols called anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect skin cells from oxidative damage caused from sun exposure, a major skin age accelerator. Pomegranates also contain punicalagins, a super antioxidant nutrient that helps preserve collagen in the skin, giving your skin a smoother, firmer appearance.

Including probiotic-rich fermented foods like yoghurt in the diet is beneficial for maintaining a healthy balance of gut microbiome, which in turn will help promote healthy, clear skin. An unhealthy gut can lead to systemic inflammation and skin issues such as rosacea, eczema and acne.

Protein-rich smoothie with collagen powder, banana, almond milk, chia and cinnamon

Adding collagen powder to your smoothie will do wonders for your skin. Collagen is a type of protein that is abundant in the skin. Collagen gives your skin strength and elasticity, it helps make your skin look firmer and smoother, and it can boost skin cell renewal. Collagen production slows down as we get older, so replacing it by taking a collagen supplement is a great way to slow down the ageing of your skin.

Bananas are a great source of silica. This trace mineral is essential for making collagen.

Chia seeds are one of the best plant sources of beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids.

These highly nourishing fats are vital for keeping skin healthy and to prevent dryness. Your skin is one of the first places to show signs of an omega-3 deficiency.

Green juice with spirulina powder

Green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are packed with beta-carotene (also called provitamin A), which offers potent antioxidant protection within the skin. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin cell turnover and is essential for repair and maintenance of the skin. Green leafy vegetables also provide a good dose of skin-loving vitamin C.

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is extremely nutrient-dense, being a rich source of vitamin A, E, zinc, iron and amino acids, all needed for skin cell renewal and collagen production.

Green leafy vegetables and spirulina are both good sources of iron, which is needed for healthy wound healing. Iron is important for red blood cell production to transport oxygen to all the cells in the body, including skin cells. Delivering more oxygen to skin cells will help promote healthy, glowing skin. If you’re deficient in iron your skin will appear pale and you can have dark circles under the eyes.

Iced green tea with fresh lemon

Drinking green tea regularly is an excellent way to promote beautiful, healthy skin. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, namely catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). These powerful antioxidants fight damaging free radicals that lead to premature skin ageing. EGCG slows down collagen and elastin breakdown and can help regenerate ageing surface skin cells. These are two important proteins in the skin that give the skin strength, tone and elasticity. Drinking green tea can also help enhance blood flow to your skin to promote a healthy supply of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells.

A study revealed that women who consumed catechin-rich beverages daily noticed a boost in their overall skin health, with improvements in skin hydration, elasticity and roughness. They also felt their skin was better protected against the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Drinking iced green tea is also a great way to increase your water intake to keep your skin plump and well hydrated. Add some fresh lemon for an extra vitamin C and antioxidant boost.

Lisa Guy

Lisa Guy

Lisa Guy is a respected Sydney-based naturopath, author and passionate foodie with 16 years of clinical experience. She runs a naturopathic clinic in Rose Bay called Art of Healing and is the founder of Bodhi Organic Tea.

Lisa is a great believer that good wholesome food is one of the greatest pleasures in life and the foundation of good health. Lisa encourages her clients to get back to eating what nature intended: good, clean, wholesome food that’s nutrient-rich and free from high levels of sugars, harmful fats, artificial additives and pesticides. Her aim is to change the way people eat, cook and think about food.

Lisa is an avid health writer, being a regular contributor to The Sunday Telegraph's Body and Soul, and leading magazines including WellBeing. Lisa is an author of five books to date, including My Goodness: all you need to know about children’s health and nutrition , Pregnancy Essentials, Heal Yourself, Listen to your Body and Healthy Skin Diet .

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