It’s no secret that eating well (or not, as the case may be..) has a significant impact not only on our bodies but also our skin. Last week I discussed the importance of water for your beauty regime and each week I plan to take you through each of the nutrients you need in order to look after your health as well as your beauty regime. So – now that you’ve got your fluid intake right, it’s vitally important you ensure your skin gets the right nourishment it needs to keep as sexy and sassy as you are!

Repeat after me – V to the A to the R to the I…E to the T to the Y? VARIETY is absolutely the spice of life – and when it comes to gorgeous skin, eating the right types of food is an absolute must for your beauty regime. Not only will rocking your plate help protect, repair and rejuvenate your skin, but it can also slow the ageing process (and I know we’re all feeling that..!) The following list will provide you with all the information you need to turn your diet into a beauty bonanza!

The A-Z of Beauty Nutrients:

Antioxidants – are so important in our diet as they have anti-inflammatory properties which can in-fact help to pretext the membranes of skin cells. Foods rich in Antioxidants: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, green tea.
Vitamin A – rocks the skin you’re in by keeping it sexy soft and supple, and helps to rejuvenate and repair skin cells and tissue, and in some cases has been shown to have a positive effect on improving acne.
Foods rich in Vitamin A: yellow vegetables and fruits, apricots, carrots, spinach, pumpkin, cantaloupe, milk, yogurt, cheese (remember, don’t over do it. An ounce/25g or a piece the size of a match box is enough).

Biotin – helps produce nails, skin and hair cells. Deficiencies in this can cause dermatitis and hair loss.
Foods rich in Biotin: cooked eggs (omelette, scrambled, poached etc.), rice bran, nuts, wheat germ, oatmeal, meat.
Copper – forms elastic fibres that support the skin’s structure.
Foods rich in Copper: meats, nuts, seafood, dried beans and peas.
Vitamin C – helps with turning back the clock a little by assisting collagen producing, giving skin strength and elasticity.Foods rich in Vitamin C: broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, strawberries, cabbage, pineapple, tomatoes, dark green leafy vegetables.

Essential Fatty Acids – are…well… essential! If anyone out there is still partaking in any of those crazy ‘fat free’ diets, then you need to get real. We categorically need fatty acids in our bodies so please step away from the ‘no fats’ rule unless you want serious trouble with your body and skin. Essential fatty acids help produce the skin’s healthy, natural oil barrier and lubricates the skin. Just remember that it’s the type of fat and the quantity that’s the key.
Foods rich in Essential Fatty Acids: salmon, sardines, mackerel, walnuts, flaxseed oil, safflower, canola oil and olive oil.

Vitamin E – can not only improve your skin texture, it can also prevent wrinkles and help counteract the effects of sun damage, smoking and pollution.
Foods rich in Vitamin E: almonds, avocados, nuts (especially peanuts), seeds, olives, asparagus, wheat germ, soybean and corn oils, dark green leafy vegetables
Niacin – smoothes dry, flakey skin.

Foods rich in Niacin: meats, pork, poultry, fish and vegetables such as legumes.
Selenium – may help prevent skin cancer, as it helps counteract the effects of sun damage, smoking exposure and pollution. It also produces healthy skin cells.
Foods rich in Selenium: whole-grain products, seafood, meats and eggs.
Zinc – can help control oil production and reduce acne lesions. Deficiencies in this can actually trigger acne.
Foods rich in Zinc: wheat germ, meat, poultry, legumes, fish and seafood, whole grains, eggs.

Images By Steven Wallis – Winner of Masterchef 2007 –