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10 minute meals: foods rich in vitamin C for glowing skin

Looking for some foodspiration to help give your skin a much-needed boost ? Check out these key ingredients rich in vitamin C, for a glowing, healthy, younger-looking complexion.

10 minute meals: foods rich in vitamin C for glowing skin

Why is a diet rich in vitamin C so important for skin?

We all know it’s important to fuel our body with a healthy diet - but vitamin C-rich ingredients are also crucial for skin. Research has demonstrated that when applied topically to skin, vitamin C can help with everything from hyperpigmentation to signs of UV-related skin damage[1][2], particularly when used alongside sun protection.[3] What’s more, studies have shown that vitamin C helps increase collagen production - responsible for giving skin a plump, youthful appearance.[4]

vitamin C helps increase collagen production - responsible for giving skin a plump, youthful appearance

These impressive benefits make vitamin C a key ingredient when looking to preserve skin’s healthy, glowing, youthful appearance. Of course, vitamin C isn’t just an on-trend skincare ingredient - it’s also an essential part of any healthy diet.

This means that in order for your skin to reap the benefits of vitamin C, you need to be nourishing it from the inside, as well as on the outside.

Cooking and storing ingredients rich in vitamin C

So, what are the best ways to cook and store ingredients high in vitamin C? Generally speaking, it’s best to cook vitamin C-rich ingredients as little as possible to keep their nutrition content high.[5]

They might be the obvious choice, but oranges have their reputation as vitamin C victors for a reason. The reason? Their color. Oranges’ impressive levels of betacarotene (the orange pigment that gives them their bright colour) mean that they contain substantial amounts of vitamin C. When it comes to cooking with them, however, you’re unlikely to get better than a good old glass of orange juice. Nutritionist Raphaël Gruman explains that oranges are thermocentric, meaning the vitamins and minerals they contain are extremely sensitive to light and heat, so it’s best to eat them raw if possible.

Tomatoes also contain good levels of vitamin C. A quick homemade pasta sauce is far healthier than store-bought options, which tend to be high in sugar. Don’t overcook though, as too much heat will also significantly lessen their vitamin C content: opt for a chunky sauce that’s been briefly heated in the pan.

Finally, carrots - which, like oranges, owe their vivid colour to betacarotene - don’t just contain vitamin C, they’re also an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, which is known for helping to combat the visible signs of aging. Again, raw is best when cooking with carrots, so try adding grated or finely sliced to a salad for maximum vitamin C, or with hummus for a quick and healthy snack. If you’re looking to get inspired when it comes to this preparing week’s meals, find out how to cook up a storm in the kitchen with these antioxidant-rich foods, many of which are also great sources of vitamin C.

[1] Telang, P. ‘Vitamin C in Dermatology’ in Indian Dermatology Online Journal 4.2 (2013) pp. 143-146 [Accessible at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/]
[2] Fitzpatrick R.E., Rostan E.F. ‘Double-blind, half-face study comparing topical vitamin C and vehicle for rejuvenation of photodamage’ in Dermatological Surgery 28.3 (2002) p. 231-236 [Accessible at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11896774]
[3] Darr, D., Dunston, S. et al, ‘Effectiveness of antioxidants (vitamin C and E) with and without sunscreens as topical photoprotectants’ in Acta dermato-venereologica 76.4 (1996) pp. 264-268 [Accessible at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8869680/]
[4] Boyera, N. Galey, I. and Bernard, B.A. ‘Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts’ in Internet Journal of Cosmetic Science 20.3 (1998) pp. 151-158 [Accessible at:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18505499/]
[5] http://www.livestrong.com/article/547867-what-does-cooking-do-to-vitamin-c/: See quote from Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institute of Health.

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