Korean Foods for Glowing Skin

If you didn’t already know, South Korea is one of the most innovative and exciting markets for skincare and skin product development. This is simply because Koreans of all ages and genders value the importance of healthy, smooth and beautiful skin.

Of course as with any great skincare regime, in Korea they look not only at what they put on their skin, but also what they put in their bodies.  Here’s a round up of the best Korean foods to give you glowing skin…

1. Kimchi
Kimchi is fermented cabbage, chilli, garlic and spices, which is packed with good bacteria (probiotic lactic acid). Eating fermented foods like kimchi is a great strategy to optimise gut health, which in turn helps to counteract inflammation[1] and control disease-causing bacteria[2],[3], eliminate toxins, reduce the risk of allergies, benefit mood, and improve skin health. You can make your own pretty easily too! Here’s a fantastic recipe that we often make at Vitness HQ.

2. Pig Trotters
Or Jokbal is a dish of boiled pig’s feet slowly cooked in rice wine, ginger, garlic and onions. Of course pig’s feet are no longer on many menus in the UK despite making somewhat of a resurgence in trendy eateries in London.  This is a shame from a nutritional point of view as they are packed with collagen, which is great for smooth, youthful skin and excellent for staving off wrinkles.  If pig’s feet are not going on your dinner menu anytime soon, an easier way to get your collagen fix is of course to drink a daily Vitness.

3. Seaweed Soup
Miyeok guk is a broth made with (you guessed it…) seaweed! Miyeok is also known as Wakame and the broth is traditionally made with garlic, fish sauce, fermented soy,  sesame oil and sometimes mussels.  Rich in vitamins and minerals, Miyeok has been shown in studies to help regulate hormones, which anyone who’s suffered with acne or dry skin due to fluctuating hormones will appreciate, is great for your skin. Scientific studies have also shown the component fucoxanthin contained in Miyeok to be good for promoting fat burning[4] and controlling diabetes[5]. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to plump skin from the inside out.

4. Doenjang
A fermented paste made from soybeans and brine, doenjang is rich in flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, phytoestrogens, essential amino acids and healthy fatty acids. As it’s rich in plant antioxidants, it can help protect against skin damage caused by environmental aggressors[6] such as sun, pollution and poor diets. It can be easily added to soups, stews and sauces for your flavonoid and phytoestrogen boost.

5. Makgeolli
A fermented rice wine that is packed with vitamins and minerals, this is an alcoholic drink with added benefits.  Amino acids lysine and methionine help keep the skin firm and vitamins B2 and B3 help skin stay soft and smooth as well as promoting healthy hair and nails.  

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16176138

[2] http://www.kosfost.or.kr/journal/view.html?uid=1420&start=0&sort=Regnum-0&Vol=15&Num=6&code=Fsnb&JLang=en&mod=vol&year=2006&book=Journal&aut_box=Y&sub_box=Y&pub_box=Y

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19307768

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557005/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475918

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15047682

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