Eat your way to healthy skin
Are you looking for the secret to young, plump and glowing skin? Do you spend a lot of money on the newest and greatest skin care products? Is your skin feeling dry and dull?
The skin is the largest organ in the body, but is also most likely to be exposed to stress from the environment that we live in. Over time, this can cause the skin can become thinner, lose elasticity and begin to wrinkle. Taking care of your skin with good nutrition can help to maintain its health, structure and glow. The type of food that you eat plays a big role in the health of your skin. Beauty really does come from the inside, so its time to nourish your skin with the right foods!
Essential fatty acids or healthy fats are important for plump and healthy skin. Each of your skin cells is surrounded by two layers of fat known as the phospholipid bilayer.
Healthy fats including omega-3 and omega-6, are the building blocks of healthy skin. Eating adequate amounts of omega-3 fats has been shown to decrease the likelihood of skin dryness and breakdown. Omega-6 fats are important for maintaining the structure of the skin. These healthy fats nourish the skin, adding softness and radiance for a glowing complexion.
- Include oily fish such as salmon, sardines or mackerel a few times per week
- Sprinkle nuts and seeds onto your morning oats or cereal
- Choose olive oil for cooking and salad dressings
Water is needed for almost all functions in the body. Water adds moisture to the skin, helping to maintain the texture and appearance. Drinking adequate water will help to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Tea and coffee have been shown to dehydrate the body whilst alcohol has been shown to dehydrate and age the skin. It is best to moderate your consumption of these beverages and choose water where possible (this doesn’t mean you need to skip your morning coffee, but just keep it at 1-2 shots!).
- Aim to have a glass of water with each of your meals and snacks
- Invest in a good water bottle and carry this with you all the time
- Mix things up by adding a boost of flavour such as lemon, cucumber or frozen berries
- Limit alcohol to 1-2 standard drinks per occasion and schedule alcohol free days into your week
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that can be found within the layers of the skin. Evidence shows that the antioxidant properties of Vitamin C protect the skin from being damaged. Vitamin C is also essential in building collagen, which provides the skin with strength and structure. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of Vitamin C.
- Have a piece of fruit as part of your morning and afternoon snack
- Top your morning cereal or muesli with chopped fruit or berries
- Include plenty of green leafy vegetables in your salad
The antioxidant properties of Vitamin E play a role in protecting the skin from damage. Interestingly, one study found that when Vitamin C and Vitamin E were supplemented in combination over a three-month period, there were lower amounts of DNA damage after exposure to the sun (HOWEVER, sunscreen is still essential to protect the skin from sun damage!). Vitamin E may also have an anti-inflammatory effect, help to maintain the skins moisture and elasticity and strengthen the skin.
- Snack on raw or dry roasted nuts and seeds
- Sautee dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli to have alongside eggs on toast
- Add avocado to salads and sandwiches