Your skin is the biggest and heaviest organ of your entire body. It provides protection and structure for your veins, tissue, other organs and bones.
It’s not only those “lucky ones” that have good genes who have smooth, youthful looking skin into older age, lifestyle and dietary habits pay a big part of your skin’s health and appearance.
A few nutritional pointers to take on board, especially if you have had excess sun exposure over recent sunny months:
- Most importantly is hydration – water, fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants
- Flavoured water – extra benefits and taste when you add fresh herbs, lemons and lime, cucumber or fruit to your jugs of water
- Antioxidants (polyphenols) are so important – if you don’t get enough, your skin cannot protect itself from sun damage and pollution. Eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods every day is therefore a key dietary factor. Eat a rainbow of course!!
- For sun damage vitamin A helps with photoprotection, which means it guards against skin damage related to sun exposure, it can even guard against sunburn. Yellow, red and orange-coloured vegetables are high in carotenoids, which your body converts into vitamin A
Carrots, squash, broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes (lycopene), kale, mangoes, oranges, goji, sea buckthorn berries (omega 7), collards, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots
- Vitamin E which helps repair UV damage, deficiencies can lead topigmentation problems, skin dryness and vitamin E may even reduce wrinkles, it’s often found in skincare products
Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, kiwi, spinach, oats, avocado, asparagus, salmon, fish-liver oil
- Vitamin C which can help your skin to filter out UV rays and repair your skin cells, vitamin C has been used to help treat skin cancer successfully
Pomegranate, berries, currants, citrus fruits, peppers, parsley, pineapple, kale, rocket, spinach, bok choy, watercress, kiwi, papaya
- Spices and herbs rich in polyphenols: clove, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, basil, curry powder, mustard seed, ginger, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic, coriander and cardamom. Sage, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, peppermint, oregano, parsley, basil and dill.
- Drinking green tea doesn’t just help to hydrate your skin, but its polyphenols catechins may also rejuvenate damaged skin cells and reduce inflammation
- Enjoy Pure dark chocolate is also bursting with antioxidants like epicatechin
- Acai berries are rich with antioxidants, useful for preventing early signs of aging and helping with skin regeneration. people who develop high levels of oxidative stress, their skin is often one of the first things to show this with dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines, sagginess and discoloration due to free radical damage within the skin. Acai frozen concentrate or powder is easily available now.
- Bone broth is one of the best supplements for skin elasticity. Produced by simmering the bones, marrow, tendons and ligaments over a period of several days, bone broth is rich in trace minerals as well as health-promoting compounds like proline, glycine and glutamine. Plus, it’s also high in collagen, an important protein that’s been shown to improve skin elasticity and hydration while also fighting wrinkles, also linked to enhanced immunity, which may help reduce inflammation related to skin conditions like acne,rosacea, dermatitis or psoriasis.
- Vitamin D plays an integral role in skin health. Emerging research shows that vitamin D may even provide benefits in the treatment of psoriasis, thanks to its involvement in the growth and maturation of skin cells. consider supplementation if you’re not getting enough sun exposure, stuck in the galley or office maybe?
- Fish oil is the best source of omega 3 fatty acids, with powerful anti-inflammatory properties to protect the skin against damage. It protects against skin cancer and ultraviolet damage, also improves inflammation associated with acne. Enjoy oily fish in your diet or supplement with quality krill oil.
- Quality sources of protein is essential for skin health. Quinoa, beans, lentils, hemp, grass-fed or organic meat, wild fish, eggs, goat or sheep cheeses.
Limit Your Intake of:
Black tea and coffee
Cow’s cheese and milk – choose sheep’s, goat’s or plant-based alternatives
Sugar – including sugary foods and drinks such as sweets, jams, many cereals, biscuits, cakes and desserts.
Refined carbohydrates – bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries, pastas and any foods containing white flour.
Fried and fatty foods – chips, crisps, cream, ice cream etc. Trans and hydrogenated fats found in many processed foods.
Moisturize well and use the most natural skincare products you can.
Keep that summer glow!
For private consultancies, cookery demos, workshops and more nutritional guidance contact Suzanne Garaty