Eat your way to happy skin...
I’m sure many of you will have read at some point that what we put inside our bodies reflects how our skin appears on the outside. Of course, it makes perfect sense but cutting out all the bad stuff isn’t as easy as it sounds.
When I returned to my treatment room last month after the Christmas break it was interesting to see the difference in my clients skin. Not all of them of course! Most come to me regularly so I know their skin very well. I was presented with congestion, puffiness, dehydration, dark circles and dull skin. Christmas is a time when we can overindulge but to see the after affects has been quite startling.
Rich foods, alcohol and sugar are the main culprits and many of my clients had said that their water intake had reduced too. I’m not hear to dictate to you that you must follow a healthy diet at all times with no alcohol, processed foods, sweets etc… but radiant healthy glowing skin makes us feel and look good. It can knock years off our faces. Lots of us invest in regular treatments and quality skincare but sometimes its easy to forget that food can be a powerful beauty tool.
Our diets should include minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help combat free radicals that can cause damage to the skin by building up our cells causing premature ageing. Antioxidants are molecules that can fight these free radicals. Your body has its own defences but consuming plant based foods such as fruit (especially berries), vegetables, good quality dark chocolate, green tea and coffee (yes you read that correctly!) Meat and fish also provide antioxidants but not as much as fruit and veg.
The list of vitamins and minerals is a long one but I have included those I feel are the most important.
Zinc is particularly good for acne and congested skin. It is a natural skin healer and controls the production of oil in the skin. Good sources are chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, tahini and quinoa.
Vitamin A strengthens the skin. It fights free radicals and helps with the growth of new skin cells. It’s found in spinach, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and butternut squash.
Vitamin C is essential for collagen production. As we age we produce less of it. Collagen is a protein that helps keep our skin firm and strong. Citrus fruit, strawberries, red peppers, kiwis, cabbage and kale are all packed with Vitamin C.
Vitamin E fights free radicals preventing inflammation and protecting the surface of our skin.Try sunflower seeds, spinach, almonds, avocados, olives, olive oil and tomatoes.
Calcium crucial for our teeth and bones is also an important mineral for skin elasticity and firmness. Chickpeas, almonds, hazelnuts, kale, broccoli, tahini and tofu are all excellent sources.
Magnesium is such a superhero that I could write a whole article on it. A deficiency can cause ageing of the skin. It is vital not only for skin health but also our muscles, hair, teeth, bones and the nervous system. Oats, kale, cashews, black beans, pumpkin seeds and quinoa are all rich in this powerful mineral.
If reading this has made you think about incorporating these super foods into your diet, here’s a little tip.
In a jar combine seeds and nuts and eat a large handful daily. Thats your first step to providing your skin with a healthy glow. My favourite way to start the day is a smoothie. Add the following to a blender and blitz:
Two large handfuls of spinach, a large handful of oats, two teaspoons almond butter, drizzle of honey, frozen berries, half a frozen banana, a tablespoon of avocado, coconut water and plant based milk.
Nourish the skin from the inside out. Enjoy.