Nourish Your Skin With Optimum Nutrition
By: Jenny Tschiesche BSc(Hons) Dip(ION) FdSc BANT
Inside-out beauty is less often considered than outside-in. What’s meant by that is that most often people turn to topical creams and washes to deal with problem skin and even to keep their skin looking and feeling good. However, beautiful skin needs treatment from the inside as well as the outside surface layer. Older cells are constantly shedding and being replaced by younger ones and a steady supply of key nutrients is essential to support this skin cell turnover.
If you’d like to support your skins from the inside as well as the outside then these nutrition tips can help.
1. Go Brazilian!
Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. One way to boost your intake is to eat Brazil nuts. Other good sources are fish, shellfish, eggs, tomatoes, and broccoli.
2. Don’t Get Parched
Your skin needs moisture in order to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Water, caffeine free teas and even some fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, courgettes and cucumber contribute to your daily fluid intake. Alcohol and caffeine can be dehydrated to enjoy in moderation.
3. Top up on Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, which helps with collagen production (the protein that helps keep skin’s elasticity). The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes.
4. Take it E-asy!
Vitamin E protects skin from oxidative (cell) damage and supports healthy skin growth. Food’s high in vitamin E include almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and avocado oil.
5. Don’t diet
Repeatedly losing and regaining weight can take its toll on your skin, causing sagging, wrinkles and stretch marks. Crash diets often leave you with a deficit in essential vitamins and minerals too. Over long periods of time this type of dieting will reflect on your skin.
6. Get Your Five-a-day
Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals, smoking, pollution and sunlight can cause wrinkling and age spots. Aim to eat a rainbow of colourful fruit and vegetables and at least five portions a day.
7. Do Not Fear Fat
The healthy fats found in avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds act as a natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple and improving elasticity. These fats also come packaged with a healthy dose of vitamin E (a vitamin many of us lack), which will help protect against free radical damage.
Also, make sure you get enough omega-3 and omega-6 fats. These are essential fatty acids which mean they cannot be made in the body and must be obtained through the diet. You will find omega-3s in oily fish and plant sources such algal oil.
8. Think Zinc
Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin (which produce oil) and helps to repair skin damage and keep skin soft and supple. Zinc-rich foods include fish, lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish