Food and Skin Health
Beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within. Older cells are constantly shed and replaced by younger ones and a steady supply of key nutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. Eat the correct balance of foods and you'll feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to help it stay soft, supple and blemish-free.
If you want glowing skin, these tips will help you nourish your skin from the inside out.
1. Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every 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 and can cause wrinkling and age spots. Eat a rainbow of colourful fruit and vegetables and aim for at least five portions a day.
2. Eat enough vitamin C
Vitamin C is also a super antioxidant. It is needed to support the immune system, promote radiant skin and help blemishes heal properly. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin.
3. Don't crash diet
Repeatedly losing and regaining weight can take its toll on your skin, causing sagging, wrinkles and stretch marks. Crash diets are often short in essential vitamins and minerals too. Over long periods of time this type of dieting will reflect on your skin. It is always best to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
4. Stock up on selenium
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. It works alongside other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C and is essential to support the immune system. It can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. Good sources are fish, shellfish, eggs, wheatgerm, tomatoes and broccoli.
5. Eat enough vitamin E
Vitamin E protects skin from oxidative (cell) damage and supports healthy skin growth. Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and corn oils.
6. Drink ten to twelve glasses of water a day
Skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Drink ten to twelve glasses of water a day – all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the best.
7. Eat some healthy fat
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – the types found in avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds – provide essential fatty acids which 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.
8. Opt for omega-3
Make sure you get enough omega-3 and omega-6 fats. You will find omega-3s in oily fish and plant sources such as linseed and their oil, chia seeds, walnuts and rapeseed oil. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help skin, particularly inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
9. Eat more phyto-estrogens
Phyto-estrogens are natural chemicals found in plant foods. They have been found to help keep our natural hormones in balance. There are different types, some are found in soya bean products(isoflavones) such as tofu, whereas others are found in the fibre of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and linseed (lignans). Include phyto-estrogen rich soya, wholegrains, fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet.
10. Go for low-GI carbs
Try to eat plenty of beans, pulses, porridge and other low-GI, slow-releasing carbohydrates. These release sugar into the blood stream gradually, providing you with a steady supply of energy and leaving you feeling satisfied for longer and therefore less likely to snack. Avoid high-GI carbohydrates like biscuits and sugary drinks, as they lead to production of insulin, which may damage collagen and accelerate wrinkles.
11. Eat plenty of 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.
For more details and information, contact Dr Gauri's Skin & Hair Clinic at 702-464-3430.