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Eat your way to glowing skin!

Magdalena Marvell, our resident Nutritionist, explains how certain foods can help our skin cell development and maintain a healthy skin tone.

Although almost everyone has their favourite face cream or treatment – the way to beautiful skin starts from within. Older skin cells are constantly being shed and replaced, which means a steady supply of nutrients is essential to support this rapid turnover.

How can I achieve glowing skin?
Treat your skin well and optimise your nutrition by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables which are packed with antioxidants and key vitamins, healthy fats found in oil fish, nuts and seeds and ensure you are adequately hydrated.

Eat a balanced diet to feed your skin and keep it supple and blemish free. Although our skin naturally ages and wrinkles are inevitable with a holistic approach we can extend the youthfulness of our skin.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which help to protect our skin from cellular damage caused by free radicals triggered by smoking, extensive sun exposure, pollution and other environmental factors.

Beta-carotene, found in oranges and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers and pumpkins, and lutein, found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, papaya and spinach are both important for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone.

Vitamin C is also a key component which increases the production of collagen, the protein that forms the scaffolding that keeps our skin firm and supple. Vitamin C also helps to strengthen the blood capillaries supplying blood to our skin with all the nourishing nutrients1.

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and works alongside vitamins C and E. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet may help protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots.

Including just 2-3 brazil nuts in your diet will provide the recommended daily amount of Selenium.
Mix Brazil nuts with other nuts and seeds rich in vitamin E as a snack or sprinkle them over a fresh salad. Fish, shellfish, eggs and broccoli are also good sources of Selenium2.

Zinc helps to control the functioning of oil-producing glands in the skin. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties help to repair skin damage and stimulate the healing process. Main sources of Zinc-rich foods include fish, poultry, lean red meat, nuts, seeds, whole-grains and oysters3.

Good fats act as a natural moisturiser for your skin which improve its elasticity. These fats include the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated which can be found in oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds.

Omega 3 fatty acid has anti-inflammatory properties which may help skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. You can find omega-3 in oily fish (salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel) as well as in plant based sources such as chia seeds, flaxseed, walnuts and rapeseed oil4.

Our skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Without moisture, skin cells become fragile and your lipid layer becomes tighter and less flexible, allowing for cracked or damaged skin.

Even mild dehydration can cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. The recommended daily water intake should be between 6-8 glasses of water and other liquids5.

If you work in an office, keep a large bottle of water on your desk to remind you to re-fill it and drink regularly. Herbal, teas are also great if you don’t like drinking just water. Some fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, cucumber and courgette, also contain water which contributes to your daily liquid intake.

Limit high-GI carbohydrates such as biscuits, pastries and sugary, fizzy drinks, as they stimulate the production of insulin, which may damage collagen and speed up the ageing process resulting in accelerated wrinkles6.

Repeated dieting – losing and gaining weight – can also take its toll on your skin, causing sagging, wrinkles and stretch marks. Short-term, calorie restricted diets are often deficient in essential vitamins and minerals too. Over a long period of time this type of dieting can also reflect on your skin’s appearance.

References
1. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659
2. sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X9490412X
3. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC41208004
4. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117694
5. nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/food-guidelines-and-food-labels/water-drinks-nutrition
6. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257617

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