Eat your way to glowing skin

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on expensive skin creams and lotions, a true glowing radiant skin comes from the inside. The skin is the largest organ of the body and one of the first places to show signs of low nutrient intake and nutritional deficiencies.

Cut down on the baddies

Processed food – Processed food tends to be high in salt, sugar and artificial additives and flavour and low in nutritional value. If we are not getting adequate nutrients to the skin, the skin is unable to function at its optimum leading to dry, devitalised skin and possible breakouts.

Sugar – Sugar depletes the body of nutrients, particularly magnesium which can lead to dull devitalised skin. We also know that sugar can accelerate the aging process by forming advanced glycation end products or AGE’s in the body. This can lead to stiffening and cross linking of collagen and cell structures leading to premature ageing and skin discolouration or pigmentation.

Deep fried food – Deep fried foods such as french fries, fried chicken and potato chips can cause cell damage in the body by increasing the production of detrimental free radicals or unstable molecules that latch on to healthy cells. Frying oil at high temperatures can cause the oil to break down, losing its nutrient value and at worse creating inflammatory toxic compounds that may lead to accelerated ageing.

BBQ food – Browned, roasted or chargrilled food can create toxic compounds called acrylamides. The darker, crispier the food and the higher the starch content, the more acrylamides it contains. Acrylamides have been linked to being carcinogenic in lab rats and therefore there are concerns about potential carcinogenic properties of eating browned or grilled foods for humans.

Alcohol – Alcohol is high in sugar and can rob the body of nutrients such as magnesium and the B vitamins. The B vitamins are particularly important for cellular energy and hydrated skin. If we are low in B vitamins, redness, dryness and scaly skin can result such as dermatitis type skin reactions.

Top foods for glowing skin

Salmon and oily fish – Oily fish contains the skin loving anti-inflammatory Omega 3 essential fatty acids. These fats are called essential as the body cannot manufacture them, they must be supplied via the diet. Omega 3 essential fats help to reduce inflammation in the body and strengthen cell integrity which is important for soft, hydrated, glowing skin.

Berries – Blueberries and blackberries are rich in powerful antioxidants called proanthrocyanins which protect the cells from damage and premature ageing. The darker the fruit, usually the higher the proanthrocyanin content and therefore the more beneficial for the skin.

Grapeseed – Grapeseed extract and even grapes are high in antioxidants. The more antioxidants we eat the more our cells are protected from oxidative stress which leads to premature ageing. Grapeseed extract can be purchased from local health stores and can do wonders to promote healthy radiant skin.

Walnuts – Walnuts are high in fibre, omega 3 and omega 6, magnesium and vitamin B6 which help with keeping skin cells, hormones and mood healthy. Walnuts can help prevent redness and dryness in the skin leaving a smoother, clear complexion.

Carrots – Carrots are full of fibre but are also rich in antioxidants to protect skin cells from damage. Eating carrots regularly may also protect the skin from UV induced oxidative stress and premature ageing plus carrots are wonderful for keeping the immune system strong and healthy.

Water - Keeping hydrated is important because we naturally tend to drink less water during the cold winter months. When we don’t drink enough fluids our skin can become devitalised and lose turgor. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go to encourage you to stay hydrated and choose non caffeinated herbal teas.

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