As is evident by the number of filters available on most photo apps these days, most people desire radiant, glowing, healthy-looking skin. However, while they may take time and spend a fortune to moisturise and protect their skin externally, not many ensure their diet provides the necessary nutrients needed for healthy skin.
The skin is the largest organ in the body covering approx. 1.8m2 and has many important functions such as forming a barrier against disease and injury and regulating the body’s temperature. From a nutritionist’s perspective, the skin is a good indicator of what’s happening within the body with regards to the patient’s nutritional status and its appearance is often used to help identify nutrient deficiencies. For example, dry skin can indicate a lack of essential fats or pale lifeless skin a lack of B vitamins.
Your diet or supplement regime can have a major impact on the appearance of your skin. Here are some key elements to consider: -
Nurture your skin from within
The membranes of every cell in your body are made up of essential fatty acids (EFAs). If you have dry or sensitive skin, you are probably deficient in EFAs. EFAs are available in abundance in our diet from vegetable oils, oily fish, nuts and seeds. However, many people don’t get the amounts they need through their diet alone and turn to supplements such as Omega Fish Oils to increase their intake of EFA’s.
Tackling your lines and wrinkles
Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day will have a significant effect on the way your skin looks and feels. Water rehydrates the cells in your skin, plumping them up and smoothing out lines and wrinkles. Water also helps flush toxins from the body giving your skin a clearer appearance.
Protecting your skin against sun damage is very important. The sun's ultraviolet light can cause major damage to the skin. In addition to sunburn, more long-lasting effects such as reduce elasticity and premature exposure to the sun. Antioxidants are nature’s answer to reducing the impact of UV exposure on the skin. Taking antioxidants will not stop you burning but they can help to reduce the damage done by the UV. UV creates free radicals damage within the skin and antioxidants help to reduce their effect within the body.
Vitamins A, C and E are excellent antioxidants and have long been used topically in face creams but taking these nutrients internally will be more effective in maintaining the long-term health of your skin as internal consumption gets nutrients into every layer of the skin as opposed to only the top few layers.
Support your skin’s building blocks
Collagen gives your skin it’s strength and structure and accounts for approximately 70% of its volume. Collagen is one of the most common proteins found in our bodies, as it’s one of the substances that helps to hold our bodies together with it being found in the muscles, bones, skin and tendons. Our bodies can produce collagen naturally, but production reduces as we get older. It’s the decline of Collagen production that causes fine lines and wrinkles and weakens joint cartilage.
These recommendations may take a few weeks to show and are not instant fixes. However, in time, they will benefit not just your skin but many other parts of the body also. As they say ‘beauty isn’t only skin deep’.