Can the foods we eat make us look, as well as feel great?
Great Skin is not always a reflection of expensive beauty products; smooth, glowing skin is often an indication of good inner health. The changes you make don’t have to be big, studies have found that eating just one extra portion of fruit or veg a day can give you healthier, rosier looking skin in weeks!
Foods like Spinach and kale are rich in vitamin K that can help keep skin firm, prevent fine lines and reduce inflammation and redness. Almonds and sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E that protects skin from UV damage and contains antioxidants that fight the free radicals in the body that produce dry skin and acne. While citrus fruits and red berries are high in vitamin C that assists in the production of collagen and strengthen the immune system, reducing the appearance of blemishes. Chicken and Tofu are a good source of linoleic acid which improves skin dryness, puffiness and swelling.
Great visual health is directly linked to a varied diet rich in vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids that protect the functionality of the eyes and delay the signs of ageing.
Lutein is a carotenoid found in green, leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, peas and broccoli. It is thought to be particularly important for good eye health as it has been found to delay the effect of eye clouding and age-related degeneration. So for eyes, that sparkle, aim to consume at least 10mg of Lutein a day.
You don’t need hair to look great but brittle, dry hair can be a sign of micronutrient deficiency that can leave you looking and feeling flat.
Hair breakages and increased shedding is observed more frequently in those deficient in Iron, Zinc and Vitamin D, as all three play an important role in maintaining healthy hair follicles. For stronger, shinier hair, consume shellfish, meats, legumes or spinach that are high in Iron and Zinc and get out and about in the sun for at least 15-20 minutes a day to top up your Vitamin D levels.
What to avoid
Sugar – refined carbohydrates create free radicals that bind to collagen, weakening the elasticity and thickness of the skin causing premature ageing. High sugar diets can also create spikes in insulin and androgens that bind to hair follicles and can accelerate hair loss.
Caffeine and alcohol – too much caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate your skin cells leaving you looking tired and washed out. Consumption also leads to collagen loss, highlighting fine lines, sagging and wrinkles. Finally, both alcohol and caffeine interfere with nutrient absorption thereby exaggerating vitamin and mineral deficiencies and accelerating eye, hair and skin cell deterioration.
Posted 8 February, 2020