If you want beautiful glowing skin you have to nurture it from the inside out by eating an array of fresh and wholesome foods. Many people say – ‘You are what you eat’ but I am a huge believer in ‘You are what you absorb.’
You firstly need to make sure your digestive system is working properly because if you can’t break down the food you digest, then your body won’t be able to properly absorb the nutrients. Lack of any nutrients can compromise the health and the stability of the skin however the below nutrients are the most important ones for your skin.
- Vitamin A – Vitamins A helps to slow down the ageing process. If you are deficient in Vitamin A it can also lead to dry and scaly skin. Good sources include eggs, spirulina, kidneys, all yellow and orange fruit and vegetables such as butternut squash, carrots, pumpkins, sweet potato, mangos, apricots etc.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is the main ingredients you need to produce collagen and improves elasticity for more toned-looking skin. Vitamin C is also great for cardiovascular health. Good sources of Vitamin C includeCitrus fruits, kiwi fruits, pumpkins, red peppers, radishes, parsley, guavas, green tea, watercress, kale, Brussel sprouts and more. Fun fact – Our RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin C is 1000mg however when we take vitamin C in a supplement/man made form our bodies are only able to absorb 10% of that. So you are better off eating the following great sources of vitamin C rather than supplementing:
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E acts as a soft internal moisturiser by strengthening membranes, it is also great to help reduce scarring. If you are deficient in vitamin E it can lead to shrinkage of collagen and increase in wrinkles. Good sources include nuts, seeds, eggs, avocados, leafy greens & wheat germ oil.
- Zinc – Zinc is required for synthesis of new generation of cells, it helps regulate oil glands and hormones. Good sources include oysters, dark chocolate, sesame seeds/tahini, nuts, lentils, eggs and ginger.
- Water – Our bodies are made up of 70% water, to help keep your skin looking plump you need to keep well hydrated. Caffeine and alcohol really dehydrate you so try and consume a glass of water each time alongside these beverages. You are hydrated when your urine is clear so aim to consume at least 1.5 to 2 litres a day and more if you are exercising.
- Fats – Don’t fear healthy fats at all. Fats in the diet are essential for the body to work normally. Vitamins A, D, E & K are fat soluble viatmins, meaning if you don’t consume these vitamins/foods with a source of fat your body won’t absorb the nutrient. Aim to include a healthy source or fat in every meal. Good sources included nuts and seeds, avocados, olives/olive oil, oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and herring and one of my personal favourites – coconut oil due to its antimicrobial properties.
- Liver support: Our bodies naturally detoxify themselves thanks to the liver, however there are ways in which we can help the process along as well as reduce inflammation. Start each day with a warm glass of water and lemon, take a break from alcohol, sugar, caffeine and dairy and start drinking teas that contain dandelion and milk thistle in them.
Other key nutrients which are a great help for the skin are proteins, vitamin D, selenium, silica and sulphur.
A lot of skin disorders are associated with nutritional deficiencies and disturbances. Try adding the above nutrients into your diet daily to make sure you are nourishing your body from the inside out. If all else fails and you’re not sure what to do – eat the rainbow!