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Feed your face



Outer beauty starts with inner health. When it comes to skin care, anti ageing and wellness, diet is the fundamental factor that underpins all of the above.

When we think about improving our health, improving our diet is often one of our first thoughts. Whether our goal is to lose weight or simply eat more healthily, changing our diet and sticking to it in the long term is a challenge.

Before attempting to make changes to our diet and eating behaviours, I think we should first take a step back and actually look at what we are eating on a day-to -day basis. Hectic lifestyles, eating on the go and missing meals means that sometimes we can deviate from our diet plans despite our best intentions.

It is also worth reflecting on the effect certain foods have on you.
For example, for many years I have suffered with acne. I never thought about how what I ate could affect my skin. This was until I cut out dairy for a short period as I had come to the conclusion that it was making me bloated. The result was as I had hoped; my bloating reduced when I was dairy free, but I also had the unexpected side effect that my skin improved dramatically at the same time. After years of eating dairy, I never recognised the link that flare-ups in my skin were often linked to times when overindulged in dairy without a second thought.

Based on my own experience, I think anyone wanting to improve their skin, health and wellbeing, should take the time to understand how foods affect them.

Everything in moderation is mantra to embrace. All too often in a quest to lose weight, we exclude essential components of our diet to meet our short-term goals. This is counterproductive for our skin, inner health and maintaining a stable, healthy weight in the long term.

Fad diets offer a quick fix at best. Adopting a healthy, balanced diet combined with regular and varied exercise is the only way to meet our goals and maintain them.

Certain food groups, now frequently referred to as superfoods, contain key nutrients which have unique properties to heal and promote physical health and optimise wellness. Many of which have a significant impact on our skin. I’ve put together a summary which shows which vitamins and minerals help improve certain skin conditions.


Antioxidants
Foods high in antioxidants protect the skin from free radical damage that causes ageing.

Foods high in anti oxidants include; berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, Acai berries.



Red beans such as kidney beans and pinto beans are also rich in anti oxidants. Their skins are packed with flavonoids such as anthocyanin which have anti oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Collagen stimulating
Vitamins C and E are collagen stimulating vitamins. They are found in citrus fruits.



Vitamin A is essential for skin health. It can be found in yogurt, cheese, many fruits and vegetables.

Anti inflammatory

Skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema are all driven by inflammation. Anti inflammatory foods include salmon, mackerel, spinach, broccoli and flaxseed.




The ultimate anti inflammatory food is turmeric. Add a teaspoon to dishes or juices.




Anti-acne

Foods rich in anti inflammatory properties can help stabilise spot prone skin. Zinc and selenium levels are often low in people with acne. Boost your levels with brazil nuts, eggs and oysters.




Take home points…..

In summary diet has a great influence on our skin, inner health and general wellness. Diet and nutrition is vast and interesting topic. To avoid getting bogged down with too many details this is my diet shortlist to remember……..

Drink WATER – 2 litres per day does the job. Keep a bottle with you and sip it throughout the day.




We all NEED FAT.

Avoid saturated fats. Opt for “good fats” like polyunsaturated fats which contain essential fatty acids like omega 3. Adopting the Mediterranean style of eating and choosing extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, and oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines is a great way to achieve this.




EXERCISE

Exercise is essential for physical strength, toned body, mental wellbeing and glowing skin. Don’t forgot, to exercise to our optimum potential we need energy. Energy comes from carbohydrates. So don’t cut out the carbs completely. Opt for low GI options like brown breads, wholegrains and wholewheat pasta.




EAT WELL BE HAPPY

And remember, life is boring if we restrict ourselves too much. Be happy and make sure you treat yourself every once in a while :)