How good nutrition can benefit skin
Many of my clients ask me if good nutrition can have a positive impact on the skin. My answer is always a resounding, yes!
For decades, people believed that many common dermatological conditions had no relationship to diet. Studies from recent years, however, have made it clear that a nutritious diet can help keep your skin healthy and glowing.
As a dietician, I see first hand that consuming healthier leads to better-looking skin. The reverse is true as well- the less attention we pay to what we eat, the more problems we may see cropping up in our skin.
Poor nutrition could lead to skin that is sallow, dry, and older-looking skin. It won’t happen overnight but starve your skin long enough, and it will start to show.
What’s more, some health experts say that when your diet is missing certain foods, it can result in serious skin problems. You may find yourself suddenly breaking out in acne, psoriasis or eczema. Several chronic skin problems can be directly linked to diet.
Let’s take a look at how proper nutrition can lead to healthy, glowing skin.
The effects of good nutrition on the ageing process
Many of us (including myself) sometimes wish we could turn back the clock. Unfortunately, we can’t reverse ageing, but we can minimise the sun’s damaging effects by eating certain foods. Skin wrinkling, for example, has been associated with diets that have a high intake of vegetables, legumes and olive oil. The consumption of vitamin C and linoleic acid with a lower intake of carbohydrates and fat has shown to improve skin’s elasticity.
Good nutrition helps with common skin problems.
Diet alone won’t get rid of skin problems, but research shows that some conditions can be vastly be improved by healthy food. For instance, eliminating processed bread and snacks, and increasing your vitamin A intake can be useful for treating acne and psoriasis. On the other hand, foods rich in Vitamin C can help wounds heal, and Vitamins D and E can reduce skin inflammation.
Check out how a balanced diet helped my client improve the look and feel of her skin in 2 months:
Good nutrition helps protect you from the sun.
You may be surprised to learn that what you eat can help protect you from ageing that’s caused by the sun’s UV light. A heart-healthy, vitamin D rich diet has been found to protect skin from the sun. Of course, this isn’t an excuse to ditch the sunscreen!
Some diet tips for glowing skin
I find these dietary changes very helpful for managing skin conditions in my clients:
- Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day: choose a variety of colourful fruits and veggies for the best results.
- Consume enough vitamin C: you can find vitamin C in blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes.
- Get enough selenium in your body: Brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, wheatgerm, tomatoes and broccoli are good sources.
- Cut the carbs—Swop out white processed foods for whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, crackers or pasta.
- Limit your sugar intake: try natural sweeteners such as honey and stevia.
- Boost your vitamin E intake: Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and corn oils.
- Get good fats: Fats from olive oil and sesame oil are good alternatives to margarine and vegetable oil.
- Up your vitamin D intake. Include leafy greens and beans in your diet
- Eat the right proteins. Lean proteins such as fish and chicken and fish are excellent choices. Oily fish such as salmon are highly beneficial since they contain omega-3 fatty acids.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day
Eating with good nutrition in mind is vital to your overall health — and the health of your skin. Of course, not everyone can follow the same diet. Some people have special dietary requirements or certain skin conditions that may require them to omit or include some foods. Others need a specialised nutritional plan to get them on the right track. This is where the help of a qualified dietitian will come in handy.