In this week’s blog, we catch up with Nutritional Therapist Sinead Gibbons who shares with us her expert advice on how correct food choices influence our skin.
I am frequently asked by clients for advice on long-term skin-care and in particular, what can be done to maintain a youthful look. Being the largest organ in the human body it is important that the skin is given sufficient attention when it comes to nutrition. Here I will provide some tips which will help ensure your skin stays healthy for years to come.
A diet consisting of fresh, unprocessed foods is important for the health of our skin and reduces the rate of skin degeneration. The flexibility of collagen and elastin fibres within our skin declines in time due to damage by oxidants but we can limit this by eating a diet high in antioxidants. Important antioxidants for our skin include Vitamin A, C, E and selenium.
So what foods will nourish my skin from within?
- Many vegetables but particularly those which are yellow and orange in colour are high in beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. Examples include sweet potatoes, butternut squash, mangos and peppers.
- Foods which are high in Vitamin C include strawberries, spinach, broccoli and oranges. Maintaining healthy levels will reduce the free-radical damage to our skin caused by sun exposure and pollution. Make a breakfast smoothie with fruit and vegetables twice a week and have either fruit or vegetables as snack options the other days
- Sulphur rich foods help keep the skin smooth and youthful, examples include garlic, onions, eggs and asparagus. Add garlic and onions to your stir-fry’s and curries
- Include healthy fats in your diet. The membranes of our skin cells are made from essential fats. The oil acts as a defense preventing excessive evaporation of moisture from the skin’s top layers, a lack of which can result in dry skin. You can get your healthy fats from fish, avocados, nuts and seeds. Sprinkle seeds in your salad or include in a smoothie, replace mayonnaise with avocado.
- Zinc is contained in foods such as brazil nuts and oats and controls both oil production in our skin and the generation of new skin cells. Low levels of Zinc in the body can result in stretch marks and poor healing as well as acne and eczema. Eat porridge or overnight oats for breakfast. Brazil nuts are also a good source of selenium, another important antioxidant.
- Vitamin E rich foods help to both delay the aging process and prevent skin pigmentation. The top food sources of Vitamin E include almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes and avocado. Almond butter or avocado on oat crackers, sweet potatoes with fish and omelette with spinach are all easy combinations to increase vitamin E levels in your daily diet.
- Drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day. Water in the skin cells keeps them plumped up, healthy and youthful looking. Without enough water all the cells in our body become dehydrated and we lose the plumpness and structure of our skin.
Sinead’s Top Tips
- Avoid fried foods; heat-processed vegetable oils and junk food. These foods are oxidants and bring on the signs of ageing damage. Replace processed vegetables oils with coconut oil, olive oil and nut oils
- Alcohol and caffeine have a diuretic effect on the body causing us to lose fluids and essential minerals. Replace coffee with herbal teas and limit your alcohol intake.
- Look for skincare products that contain only natural ingredients and are kind to the skin such as VOYA.
Did You Know:
VOYA prides itself on creating highly effective, exceptional skincare products within an ethos of sustainability and certified organic standards applied from shore to shelf.
If the above seems to be a long way removed from your current daily routine, please remember that even small changes gradually progressed over time will provide significant benefits over the long-term.
‘Invest in your skin; it is going to represent you for a very long time’ – Linden Tyler
Sinead Gibbons is a Nutritional Therapist based in Blessington Co Wicklow, Sinead provides expert guidance to those who are interested in maximising their health potential giving individual nutritional and lifestyle advice.