Nutrition Leads to Healthy Skin by Ceileigh McKersie
Our society has an obsession with healthy skin. We hate wrinkles, acne, & blemishes. Your skin is an outside indicator for your internal health.
When we have skin based disorders, they are very often outside manifestations of toxicity, mineral imbalances, oxidative stress, and inflammatory processes that are taking place within the body. Many natural food sources rich in anti-oxidants and minerals help to balance this internal stress and fight aging.
We need antioxidants because they neutralise free radicals (which are chemicals which damage cells in the body-promoting aging). When free radicals build up they produce a substance called lipofucsin which is deposited in the skin-most commonly on the face or your hands. We refer to these deposits as age spots or liver spots, but they are actually just free radical deposits. The most common antioxidants are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and minerals such as selenium and zinc. By following a basic, healthy diet, rich in natural foods you should naturally get enough of these antioxidants which will help to break down the lipofuscin before it is deposited.
Ideas of antioxidant meals include:
• Strawberry, blueberry or gooseberry smoothie
• Avocado on cracker bread
• Fish or salmon salad with peppers, tomatoes, mango and linseeds
• Tomato salsa on mini rice cakes
• Add nuts to your salads
• Sweet potato with cottage cheese and caramelised onion
• All green vegetables such as broccoli, peas, green beans, spinach and celery
• Carrot and ginger juice
Skin based disorders are visible signs and symptoms of a mineral or vitamin deficiencies, for example:
• Easily bruised skin: lack of Vitamin C and K
• Small red spots on your skin: Vitamin C
• Sores at the corner of your mouth or ulcers : Vitamin B
• Slow healing of wounds: Vitamin A, C, E and zinc
• Scaly, dry, flaky skin: Vitamin A, B complex, and zinc
• Eczema or a rash: Vitamin A, B complex and zinc • Pale skin/anaemia: Vitamin A, B complex and iron
It is impossible to apply these vitamins and minerals to our skin, therefore we have to consume food sources high in these vitamins and minerals in order to keep our skin young and healthy.
The table below gives examples of foods high in specific vitamins and minerals:
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is great for healthy skin, but there are other ways to maximise the antioxidants that you get from your healthy diet such as:
• Eat loads of fruit and vegetables every day.
• Increase your use of herbs and spices such as ginger, turmeric, rosemary, sage and thyme as these are high in antioxidants.
• Get as much vitamin E as you can into your diet by adding olive oil and rapeseed oils to your meals.
• Maintain a healthy body weight, weight fluctuations reduce the elasticity of your skin leading to wrinkles.
• Cleanse and moisturise your face in the morning and the evening to remove toxins from the skin.
• Avoid smoking. Smokers need 40% more vitamin C than non-smokers.
• Stay out of the sun.
• Avoid stress.
• Avoid excessive alcohol.
Nutritional Advisor and Life Coach.
BA, PGCE, DipNH (NH Inst.), DipLC (LC Inst.)