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Eat your way to good skin

April 2018

Close up facial shot with scarf
Good food can help improve ageing skin

For men and women, sadly our skin does age. As we get older, that lovely fresh glow of youthful skin disappears to be replaced by a duller rougher surface. As more years go by, wrinkles, lines and age spots start to appear.

Today there is a host of different creams, lotions and other products for every skin type, but skin also needs to be nourished from within...and this means good nutrition.

Beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, healthy fats from oily fish and nuts...there are some key foods that can really help to keep your skin radiant and healthy.

Five of the most important foods to help nourish your skin are:

Fish full of good fats is a good place to start. Salmon, mackerel, sardines and other fish with good levels of omega-3 fatty acids help to combat inflammation and they also help to keep your cell membranes healthy. This helps to prevent harmful and ageing components getting into your skin, ensuring its optimum health.

The group of B vitamins can really help skin health, assisting with moisture retention and also fighting off redness. B vitamins are found in a range of foods including pork, poultry, fish, bread, eggs and soy beans, but getting adequate levels of B vitamins can sometimes be difficult in normal everyday diets. If this is of concern, it can easily be boosted by commercial nutritional yeast containing thiamine, folate, B6 and niacin.

Selenium is a vital mineral for the body and indeed the skin, helping to defend against free radical damage and inflammation. It really is a very powerful antioxidant and research suggests is can help to protect against skin cancer as well as sun damage and age spots. Brazil nuts are an easy way to boost your intake of selenium, but yellowfin tuna, halibut and sardines all have good levels too. Beef and turkey, eggs, walnuts and wheat germ can also assist in providing selenium.

Vitamin C is so important for many aspects of health, but as a super antioxidant it supports the immune system and promotes radiant skin and also helps to diminish any skin blemishes. Equally important, vitamin c is needed to produce collagen. Collagen has long been recognised as a major component of skin care as it strengthens the capillaries that supply oxygen to the skin. Vitamin C today is easy to find in everyday foods and is especially abundant in blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, oranges, strawberries and even in sweet potatoes.

Zinc is something we don’t talk a lot about, but we do really need adequate levels. It is especially important because of its involvement with the normal functioning of our sebaceous glands. These glands produce oil and the skin needs the right amount to repair skin damage and to keep skin soft and supple. Zinc can control the levels and help regular overactive oil glands. Interestingly low levels of zinc are often found in people who suffer from acne. Pumpkin seeds have been very popular lately because of their high levels of zinc, but fish, poultry, lean red meat, wholegrains, nuts and seeds and all good sources of zinc.

But of course the body is so complex that for the best possible skin, we all need to ensure a balanced diet including adequate levels of fruit and vegetables, water to keep us well hydrated and healthy fats too. But by keeping an eye on our diet, your normal skin care routine can be boosted to ensure that as the years creep by, you are doing all you can to minimise those signs of ageing!

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