How the diet affects our skin health?
Skin ages naturally due to intrinsic factors, like genetics, age. Alongside this, our skin changes due to extrinsic factors, that can cause premature ageing of skin. UV exposure, pollution levels, medication, hormones, stress, skin routine, sleep routine, smoking habits, our diet and more.
Skin cells regenerate every 28 days, which is why it is important to eat healthy food at all times.
We know that the skin is nourished from within, and that a poor diet reflects on the outside. This is visible on the skin, as well as the hair and nails, and, more broadly, on our entire body.
Healthy skin not only makes you look good, but it is also an indicator of your overall health.
Like all other organs in your body, your skin processes nutrients from the food you eat and uses them to fortify and renew itself.
Natural ingredients in your food can hasten exfoliation and cell renewal while also protecting your skin from UV damage, which causes brown spots and wrinkles. As a result, a healthy diet tailored to your specific requirements can have a significant impact on your skin, hair, and overall appearance.
Proper nutrition helps our skin age better. Eating the right foods can improve skin elasticity, facial wrinkling, roughness and color, all of which lead to a better skin appearance.
Is there a link between gut health and skin?
Our bodies are nourished from within by the food we eat. We’re all aware of how our diet affects the health of our internal organs. But what about the largest organ in the body? Here’s what our skin’s physical condition says about our diet.
The interconnectivity of all systems, internal and external. For example, it is thought that redness on the face indicates that one of your internal organs is in distress.This approach was the first based on treating skin issues internally, trying to combat the cause rather than just the symptoms.
We need to take a look at the relationship between diet and healthy skin. Many skin conditions are caused by poor nutrition and inflammatory foods, and our diet can even help prevent signs of premature aging.
It’s essential to know which foods to avoid for healthy skin if you want to improve your skin condition through diet.
Common skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis were often linked to internal inflammation and diet. In order to reduce acne and dry skin, it is advised to avoid inflammatory foods such as:
- Sugar, added sugars, syrups and fructose
- Refined carbohydrates
- Processed meats
- Trans fats
Trans fats are made via hydrogenation, an industrial process that aims to prolong the shelf life of foods.
- Food intolerances: such as gluten or lactose intolerance, can have an inflammatory effect that shows on our skin. It often results in red patches and a rash. So it is recommended to do a food intolerance test.
Following a naturally healthy anti-inflammatory diet may reduce the chances of internal issues from developing from the source, as your skin is nourished from the inside out.
What can we eat to improve our skin?
Nourishing your body with the right nutrients is a proven way to maintain a glowing, more youthful complexion. Here are a few key nutrients to ensure you’re always including in your diet:
“A nourished body is the result of a healthy state of the skin”
Vitamin C: Is a powerful antioxidant, reduce wrinkles and fights skin ageing, provides protection from environmental stress and firms skin by undoing sun damage to elastin and collagen. Vitamin C: Found in oranges, strawberries, kiwis, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and potatoes. This vitamin is involved in creating collagen which provides structure to the skin. It is also an antioxidant and is involved in wound healing.
Vitamin A: Promote new skin cell production, keeping skin firm and healthy, hydrating your skin. Yellow & Orange Fruit and Vegetables: Yellow fruit and vegetables are also full of retinol, a Vitamin A1 that can reverse acne and wrinkle formation. Vitamin A: Present in the form of retinol in liver, dairy products, eggs, salmon and in the form of beta-carotene in green leafy vegetables, carrots, pumpkin, bell peppers, sweet potato, apricot and mango.
Vitamin E: Is an antioxidant, protects skin from inflammation and sun damage. It keeps your skin soft, it has an antiaging power. Vitamin E: Found in a variety of nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, avocado, sunflower oil, safflower oil and in certain fortified foods.
Omega-3s and Omega-6s: Makes skin smoother (moisturizing) and protects its natural barrier to lock in moisture, adding a natural glow to your skin. Omega 3 fatty acids help fight auto immune and inflammatory issues like psoriasis and lupus, even fighting pigmentation. Found in oily fish (like salmon, oysters, sardine, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines and pilchards), walnuts, peanuts, chia seeds.
CoQ10: Supports healthy cell function, and when applied topically, can diminish signs of aging.
Selenium: Protects skin from free radicals, which cause signs of aging like dry skin, wrinkles, and tissue damage. Found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, tomatoes, Brazil nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Selenium protects the skin by acting as an antioxidant. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant to fight sun damage, dark spots and ageing.
Antioxidants: Natural antioxidants like berries and mushrooms slows and prevents skin damage caused by free radicals the harmful toxins found in skin.
Lutein: found in vegetables such as kale and spinach can fight free radicals while protecting against UV rays. Chlorophyll, the green pigment in these foods, also has powerful anti inflammatory properties.
Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free Foods. Avoid common food allergies such as lactose and gluten in your diet. Cutting out foods we’re allergic to will reduce inflammatory symptoms showing in our skin.
Zinc: Found in red meat, oysters, crab, lobster, poultry, dairy products, beans, nuts, wholegrains and fortified breakfast cereals. Zinc plays an important role in wound healing and reducing UV damage.
Collagen: Collagen is a protein and is one of the main building blocks of our skin. It makes up almost 75% of the skin. Unfortunately, collagen degrades as we age. Sometimes, lifestyle factors like smoking and increased stress can further speed up collagen breakdown. They keep the skin firm and prevent sagging. Plant-based protein: chickpeas, quinoa, the combination of cereals with legumes or nuts. Animal protein: eggs, chicken, fish and dairy products.
Copper: essential for skin defence, cell regeneration and maintaining barrier function. Lentils, Nuts, Oilseeds, Avocados are some excellent sources of copper.
How to know which types of food and nutrients we actually need?
- Starting with a Nutrition Consultation Questionnaire, done by a Registered Nutritionist and Dietitian.
- Followed by measuring the level of Vitamins and Minerals in your body.
- Food intolerance Test to know which types of food are suitable for you and your gut.
Eat your way to a fabulous skin
While there are many external things we can do to improve our skin health (a great skincare routine, good sleep, hydration, exercise, skincare treatments, and so on), there is no doubt that truly healthy skin begins on the inside.
Healthy skin is a lot more than just the products you use on it. As the old saying goes: “ Beauty comes from within”.
Our skin’s health is a representation of our overall health. A well-balanced diet and plenty of water are likely to promote healthy, youthful skin, whereas a poor diet can lead to dull, dry, and older-looking skin. Whether you have specific skin conditions or not, it is important to know that eating a healthy diet is a preventative measure for your skin. The sooner you begin to care for your body, the better off you will be in the long run.