by Naturopathic Nutrition Coach, Jessica Shand
The skin is the body’s biggest organ and how it presents itself to the outside world is down to a combination of age, genetic inheritance, hormones and lifestyle. Whilst we can’t change our genes, we can take control of how we feed our skin, in terms of the skincare products we apply and how we fuel our bodies with the natural beauty foods it needs in order for it to thrive!
I’m a big believer in the importance of nurturing not only the visible outer skin but also what lies beneath, as the skin is often the biggest reflection of the health of our insides.
Glowing skin starts in the gut. Yes you read correctly, 70% of the immune system is located in the gut so it’s really no surprise to learn what we put in our mouths in terms of food will have an impact on how our skin looks, feels and behaves.
Skin won’t look its best if it’s not being nourished with the vital skin-feeding vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to truly glow. So, with this in mind it’s time to pay attention to your health in general, starting with these skin-supporting cornerstones to help boost your complexion from the inside-out…
Eat the rainbow
Nourish your skin from within by ensuring you’re eating a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables, so focus on adding these to your meals as much as you can to improve your overall intake of these all important, skin and health boosting phytochemicals. The high fibre content of these foods will aid your digestive system in getting rid of toxins built up in the body, and as a result, will help prevent breakouts and generally help to optimise the wellbeing of your skin.
Be smart with your snacks
Consistent refined sugar consumption from snacks like chocolate, sweets and energy drinks will cause spikes in your blood sugar levels, resulting in a negative impact on your skin (not to mention your digestive system.)
To avoid this and limit the desire to eat your routine sugary snacks, ensure your breakfast and lunches are made up of slow release and satisfying energy sources. When it comes to lunch, go for a portion of quality lean protein, wholegrains and vegetables. When you do want to snack, be smart and replace your regular refined-sugar culprits with nutrient dense options including; raw nuts and fruit, nut butter in smoothies, homemade energy balls and fresh and dried fruit– (snack inspo and recipes can be found at @eatnourishandglow)
Make Omega-3 fatty acids your new best friend
Omega-3 fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body providing you with the amazing nutrients it needs to look and feel its best (whilst also being a super food for your hair and nails too). Make sure you’re having at least 2/3 portions of omega-3 fatty acids per week by eating salmon, sardines, anchovies, walnuts and almonds. Salmon is particularly beneficial for the skin as it contains many health-boosting nutrients helping to boost collagen production.
Hydration is key (and we’re not talking about your favourite glass of blush)
Alcohol triggers inflammation in the skin, so whilst it’s fine to have a few glasses of alcohol at the weekend, drinking too regularly will show up on your face.
Make sure you are consciously aware of how much you’re drinking and don’t fall into habits that might be hard to break! Excessive amounts of caffeine will have a similar effect to alcohol and may cause skin to flare-ups and dehydration. Stay hydrated by sipping filtered water throughout the day and remember to aim to drink eight glasses every day. Keep a refillable bottle by your side at all times as a good reminder to keep filling it back up. Your skin will thank you for it - I promise!
Go nuts for nuts!
Most raw nuts (not the salty kind you get with your glass of wine at your local) are packed FULL of skin-loving healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that will benefit the skin whilst providing you with a good source of slow release energy, making them great to snack on and to add to your salads and smoothies.
Walnuts are particularly beneficial as they are high in healthy fats, anti-inflammatory and excellent for treating angry skin and breakouts as they work to target the infection in the sebaceous glands of the skin. They are also one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
For more expert nutrition tips, plans and inspiration, head to www.eatnourishandglow.com