We're often focused on rejuvenating skin through the use of topical skincare products. However, in order to achieve a truly youthful complexion, it's vital that we consider what goes inside our bodies too. A nutritious diet is fundamental in optimising skin health and preventing ageing. Hundreds of studies have confirmed that we can improve both the length and quality of our lives and our appearance through the food we eat.
Fresh fruit and vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, fibre, enzymes and antioxidants, all of which are essential for skin health. Antioxidants counteract the effects of free radicals, molecules linked to cell damage which can cause disease and premature ageing. The Aggregate Nutritient Density Index (ANDI) rates foods on a basis of nutrient content and is a good reference in helping you to choose the most nutritious foods. They say five a day is a minimum recommendation!
Consuming 6 to 8 glasses of water per day (more if you're exercising) keeps your body adequately hydrated. Water ensures the skin retains optimal moisture and volume, helping to keep it supple and preventing premature ageing. I know when I haven’t drank much water in a day, I notice that my forehead has wrinkles.
Protein rich foods
Collagen fibres and all of the skin’s cells are composed of structural proteins created within your own body. Regular intake of dietary protein is essential for skin health. In addition to quality organic meat , eggs and fish, vegetable protein sources are also important. Consume beans, pulses, unroasted nuts and seeds regularly.
Not all fat is bad!
Healthy essential fats are needed for keeping skin supple and moisturised from the inside. Omega 3s are often lacking in our diets and deficiency can contribute to problems such as dry skin and eczema. Include oily fish, sea foods, unroasted nuts/seeds and avocado in you diet.
Alfalfa, chlorella, spirulina, barley and wheat grass are potent antioxidants and have an alkalising effect, helping maintain a healthy PH balance and preventing inflammation. These are widely available and can be juiced or taken in supplement form.
If you include these foods in your diet regularly you can be sure that you're doing everything you can to keep your appearance youthful, from the inside out.