180 Nutrition: You are what you eat. Many times we have heard that line but did you know it also applies to your skin? We spend time and money on purchasing the best serums and treatments in a bid to have clear, healthy skin. However, our diet also plays a significant part, something Australians are quickly realising. The population has embraced the healthy eating revolution, including consumption of superfoods. In 2015 alone, Australia saw a 10 percent increase in superfood launches, preceded only by the USA. What we put into our body is reflected and with our skin, it is no different. It is important to feed our skin the right nutrient it needs, similar to us amending our diet for better overall health. If you are wondering how you can eat your way to better skin, here are some handy tips to keep in mind while in the kitchen.
Hydration is paramount
Lack of hydration can manifest itself as dry, flaky and tight skin. The benefits of drinking adequate water have been shown in several studies, from aiding digestion to regulating body temperature and circulation. The same applies to the health of your skin. In addition to dryness, lack of hydration can also affect your body’s resilience, making it more prone to fine lines.
Hydration does not have to be limited to water. Fruits and vegetables with high water content such as watermelon and cucumbers along with beverages such as green tea are great for incorporating into your diet and keeping your body hydrated. In addition, look for a moisturizer designed for hydration and serums with hyaluronic acid, a product shown to hold 1,000 times its weight in moisture.
Keep your diet colourful
A diet based on fresh unprocessed food is a great start. Feeding your body a colorful diet helps you achieve your recommended daily vitamin intake which is essential for skin health. Fruits and vegetables yellow and orange in color are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants. Vitamin C has been shown to encourage collagen synthesis and in some cases, treat UV induced photodamage. Superfood additions such as organic cacao are great inclusions as well. Not only does cacao have incredibly high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants, it can also provide hydration for your skin. Data published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology supported this by showing increased skin hydration and collagen levels.
According to the 2016 CSIRO Healthy Diet Score Study, Australians’ diets are falling behind with only 49 percent meeting their recommended fruit intake and less than 7 percent consuming their recommended vegetable intake. For those dealing with dry and red skin conditions such as eczema, avoiding spicy foods and a diet rich in healthy fats such as avocados and nuts can help them calm their skin and provide relief from the inside out. These foods are also rich in Omega 3 and vitamin E, which help to protect your skin from oxidative damage.
Your gut health counts
Our gut is tasked with absorbing the nutrients from our food, to fuel our body. With that in mind, many skin conditions such as rosacea, dry skin and acne all have a common link: gut health or rather lack of. With our gut being responsible for absorbing the nutrients needed, if our gut is not in good shape then our bodies are working at a disadvantage even if we are eating the needed foods. To keep our gut in its best shape try adding fiber-rich foods to your diet such as whole wheat pasta and rice in addition to prebiotics either through dietary intakes such as yogurts and kefir or supplements. L-Glutamine supplements is an excellent way to boost your metabolism, intake of fiber and conditions associated with digestive health including rosacea and ulcers.
The right nutrition is key to your skin’s health. While there are many topical treatments, the first step to healthy skin is by feeding your skin the nutrients needed and giving it care from the inside. With the right balance of foods, you can give your skin the support it needs today.
This article was written by Jane Munro a health enthusiast and freelance writer.