You are what you eat has never been more true when it comes to having radiant skin. Our CRC team share some of their tips to help you nourish your skin inside and out.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away and it’s no wonder when fruit (and vegetables) are packed with powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants are needed to protect the skin from cellular damage caused by free radicals a result of smoking, pollution and sunlight leaving your skin with wrinkles and age spots.
Greens are what I eat a lot of and lots of vegetables – I try to mix it up by putting as much colour on my plate as I can; the more colourful the better for you. Ingredients like beta-carotene found in pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes, and lutein, found in kale, papaya, and spinach are powerful antioxidants encouraging normal skin cell development and gives you a healthy skin tone.
Try to spend time making home cooked meals rather than relying on take out or nights out eating. I love good food and cooking and believe in the French mantra of not wasting my calories on rubbish! Enjoy what you eat; it’s one of life’s pleasures.
When recommending diet suggestions to my clients I tend to suggest increasing their intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. These fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds making it the ideal ingredient for clients suffering from inflammatory skin conditions. Because our bodies are unable to make these essential fatty acids, we need to get them through the diet. Omega-3s can be found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, and plant sources like flaxseed oil, linseeds, walnut and rapeseed – include these in your salad or when lightly frying. Try to eat fish at least 3 times a week if you can.
If you want to increase the amount of fish in your diet, search out a good fishmonger or store that sells fresh fish by asking friends or do a web search. That way you know what is fresh, where the produce has come from, and the staff can provide you with expert advice and tips on storing, preparing and cooking.
In my work I’ve seen a lot of problem skin due to crash dieting as well as the scars resulting from poor diet choices. The rollercoaster ride of losing and regaining weight can take its toll on your skin. Sagging, wrinkles, stretch marks and poor skin condition are just some of the damage resulting from crash dieting because they are often short in essential vitamins. Over a period of time you can imagine how your skin will appear without the nourishment of vitamins, minerals and key antioxidants.
I like to include Brazil nuts in my diet. That’s because I only need four of these nuts to provide me with the recommended daily amount of selenium – a potent antioxidant which is great for the immune system I also try to mix it with other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C. Food like eggs, tomatoes, and broccoli are always good to have in the fridge because they are great to whip up an easy lunch and its good for me.
Don’t be afraid of fat – natural fats. I love avocados, butter, fish, nuts and seeds and not just because they taste great they are good for your skin. They are like a natural pot of cream for skin providing essential fatty acids acting like a natural moisturiser, keeping skin supple and hydrated. Added with a good moisturiser, your skin will look and feel amazing – best of both worlds! Vitamin E is also important and I find many of our clients lack this vitamin but it’s important to have in our diets to protect against free radical damage.
Like most people I know, I am a lover of good chocolate but because not all of it is good for you, I tend to stick to good quality dark chocolate for two reasons: 1. It has flavonols. This is a great anti-oxidant which studies have shown is good for reducing skin roughness and protecting against sun damage. It’s also found in black tea, red wine, and – would you believe it – brown onions; and 2. It’s hard to overeat dark chocolate because it is so rich. It’s a win-win.