Nutrition is your key to healthy skin. Your skin is a living organ and your skin health relies on nutrients both from the inside and the outside. Your health and your skin are directly linked.
Skin can be affected both internally by nutrition and externally by what you apply to it. Skin disorders are common and what you see on the skin’s surface is only a quarter of what is actually going on beneath your skin’s surface. If you have an unhealthy diet, your skin will reflect this, regardless of how many nutritious products you cleanse and apply to your skin. What you eat influences your skin’s pH and affects sebum production and skin bacteria. E.g. acne bacteria thrive at a pH of 6-6.5.
If your body is too acidic it leads to poor skin and hair health, premature ageing and insufficient vitamin and mineral absorption. Your internal pH should be slightly alkaline at pH 7.35-7.45.
The foods we eat are generally acidic. E.g. dairy, meat, nuts, processed foods, sugar, caffeine, most grains. By regularly adding more alkaline foods in our diet, we can help our body maintain the optimum pH balance.
Foods that are alkaline include raw spinach, peas, broccoli, celery, asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, artichokes, olive oil, lemons, limes, herbal & green tea, lettuce, sweet potato, figs, dates, melons, blueberries, alfalfa, beets & greens, mango, papaya, cauliflower and red cabbage. It is important to note that most foods get more acidic as they are cooked, so raw is usually best!
Healthy foods/herbs include Oregano, parsley, turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilli, peppers, cinnamon, rosemary and thyme. A Mediterranean style diet high in unprocessed foods has been found to be highly beneficial for overall and skin health.
Inflammation is linked to several diseases in the body and it can also be minimised by consuming anti-inflammatory foods such as olive oil, tomatoes, nuts, fatty fish and leafy greens.
Charring foods using high heat such as frying, barbecuing, grilling and roasting can lead to high levels of skin damage. Adding lemon juice or vinegar to these foods helps to reduce the damage.
Drink plenty of water. Usual average recommended intake is 2 Litres (or 8 glasses) a day. Tap water is recommended over bottled water to keep your teeth healthy as bottled water does not contain fluoride.
Antioxidants: Are found in fruits and vegetables. In particular, beta-carotene and Vitamins A, C, and E can stop the damage caused by free radicals. These molecules can harm skin cells and cause signs of ageing. Antioxidant rich foods include artichokes, blueberries, gogi berries, grapefruit, kale, pecans, strawberries, spinach, peppers and dark chocolate.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Keep your skin strong and able to protect from pollutants and damaging substances. Omega-3 Fatty Acid rich foods include almonds, avocados, brussels sprouts, broccoli, canola oil, chia seeds, eggs, flax seeds, firm tofu, fish (salmon, sardines), kidney & navy beans, mangoes, oysters, peanuts, spinach & walnuts.
Water: Your skin cells and body rely on water to keep you hydrated. Dehydrated skin looks dull, wrinkly, dry and unhealthy.