When we think of healthy, glowing skin, we often wonder what products we need to put on it to help against the effects of ageing. But it is what you put inside your body that is important! Good nutrition is the key element to achieving optimal health – because when you are healthy on the inside it shines through, producing healthy skin, eyes, hair, nails.
Many foods have been dubbed a “Superfood”, but what makes them so special? Basically, they contain various nutrients that are essential to good health. Most whole foods are really a “superfood” but let’s take a look at some of the ones to include in your diet to help you achieve an inner glow that shines through your skin.
Oily fish such as salmon and sardines, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, dark green leafy veg all provide Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are critical for healthy cell membranes and brain and nervous system function. It also contributes to hormone and thyroid function, helps keep the liver healthy, assists in the breakdown and transport of cholesterol, regulates blood pressure, and contributes to healthy skin and hair.
Nuts, seeds, dairy and legumes all contain Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which promotes healthy skin by eradicating blackheads, whiteheads, acne and eczema. It also supports healthy bone maintenance and can help to alleviate joint pain via its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also effective at reducing symptoms of PMS.
High protein foods such as grass-fed beef, seafood, milk (particularly raw milk) provide zinc which is necessary for healthy nails and hair, plus it aids digestion, increases immunity and helps to promote fertility. Zinc also contributes towards muscle growth and repair.
Cooked tomatoes and red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene, a powerful carotenoid, containing antioxidants particularly helpful in prostate health. It also has the ability to protect against UV radiation.
Avocados, shellfish, nuts, seeds, green leafy veg and fish are all high in Vitamin E, which supports cell membranes and contributes to healthy skin and eyes. It is an important Vitamin for a healthy immune system.
Yellow pepper, green pepper (say that fast!!), broccoli, dark leafy greens and fruits such as kiwi, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes are full of Vitamin C, which is an important nutrient for maintaining and developing blood vessels, cartilage and scar tissue, improving skin elasticity and blood flow. It contributes towards energy production and is necessary for hormone regulation, protecting against stress by synthesizing hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. Because of its powerful antioxidant properties Vitamin C is thought to protect against cancer.
Liver, eggs and milk are great sources of active Vitamin A, or Retinol, which is important for the immune system and for cell regeneration. Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and other yellow, orange or dark green leafy vegetables contain Betacarotene, which converts to Vitamin A in the body.
Green tea, onions, berries, spinach, cinnamon, fresh ginger all contain flavonoids, or polyphenols, which are only found in plant foods. These are potent antioxidants, fighting against free radicals in the body, containing anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic properties.
Coconut oil contains MCT, or medium-chain trigylcerides, which are processed by the liver and used quickly by the body for energy. Coconut oil is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. It improves skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, helps reduce dandruff and is protective against gum disease and tooth decay. Coconut oil can be eaten or used topically, such as in a bath, or directly on the skin and in home-made lotions.
Egg yolks, spinach and kale all contain lutein, which is a carotenoid associated with eye health, and also with the brain, memory and learning. It lowers the risk of cataracts, strengthens eye tissues, reduces eye fatigue and improves visual acuity.
So with these fantastic foods as your personal arsenal against ageing, you will be glowing with health – from the inside out!