The twinkle of an eye, the definition of a cheekbone, the positive glow of a smile, and the radiance of our skin... All of these features associated with beauty are directly affected by the foods we consume and in turn, how good we look and feel.
So let's look at some tops tips from our Nutritional Therapy team for radiance from within.
Skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, premature wrinkles and rosacea may be caused by imbalances in the microbiome, that is, the delicate balance of the microorganisms that live within us and the overall health of our digestive system. This is by no means a new concept. Research dating back over 80 years started to look at the gut-brain-skin axis and how processed foods and stress can alter our microbiome. Improvement in the balance of the microbiome with the right foods to nourish and nurture it, the right nutrients for the health of the digestive tissue, elimination of processed foods and reduction in stress may all help to restore this delicate balance and in turn, improve skin health.
Omega 3 fats are required for the flexibility of the skin cells, and convert to anti-inflammatory mediators, helping with inflammatory skin conditions. Unfortunately our average western diet is much higher in the pro-inflammatory fats. Correct your balance by including high omega 3 foods in your diet such as wild or line caught oily fish or in vegetarian form from flaxseed or flax oil and algae derived EPA and DHA.
Refined sugars and simple carbohydrates promote the production of Advanced Glycation End Products, shortened quite aptly to AGEs. These AGEs make collagen inflexible and also create free radical damage to the skin cells. By eliminating refined sugars and limiting intake of high glycemic foods that convert to sugars quickly, you will go a long way towards promoting healthy collagen production for healthy skin. Specific precursor ingredients for the body to efficiently manufacture collagen such as vitamin C rich foods are also important.
Each time a cell replicates, part of the chromosome called the telomere shortens and this relates to cellular ageing. Certain nutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants are known to protect the telomere from shortening. Eating a diet rich in a rainbow of organic vegetables and fruits can help to nourish the body and protect against damage. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is especially protective for telomere health so getting out and about with some moderate sun exposure may also be beneficial. High antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods such as deeply coloured foods and herbs and spices are excellent foods to protect the telomeres. So go out and spice up your life... your skin will thank you for it!
As well as great looking skin from within, it is important to note that the skin is our largest living organ with functions including elimination of toxins, UV protection and absorption of nutrients. It therefore follows that chemicals applied to the skin through the use of creams and make up, will be absorbed into the blood stream. So as well as looking after your skin from within, we recommend using natural and organic skincare products that maintain the natural pH and flora balance of the skin.
Jackie Coldwell is co-Director of Therapy Organics, and leads the Nutrtional Therapy Team.See more Articles by Jackie
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