Hello Green Beauties, this guest article was written by the lovely Danielle Williams, a registered nutritionist, and founder of Danielle Williams Nutrition. In addition to being a wonderful person, she has a lot of really valuable information to share about nutrition and its effect on our skin. We were so thrilled that she agreed to share a tiny fraction of her vast knowledge with us!
In this article, Danielle gives us the top 4 nutrients for great skin, as well as 13 amazing tips for adding more of these nutrients to your diet. Read on for more!
When I was growing up, my mother used to preach the importance of removing make up and moisturizing my skin to ensure it stays looking young and beautiful, and she wasn’t wrong.
It is important to look after the outside of your skin - 80% of what we put on our skin gets absorbed into our blood; therefore using clean and green beauty products reduces the toxic burden. A handy bonus is that they are better for the environment too!!
Though using great skin products is important for good skin health, the old adage “beauty comes from within” is not just talking about being a beautiful personality.
While I think beauty is about being a good person and having that light shine out of you, I also believe that the beauty of our skin comes from within too!
Every day our skin acts as a physical barrier to all sorts of toxins, and our bodies are trying to combat free radicals that are produced in the body by internal functions such as metabolism (the process of breaking down and using food to produce energy) and the external environment like pollution, smoking, and chemicals. Free radicals cause aging and can damage our skin.
This may sound worrying, but the body is very clever and uses antioxidants to counteract the impact of free radicals.
What we eat is so important for looking and feeling glowing and radiant.
But how does it work?
Foods contain multiple micronutrients that are required for a well functioning body, and some of those directly impact our skin.
Let’s look at the power of micronutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants that work to keep our skin thriving.
This anti-oxidant is what gives certain foods their orange or yellow hue. It is critical in cell growth so actually works to create new skin cells, gives UV protection to slow the signs of aging and converts to Vitamin A which is another powerful skin vitamin. Food sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, butternut squash, kale, swiss chard, cantaloupe, romaine lettuce, red bell pepper and apricots.
There are two types of vitamin A; retinoids and carotenoids. Both of these powerful ingredients may help to speed healing, prevent breakouts, and promote natural moisturizing therefore hydrating the skin and assist with the healthy appearance and function of the skin.
Food sources of vitamin A include oily fish, eggs, sweet potato, kale, carrots, bell peppers, spinach, mango, cantaloupe, watermelon, tangerines and nectarines. Retinoids are also an anti-inflammatory reducing your chances of rashes, redness and swelling in the skin.
Carotenoids can also prevent cell damage, and premature ageing along with some skin diseases.
Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant; it actually promotes the production of collagen.
Collagen is found in the extracellular matrix of the skin; in fact 80% of the skin is made form collagen. It is essential for its rigidity and structure, it thickens the dermis, and diminishes fine lines.
Food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, kale and kiwi.
Vitamin E is important for supporting the immune function which helps to heal the skin. It supports cell function, is an antioxidant and may reduce UV damage. There is evidence to show that it may reduce atopic dermatitis when consumed.
Food sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, bell peppers, asparagus, mango and avocado.
So now that you have all of this information, how can you incorporate these powerful skin boosting vitamins and antioxidants into your lifestyle?
As we can see there are a lot of different and varied foods to include to get these micronutrients into your body and impact your skin. Sometimes the thought of including all of them can be a bit overwhelming, so here are some tips for adding them:
- Eating a “rainbow” of various fruits and vegetables will automatically give you a range of vitamins and antioxidants; some of the foods mentioned above contain more than one of the micronutrients discussed.
- Add one new vegetable per week.
- Cook extra vegetables at dinner time and add them to your lunch.
- Add leftover sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli or brussel sprouts to a serving of spinach or kale to make a salad and add olive oil and apple cider vinegar for flavour.
- Add bell peppers, tomatoes and spinach to make an omelet.
- Use tomato based sauces (without added sugar) for pasta and then add in extra vegetables.
- Add oily fish like salmon and sardines to your regular dinner rotation
- Make your own pesto by blitzing spinach, basil, nutritional yeast and olive oil - great poured over chicken, fish or pasta.
- Add broccoli and cauliflower to the bottom of the dish when baking a mac n’ cheese.
- Add guacamole and sprouts to a sandwich.
- Switch out the white potato for sweet potato.
- Add strawberries berries to porridge or granola for breakfast.
- Have a handful of apricots or some melon for a snack.
As you can see there are lots of different ways to get these micronutrients into your diet!
Try just one different thing every couple of days and you may see an improvement in your skin and your vitality!
For more information about nutrition please visit https://daniellewilliamsnutrition.com/