Whenever I tell people I’m a nutritionist they assume that I spend my days helping people to lose weight, and while this is true, it is only a small part. As a nutritionist, body confidence coach and founder of The Food Remedy, I help my clients understand the link between the food they eat and the thoughts they think.
We are all familiar with the saying 'you are what you eat', but do we really understand the full implications of our daily diet?
Once a month the skin replaces itself and the body makes these new cells from the food eaten. What you eat literally becomes YOU. This is great news when it comes to your skin as you can add in more skin friendly foods and boost the nutrients that your skin needs via the food you eat.
There are a number of foods known for their skin friendly nutrients and by adding these to your diet over time, they could help to significantly improve the quality of your skin.
Here are my top 5 foods to help you glow from the inside out.
Butternut squash gets its lovely orange colour from a compound called beta carotene, it is a type of antioxidant that actually builds up in the skin, helping to reduce inflammation. The beta carotene also serves to protect the proteins in our skin that keeps it supple, which adds a nice anti-ageing benefit to the mix too. Introducing more of it into your diet will help keep your skin lovely and smooth.
To really enhance the positive effect of butternut squash, combine it with healthy fats. Try butternut squash drizzled with olive oil or topped with feta as this helps the body to absorb the beta carotene.
Garlic contains Sulphur which is known as ‘the face lift nutrient’. It helps strengthens the fibrous strands in our skin, which helps the cells to hold their shape, helping to prevent wrinkles and sagging. Increasing you sulphur intake could help your skin become more resilient to environmental damage caused by free radicals in the atmosphere.
Many studies have also shown that sulphur-rich foods could also improve acne, although no clear link why has been uncovered yet.
These nuts are packed full of selenium, a powerful antioxidant, which increases the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in the body, strengthening their fighting power. Selenium also wards off opportunistic infections, keeps the muscles in the heart healthy and even helps with acne.
They also contain vitamin E, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium and iron which are all essential for healthy skin. Brazil nuts also contain a good amount of zinc which reduces ageing skin inflammations and eases dry skin problems like eczema and psoriasis that leaves the skin more vulnerable to wrinkling.
Just four Brazil nuts provides you with the recommended daily amount of selenium.
Tomatoes are rich in both vitamin C and lycopene. Vitamin C helps to keep the skin firm and taut by aiding collagen production while lycopene, the red pigment which gives tomatoes their lovely bright colour, is a carotenoid that helps keep your skin smooth. Research has also found that lycopene may also protect your skin from sunburn! In one study, participants who were exposed to UV light had almost 50 percent less skin reddening after they ate 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste, in addition to their regular diet, for 10 to 12 weeks!
Prawns are an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is great for your skin, if you don't have enough protein in your diet, you could end up with rough skin, wrinkles and/or poor muscle tone. They also contain several important vitamins and minerals that support good skin.
Prawns are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to lubricate the skin keeping it soft and supple. They also contain high levels of zinc which is essential for the production of new skin cells.
Zinc is particularly beneficial for acne sufferers because it helps to speed up the rate at which wounds and infections heal. I've had many clients with acne that cleared once they were getting enough zinc in their diet. It also carries the added benefit of helping to even out oil production, whilst the Vitamin E in prawns contains an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin.
Kirsten Davies is a nutritionist, body confidence coach and founder of The Food Remedy. She combines her nutritional knowledge with neuro-linguistic programming, helping clients distinguish between food facts and myths in order to reach the body's full potential.
Real, whole food is her mantra, which, teamed with her burning passion to help others see their own light, makes her compellingly magnetic.
Fuel your mind, nourish your body and feed your soul.