While beauty may only be skin deep, there is no doubt that our appearance influences how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others. Whether it is the skin on our face, arms or legs, it is the first thing we show to the outside world on a daily basis. No wonder we feel depressed, stressed, shy and uncomfortable when we present with break-outs, flaking, red eczema and other embarrassing imperfections.
There is no doubt that diet and lifestyle effect the quality of one’s skin, after all, the skin is the body’s largest elimination organ. While nutrients and anti-oxidants are absolutely vital to skin health, if the body’s elimination systems are not working efficiently the skin will be used to dump toxins in the form of oil, blemishes and rashes. In addition to this, a damaged, inflamed and permeated gut will inhibit absorption of the nutrients that are needed for strong, wrinkle-free, healthy skin.
Tips for improving elimination and gut health:
- Drink 8 glasses of pure water per day.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your intake to 4 units per week.
- Take a liver supporting herb, like Milk Thistle.
- Take a good quality probiotic daily. This will help to heal the GI tract, decrease systemic inflammation and prevent break-outs that are caused by food intolerances.
- Avoid a diet high in processed foods and refined sugars and flour.
- Take L’glutamine powder to nourish the GI tract.
- If you are constipated, take Vitamin C and magnesium citrate until you are at a dosage that ensures you are having normal bowel movements.
When healing the body, no matter what ailment exists, one has to do so in the correct order. Just imagine if you loaded up with all the right foods and supplements for skin health, only to have an underlying gut issue that is stopping you from utilising it all.
So, now that you are eliminating waste and absorbing nutrients efficiently, let’s have a look at the nutrients you need.
- Colourful berries are high in anti-oxidants which fight ageing and skin damage.
- Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which is essential for building and repairing tissue. Sources include liver, dark leafy greens, sweet potato and paprika.
- Take 2000g of vitamin C daily to protect yourself from free-radicals and sun damage. It stimulates collagen, which means your skin will remain elastic.
- Eat more oily fish or take a fish oil supplement. The anti-inflammatory properties will improve cell membrane integrity, thus improving skin moisture and texture.
- Vitamin E is the anti-oxidant that is most associated with skin healthy because it is secreted onto the skin via sebum. It is protective of the skin’s surface, prevents inflammation and reduces skin cancer risk. It needs to be consumed in adequate amounts and can be found in spinach, sunflower seeds, almonds, asparagus, kale, broccoli and olive oil.
- Drop the coffee habit and opt for a daily cup of green tea. You will get a daily dose of polyphenols and their anti-inflammatory properties.
- Zinc is a mineral that promotes healthy, blemish-free skin and speeds up healing. Dietary sources include kidney, liver, beef, lamb, shellfish and pumpkin seeds.