Eat your way to healthy skin
As anyone who’s ever been on a junk food binge knows, good nutrition is essential for healthy glowing skin.
Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day can help keep your skin looking clear and fresh, as well as tackle some of the signs of premature ageing. But there are certain nutrients you should make sure you’re getting enough of because they’re particularly important for your skin, including the following:
Vitamin A Found in oily fish (sardines, mackerel, pilchards, salmon etc), eggs, milk and yoghurt, vitamin A is generally considered one of the most important nutrients for skin health, with experts believing it’s particularly beneficial for ageing skin.
You can also get it by eating beta carotene (it’s converted into vitamin A in your body): find it in orange and yellow fruit and vegetables such as sweet potato, squash, pumpkin and apricots as well as green veg including squash, cabbage and kale.
Note: if you’re pregnant or considering having a baby, avoid supplements that contain vitamin A as well as foods that are high in vitamin A such as liver or liver products.
Vitamin C This nutrient helps your body to make an important substance for skin health, namely collagen (collagen helps keep your skin stay plump and smooth, but as you get older your body produces increasingly smaller amounts of it). To get plenty of vitamin C in your diet, eat lots of fruit and veg such as peppers, kiwi fruit, sweet potatoes and broccoli.
Vitamin E Often called a natural moisturiser – which explains why it’s often included in creams and lotions for dry skin – vitamin E also is thought to help prevent scarring. Make sure your diet includes plenty of vitamin E foods such as nuts, seeds, wheat germ and vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower and rapeseed oils.
Omega-3 fatty acids Beneficial oils found in oily fish may be best known for their contribution to heart health, but many beauty experts believe they may help your skin look healthier too. Try to eat at least two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, pilchards, sardines). Or if you don’t like eating fish, many types of nuts also contain omega-3 fats (walnuts are a particularly good example).
If you’re recovering from an illness or your diet hasn’t been up to scratch lately, you may feel run down and your skin may not have its usual glow. A good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement may help get you back on track. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a product that may help you feel – and look – better.
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