Down through the years I’ve been told on an occasion or two that I have good skin.
As a teenager I didn’t believe it. I didn’t suffer from breakouts like some, but I just couldn’t see past the freckles and pale Irish complexion. In my twenties, it was a nice thing to hear, but I took it somewhat for granted accrediting it to good genes. However now that I’ve passed the thirty mark, it is definitely something I think about more often.
Our skin is our largest organ and the only one that is exposed to the outside world 24/7.
We are all aware of the damage that the sun can do, but how often do we think of the dangers of stress, sugar and nutrient deficiencies? The condition of our skin gives us valuable clues as to what’s going on inside our bodies. For example dry skin may indicate that we are not getting enough water or omega 3’s, while blemishes may be a result of a sluggish digestion due to a lack of fibre and exercise.
I’m definitely not afraid of aging.
It is a privilege denied to so many; but I want to do so on my terms….gracefully! I am more conscious now than every before about the importance of actively looking after my skin. I am a firm believer in nourishment from the inside out. Nutrients to promote healthy skin & slow down the signs of aging include antioxidants, vitamins A C & E, B-complex, essential fatty acids, zinc, sulphur, amino acids (particularly arginine), fibre, probiotics and water. Phew, that’s quite a list but it’s not as daunting as it first seems!
Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods is the best way to ensure these nutritional needs are met.
I don’t mean exotic “superfoods” either. Take a look at some of the following nutrient powerhouses!
- APPLES contain quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid, which has been shown to have a rejuvenating effect on the skin.
- PUMPKIN SEEDS contain zinc which is essential for repair, as well as essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
- AVOCADOS are a great source of vitamin E
- GRAPES are rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps to fight aging free radicals.
- GARLIC is an excellent source of sulphur, aka the beauty mineral.
- CINNAMON, GINGER & CLOVES all contain compounds that iinhibit AGE’s (advanced glycation end products).
- NUTS have the amino acid arginine which has been shown to improve collagen production.
- MANGOES are an excellent source of pro-vitamin A & the antioxidant vitamin C
- RAW CACAO contains both quercetin & arginine (and is oh so delicious!)
One of my fellow Health Coaches, the beautiful Ms. Carla Davis, specialises in “Beauty through Nutrition” & I would encourage any of you interested in finding out more, to sign up for her newsletter & free beauty guide here.