A nutritionist’s guide to healthy, glowing skin

Nutrition plays a huge role in the overall health of our bodies, affecting organs like our heart and our liver, but it also has a major impact on the largest organ in our body – our skin! 

Research shows us that our skin fully regenerates every 28 days, so if you’re on a mission to look & feel your best, you can literally make a whole new you! Giving your body the right building blocks is essential to healthy, glowing skin, so here are our five, nutritionist approved steps to happy, healthy skin this Summer.

Did you know that you should be drinking AT LEAST 1.5 litres (or 6-8 glasses!) of water a day?!

These days, skincare companies promote hydration of the external skin with various expensive creams, but as important as this is, internal hydration is just as (if not more!) important. Topical creams can only reach the outer-most epidermis layer of your skin, the epidermis, whereas internal hydration will impact the lower layers where wrinkles start to form.

Not only does increasing your water consumption aid in increasing your metabolism, brain function and the prevention of certain medical conditions, like kidney stones. In addition, keeping hydrated can aid in retaining elasticity in the skin – helping to prevent things like wrinkles and scarring as well as promoting visible brightness and even acne prevention.

If you find drinking tap water boring – try adding some pizzaz to it by incorporating lemons, raspberries, cucumbers and mint to make a refreshing mocktail that is sure to refresh you on a hot summer’s day in the sun![1]

By fats, we mean things like salmon, avocado and chia seeds, not a Big Mac! For years now, people have steered clear of high fat foods and opted for “low fat” options, but this narrative should really be switched, as foods like the ones listed above contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are an essential fatty acid that we can only get from our diet, as the body cannot naturally produce them.

Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to the bodies overall health, protecting from inflammation, which can cause acne and redness in the skin. Additionally, research has shown that they can even help to protect your skin from the harmful UV Rays of the sun.

Fatty fish like salmon, and avocados also have a plethora of properties which are beneficial to the skin like vitamin E and zinc, which promotes skin cell regeneration! If you want a delicious, easy seasoning for your salmon or avo on toast, try our “Sprinkle Some Green Salt!”, which contains superfoods like kale, spirulina and rosemary![2]

Each week, try to consume 30 different fruits & veggies (a daily plantshake is a great way to start!). The different colours indicate different micronutrients which can promote healthy, glowing skin.

Sweet potatoes and carrots house beta-carotene which convert to Vitamin A in the body, and the carotenoids can actually act as a natural sunblock. Funnily enough – eating these foods can actually turn your skin a lovely, orange colour, so toss out that fake tan and get to munching on some carrots.

In addition to beta carotene, eating lots of colourful fruits and veggies will aid in increasing your overall vitamin and mineral consumption and each of these will help to keep your skin nourished and protected.

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Red bell peppers and broccoli contain vitamin C – which helps in natural collagen production, tomatoes contain lycopene – a carotenoid which helps protect your skin from the sun, and blueberries and kale contain antioxidants – a powerful compound which fights free radicals in the body, preventing cancer and protecting the skin! If you’re pressed for time, our range of Plantshakes and Oatshakes are a great way to incorporate more of these vitamins and minerals into your diet! [3]

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body – and its amino acids are the building blocks of our joints, hair, nails and you guessed it – our skin! Collagen is what gives our skin elasticity, and plumpness, yet unfortunately, as we get older, collagen production begins to slow and we can begin to see a deterioration of the flexibility of our skin.

You don’t need a supplement to boost your collagen levels, studies have shown that you can also boost natural collagen levels in the skin simply by increasing vitamin C consumption [4]. Vitamin C is involved in the synthesis of collagen in the body, and by consuming it directly you can directly impact the dermis skin layer, which can’t be reached by topical creams, and is where wrinkles start to form.

In addition, the magic combination of micronutrients present in natural foods like berries have been proven to reduce wrinkles in women aged 40-65, so loading up on foods naturally high in Vitamin C could be the most effective (and cost effective!) way to reduce fine lines & wrinkles [5]. Try our Strawberry & Mango, Blueberry & Apple or Kiwi & Greens plantshakes which have over 100% of your daily vitamin C as well as 25 naturally occurring micronutrients.

Adding a collagen supplement into your routine is another way of increasing your collagen, although it’s important to note that there are 3 types of collagen in the body. A collagen supplement may only include one type, so it’s important to support your bodies natural collagen production from the inside. Our favourite way to incorporate collagen is to add it into our Raspberry & Banana Plantshake for a delish way to start the day![6]

Let’s be honest friends, we live in the UK, where we don’t get to see a whole lot of Mr. Sun for most of the year, and so, we are missing out on our dosage of Vitamin D. Our main source of Vitamin D is in fact, the sun, and it plays a crucial role in skin protection, as well as skin cell growth and regeneration, as well as helping to fight free radicals that can cause premature ageing of the skin. So, we think we can all agree that this one is pretty important!

Most people don’t know that you can actually get Vitamin D naturally from some food sources like oily fish, some dairy products, and mushrooms. But, because of our lovely location in the world, we think that incorporating a Vitamin D supplement into your daily routine is an amazing decision for the health of your body and your skin. [7]

We have spent enough time indoors this year, and now that it is finally time to go back outside, we would love to see you all taking care of your skin this Summer! So, our final point is one that we know you have heard your mum say enough over the years, but please WEAR YOUR SUN CREAM. It might not be food related, but it is extremely important, and we want to see our FOGA Family protected this Summer.

If you couple daily sunscreen usage with these five additional skin food hacks, we can assure you that your skin will be happy, healthy and protected this Summer!

References

[1] Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition Reviews68(8), 439–458. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x 

[2] De Mel D, Suphioglu C. Fishy business: effect of omega-3 fatty acids on zinc transporters and free zinc availability in human neuronal cells. Nutrients. 2014 Aug 15;6(8):3245-58. doi: 10.3390/nu6083245. PMID: 25195602; PMCID: PMC4145306.

[3] Pullar, J, Carr, C, Vissers, M The role of Vitamin C in Skin Health (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/#B98-nutrients-09

[4] Schagen, S, Zampeli, V, Makrantonaki, E and Zouboulis, C  (2012). Discovering the link btween nutrition and skin ageing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/

[5] Barati, M., Jabbari, M., Navekar, R., Farahmand, F., Zeinalian, R., Salehi‐Sahlabadi, A., Abbaszadeh, N., Mokari‐Yamchi, A., & Davoodi, S. H. (2020). Collagen supplementation for skin health: A mechanistic systematic review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology19(11), 2820–2829. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13435

[6] Akalın, G., & Selamoglu, Z. (2019). Nutrition and Foods for Skin Health. Journal of Pharmaceutical Care. https://doi.org/10.18502/jpc.v7i1-2.1620

[7] Holick, M. F., Chen, T. C., Lu, Z., & Sauter, E. (2007). Vitamin D and Skin Physiology: A D-Lightful Story. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research22(S2). https://doi.org/10.1359/jbmr.07s211 

 

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