There’s something very satisfying about eating for skin health – both for the body and the soul (you might even feel a little bit smug). And it makes sense, because what nourishes the skin is generally excellent for the body as whole. It’s also very tangible - you can inspect the skin more easily than you can your heart or your lungs! So I thought I’d share with you today the nuggets I gleaned from an awesome lecture given by dermatologist Dr Zoe Draelos, a leader in research into cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals. She made it very simple – hence I’ve kept it very simple too! I’m delighted to say that she subscribes to the eating-from-scratch philosophy I do too, eschewing processed foods, fried foods and unnecessary endless water intake!
So here’s the hit list I try to incorporate into my everyday diet:
1) Carrots – a great source of beta carotene
2) Tomato – rich in vitamin C and lycopene.
3) Olive oil – a healthy, monounsaturated fat enriched with vitamin E.
4) Avocado – more good fats, and also a source of lutein and vitamin E.
5) Blueberries –an antioxidant powerhouse, containing more than 13000 phytonutrients.
6) Watermelon for summer – or any other orange/pink fruits which are great additional sources of UV-protecting lycopene.
7) Apple – with the skin on for skin health! It’s again a great source of nutrition, far beyond supplying us with vitamin C, it contains more than 8000 phytochemicals. In this regard, supplements can never replace the complexity of real food.
I also like Organic Flaxseed Oil EFA – linolenic and linoleic acid, a good quality mineral supplement, to add Zn, selenium, calcium, copper, magnesium and manganese to the mix. I take Vitamin D 2000iu every day as I’m rigorous about avoiding UV light. And I prioritise lean high quality protein such as chicken, fish, cheese and yoghurt.
Now…..my weakness is probably naughty, fried food – I’m a sucker for good fries and a nicely seared steak with a nice glass of red. Am I going to stop these? Hell, no. That’s why I work out and eat carrots…..a little bit of what you fancy is what enjoying life is all about.