Skin Saviours – What to eat for healthy, glowing skin

With the summer months on the horizon, now is the time to eat well for healthy, happy skin. Paula Werrett, registered nutritional therapy practitioner from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition gives her top tips for the best nutrients to help your skin glow from the inside out.

She comments: “It’s essential to eat the right balance of nutrients so that your body can do its job on the inside, to ensure your skin looks fabulous on the outside. Here are the top five nutrients to get your skin healthy for summer.”

1.Skin stays happy with healthy fats

To help your skin stay firm, moist and supple eat a diet rich in healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados and fish. Your body can’t make omega-3 fatty acids, which are a type of polyunsaturated fat, but you can introduce them into your diet with SMASH fish options (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring), as well as flaxseeds, pumpkins seeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

2.Pure and protected with protein

When we eat protein, it is broken down into building blocks called amino acids. These amino acids are used to make other proteins such as collagen and keratin, which help to form the structure of the skin. Some amino acids are also antioxidants and therefore prevent the skin from free radical damage and UV rays. Good sources of protein include lean chicken or turkey.

3.ACE those vitamins

Vitamins A, C and E are the heavyweights in the vitamin world where skin health is concerned. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and therefore may give some protection against the sun’s rays and is thought to prevent some sun damage, but always wear sun protection as well. And of course remember it’s always good to get some sun for vitamin D.

Vitamin C helps collagen to hold its shape and is also a powerful antioxidant, therefore protecting against free radicals. And last but not least, E is for energy as this anti-inflammatory and antioxidant helps to absorb the energy from UV light, thus acting as a barrier to skin sagging and wrinkling.

4.Super selenium

Selenium is a fantastic mineral that helps skin to feel firm; it protects the skin from free radical damage and acts as a barrier against UV damage, inflammation and pigmentation. You can introduce more selenium into your diet with seafood such as crab, salmon, tuna and prawns, white meat such as turkey and chicken, grains such as lentils, and brown rice, as well as some vegetables such as potatoes and peas.

5.Think zinc

Last but not least, zinc is an important trace mineral for skin health because it regulates hormone balance and therefore helps to promote clear skin. Top up zinc in your diet with beef: a single serving of around 100 grams provides roughly four milligrams of zinc – half a woman’s daily recommended intake! Egg yolks, flaxseeds, pumpkins seeds and, if you’re feeling flash, lobster, are all good sources too.

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