A healthy diet is key to having amazing, healthy, glowing skin. If our diet is based on coffee and fast food, the chances are we may not get all the essential nutrients we need. The eyes may be the window to the soul, but the skin is definitely the window to our nutritional status! Pale, dry, flaky skin, redness and hyperpigmentation are all signs that we may be missing out on some essential nutrients.
What vitamins and minerals do we need for healthy skin?
• B vitamins help to improve dry, flaky or itchy skin
• Vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis
• Zinc aids in healing and repair
• Magnesium helps to reduce inflammation
• Copper is needed to create elastin and reduce pigmentation. Elastin is a protein that gives the skin its structure.
• Protein helps to create collagen and elastin.
• Antioxidants help to protect our skin from oxidative stress and prevent skin ageing.
• Omega 3 helps to improve dry skin due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
What foods are good for healthy skin?
A great diet packed with nutrients for healthy skin is the Nordic Diet, which is like the Mediterranean Diet, but Nordic style! It’s based on vegetables, fruits, berries, whole grains, legumes, potatoes, nuts, seeds, proteins like fatty fish,seafood, eggs and lean meat, low-fat dairy, and rapeseed oil. It offers an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids perfect for optimal skin health.
• Besides eating a healthy diet, top up with a daily multivitamin containing vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin.
• If you’re not sure if you need a multivitamin, read this! Remember, supplements should never be taken in place of a healthy diet, but used to help to cover nutritional gaps so you get all the nutrients your body needs.
Antioxidants for anti-ageing
Antioxidants are powerful nutrients that help to protect our skin cells against free radicals, which can cause premature skin ageing. The Nordic Diet is rich in antioxidants which are most abundant in colourful fruits, vegetables and berries. Load up your plate with the colours of the rainbow – make it as diverse as possible!
• Click here to find our recipe for a delicious antioxidant-rich treat. (And it’s got chocolate!)
• Supplement with powerful antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and natural astaxanthin – which has been shown in scientific studies to have a superior effect against damaging UV rays, thereby helping to prevent skin ageing.
Healthy skin starts with a healthy gut
Skin issues including acne, rosacea, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are all linked with poor gut health. Fibre is the silent saviour of our gut health! Prebiotic fibre feeds the good bacteria in our gut microbiome, which is linked with skin health as well as many other aspects of wellbeing. You can help keep your gut microbiome in balance by directly adding good bacteria to your gut through your diet or a supplement.
• Dietary fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
• Click here for five creative ways to add more vegetables to your diet!
• Good dietary sources of probiotics include yoghurt with live cultures and fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha.
Water for hydrated, healthy-looking skin
Hydration is incredibly important for our overall health including our skin. Skin cells depend on adequate hydration to function properly so make sure to drink plenty of water. Skin that lacks hydration appears dull and dry, with more visible lines and wrinkles, whereas well hydrated skin is plump, smooth and glowing!
• Drink up! 8 glasses of water a day keeps the dryness away.
• Get yourself a lightweight water bottle for on-the-go hydration.