Skin Deep Nutrition
Ms Salma S. Khan, Nutrition Consultant & Health Writer provides some insightful information about skin health, and offers some valuable advice
Various skin conditions such as acne, dry skin, eczema, rosacea and ageing skin may show an improvement via consuming a better diet. These skin enhancing nutrients may be just what your skin needs.
Zinc: The mineral zinc has many health and beauty benefits. It is important for the proper functioning of both the immune and digestive systems, as well as for maintaining a healthy sense of smell and to help our taste buds to function properly.
In terms of skin health, zinc is important for preventing and healing the skin from acne. The mineral has been reported to help control oil production in the skin that may contribute to acne. Much research also suggests that higher levels of zinc intake may significantly increase the body’s absorption of both Vitamin A and Vitamin E – these vitamins are also highly important for a clear complexion. In addition the powerful antioxidant properties of zinc may protect the skin against harmful UV rays. Dietary sources of zinc include pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cashew nuts, pecans, oysters, beef, lamb, chicken, whole grains, mushrooms and oats.
Selenium: Selenium, another skin friendly mineral is thought to help maintain the elasticity and suppleness of the skin. The mineral is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight free radical damage in the body, which in turn may lead to cell damage and accelerated ageing of the skin. Selenium’s anti-ageing benefits don’t just end there, the mineral helps to minimize damage caused to skin by UV light too. Some research also reports that selenium may play a role in dampening down inflammation of the skin and reducing pigmentation. Selenium is not just useful for skin health, it is also needed for a healthy immune system, good thyroid function and fertility health. Food sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, tuna, salmon, chicken, beef, lamb, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, oysters, mussels and eggs.
Vitamin C: The C Vitamin is famously known for it’s immunity enhancing properties, and is often used as an aid to overcome the common cold a lot faster. It is also very important for supporting healthy teeth, gums, bones and skin. Vitamin C may help prevent dry skin, promote faster skin healing, and act as an anti-ageing tool to delay the formation of wrinkles. The vitamin helps to keep the skin firm by working on collagen formation, and protects cells from free radical damage. Studies have found that when lab animals consume Vitamin C, their skin is better able to fight oxidative damage. Good food sources of Vitamin C include fruits, vegetables and various superfoods such as Baobab, an African powdered superfruit – this may be mixed into smoothies or sprinkled onto fruit, yogurt and porridge.
Omega-3: Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been reported to have anti-inflammatory benefits, and may help with inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and acne. EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid has been reported to help control oil production, consequently helping to prevent acne. Omega-3 fats are thought to also help hydrate the skin, and maintain a healthy moisture balance. Aside from Omega-3’s healthy skin benefits, these ‘good’ fats have been reported to help prevent heart disease, ease arthritis, and help those with depression or low mood. Omega-3 food sources include oily fish such as mackerel, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
Herbal Teas: Herbal teas, in particular green tea contains huge amounts of various antioxidants that are beneficial for overall health, as well as for good skin health. Green tea is rich in powerful antioxidants; polyphenols known as catechins and EGCG are thought to prevent premature skin ageing. Interestingly EGCG has been shown to delay collagen breakdown, and to also help regenerate ageing skin cells. Green tea such as Matcha is thought to delay the signs of ageing by fighting glycation caused by excess sugar consumption and other unhealthy dietary stress. Green tea is also known to help boost weight loss by speeding up metabolism, and preventing certain cancers. The tea may be consumed hot or cold, and may even be added into smoothies and baked goods.
Miss Salma S. Khan – Nutrition Consultant & Health Writer
BSc (Hons), MSc, PG Cert CC, NT, CNELM Dip NT, MBANT, CNHCreg.
Salma is a member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy (BANT). She is registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), and is also an associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM).
Salma, Founder & Director of ZingTality, is a highly qualified Nutrition Consultant and specialises in all matters related to nutrition. Miss Salma S. Khan offers appointments at a clinic on Harley Street in London, please email Salma directly through her website here
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