For most, feeling good and looking good go hand in hand. When you’re sleep deprived, stressed out and not nourishing your body through healthful eating choices, it’s likely you won’t be on the receiving end of any complexion compliments. Afterall, our skin is our body’s largest organ, and often a direct reflection of what is going on internally. No matter how dedicated you are to your skincare routine, healthy radiant skin ultimately begins from within. The most important thing anyone can do to improve their complexion is turn the attention inwards, to diet.
Everything you eat, or don't eat, affects the health and beauty of your skin. No matter how good your skin is naturally, problems can arise from a poor diet. So, if you want to achieve a more luminous complexion as well as bolstering your overall health and wellbeing, follow along below for our top tips.
Go hard, on nutrients
We’re all familiar with the age-old adage of the important of eating a nutrient dense diet, but what does that actually look like over the course of a day?
Protein makes up the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin, hormones and pretty much everything that matters in your body. For this reason, you should eat high-quality protein at every meal. Sustainably sourced fish, or grass-fed meat, organic free-range eggs and nuts (in moderation and soaked) are all great options.
Eating a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is essential for great skin and great energy. The skin is comprised of many different types of cells and structures, part of which is held together and protected by a layer of lipids (fats). This lipid layer diminishes as we age, but is also negatively affected by diets lacking in healthy fats. Ensure you’re keeping your lipid layer plump by nourishing your body with a moderate amount of avocado, olive oil, sardines, wild caught salmon, blueberries and chia seeds.
And lots of them. You should always have more plants on your plate than anything else. Plant-based foods not only protect your skin from free radical damage but are essential for good gut health as well as being a good source of fibre - fibre is what our gut microbes feed on to produce short chain fatty acids - which are vital for brain, metabolic and immune health.
Carbohydrates are one of the body's primary sources of energy and represent an essential part of any healthful diet. They also make you feel full and satisfied however it’s important to choose the carbs that do the most for you. These are known as complex carbs and contain the most nutrients. Think buckwheat, sweet potato, quinoa and chickpeas.
When referring to “real” food, we mean food in its natural state. Not out of a packet or sprayed within an inch of its life with harmful, toxic pesticides. Reducing your exposure to toxins in your environment is key, if your body is toxic, it will slowly start to come out in your skin and decrease your natural skin cell turnover, leading to a duller complexion. One way to combat this is eating organically and seasonally. Not only does seasonal produce taste better, it’s cheaper and supports the local economy. Look out for these spring time fruit and veg from September onwards: strawberries, pineapple, papaya, grapefruit, beetroot, kale, mushrooms, cauliflower & asparagus.
Befriend your gut’s microbiome
Incorporating fermented foods which are a naturally high source of probiotics into your diet (such as kimchee, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha) is an excellent way to cultivate good gut flora which is key for improving digestive health. Broad spectrum probiotics can also help to reduce inflammation in the body while assisting in the production of vitamins – all of which is great for skin health.