We all know a good diet is not only important for keeping our weight in check, but also for our general wellbeing and appearance. Hamish Mcnair, Clinical Director at Candela Medical shares his expertise on how your diet impacts your skin:
Fight Free Radicals
“The simplest way to maintain health skin is through eating a healthy well-balanced diet and avoiding free radicals. Free Radicals include smoking, pollution, and excessive UV exposure. Too much sun exposure can speed up the skins ageing process. Research has shown that including Omega 3, Omega 6, Vitamin E, antioxidants and a low fat, meat and diary diet promotes good skin health.
A good source of Omega 3 is oily fish for example salmon, herring, and mackerel. The World Health Organisation recommends two portions of oily fish per week. Including Omega 3 in your diet can lower cholesterol, have anti-inflammatory properties and recent studies have shown potential to reduce the risk of dementia in older life.
Foods that include Omega 6 include eggs, nuts, whole grain bread and pumpkin seeds.
This is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce the effects of free radicals. Vitamin E helps to strengthen the immune system and promotes healthy skin. Foods containing vitamin E include nuts (almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts) sunflower seeds, olive oil and spinach.
Eat a minimum of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Many vegetables contain antioxidants and a variety of vitamins. These antioxidants help to protect the skin from cellular damage that can be caused by Free radicals.
The body and therefore the skin also needs protein and calcium for optimum health. Choosing leaner meat plus milk and yogurt with a lower fat content still provides vital protein and calcium with less fat.
Hydrating the Skin
Drinking an average of 2 litres of water a day helps to keep the skin well hydrated. Although tea and coffee can also be included in the 2 litre daily target, avoid too much caffeine. This is found in both tea and coffee. A healthier alternative is Green Tea, containing much less caffeine than regular tea.
In conclusion a healthy well-balanced diet can improve and maintain healthy skin. Avoiding Free Radicals and excessive alcohol consumption will also help to maintain skin health and reduce the signs of ageing.”