Nutrition news

Nutrition with Jane McClenaghan: Love the skin you’re in

The health of OUR skin can give us a reflection of what is going on inside. Dry, scaly skin; pimples, pimples and acne or itchy, red skin can be signs that your body needs little TLC.

Working on simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can help restore your healthy skin barrier and nourish your skin from the inside out.

From conditions like eczema and psoriasis, to the occasional blemish or dry skin, the state of our skin barrier can change throughout our lives, and in response to external triggers like weather, pollution and creams, or internal imbalances like sugar, stress, and hormones. .

When I talk to clients about skin health, here are some of the factors I consider:

1. Pack your diet with enough essential fats to hydrate and nourish your skin. Omega 3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines as well as chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts) are the most important, but they are often the ones we lack in our diet. western diet. These essential omegas help balance inflammation and redness, and support the subcutaneous layer of fat cells in the dermis to add volume, protection and cushioning, leaving skin looking radiant and hydrated.

2. From A to zinc. Signs of a lack of vitamin A are reflected in our hair, skin and nails – dry skin, brittle hair and brittle nails are some of the signs of vitamin A deficiency. Retinol (a vitamin A therapy) is often used to treat acne. Fill up on vitamin A with dairy products, fish, liver and eggs. Zinc is another essential ingredient for healthy skin. Found in meat, shellfish, nuts, and seeds, we need zinc for skin healing and repair, healthy oil production, and hormonal balance.

3. Vitamin C is well known for its immune balancing effect, but did you know that it is also an important ingredient for the production of collagen and elastin, helping to keep our skin supple and strong. Vitamin C also has strong antioxidant activity which can help protect the skin from internal and external damage.

4. A diet high in sugar has been linked to acne and inflammation and is also not good news for wrinkles. Blood sugar spikes increase insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which can lead to increased sebum production and inflammatory cytokines. In a 2021 review published in the International Journal of Dermatology, researchers looked at the evidence for the effects of diet on acne and found high GI/GL foods to be an acne-promoting factor. Switching to a diet that is low GI, low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, high in fiber and whole grains has been shown to benefit acne.

5. The gut-skin connection. Good health begins in the gut and when our digestive balance is disrupted, all other aspects of health including the skin can also be affected. Imbalances such as digestive insufficiency, poor absorption, dysbiosis and many more can all show up in the skin. The gut microbiota deserves special mention when it comes to skin health because it is now well accepted and widely studied that altered gut microflora plays an important role in a wide variety of skin disorders ranging from atopic dermatitis to rosacea, psoriasis, acne vulgaris, dandruff and even skin cancer.

TOP TIPS FOR SKIN HEALTH

1. Drink enough water.

2. Healthy fats at every meal – nuts and seeds, oily fish, olive oil or avocado.

3. Eat probiotic foods – kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi or live yogurt almost every day.

4. Eat dark green and orange colored fruits and vegetables to boost your levels of beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A.

5. Fill up on essential fats, zinc and protein with a small handful of seeds each day – sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia and flax.

6. Eat whole grains, not white carbs.

7. Reduce your sugar intake.

8. Use daily SPF.