Today’s contributing article is by a member of our community and mother of two and a registered dietitian with special interest in mothers and children, diabetes and weight management. She previously wrote about how we can help our kids stay healthy, you can read it here.
Today’s article is on what to eat glowy skin this winter.
Many of us think about what are the best top 10 foods to eat or to avoid. However, many factors affect our skin. A good skin is mainly due to good genes; however we can also play an important role in keeping it healthy and glowy. Our lifestyle has a direct effect on our skin. Eating a rainbow of fruits vegetables contain antioxidants vitamins and minerals that protect your skin.
Thinking of keeping the wrinkles at bay?
You might consider eating a healthy diet in order to look and feel better. Is your skin is dry, flaky or bruising, your body may be deficient in B vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin B12. According to The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK’s Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition (COMA) policy recommends that we should all be aiming to eat at least five portions of a wide variety fruits and vegetables a day.
How much is a portion?
One portion is 80g or any of the following:
- a handful of grapes, cherries or berries
- one banana, orange, pear or apple or a similar sized fruit
- half a large grapefruit or avocado
- a slice of large fruit such as melon or pineapple
- one heaped tablespoon of dried fruit (such as raisins and apricots or three heaped tablespoons of fruit salad (fresh/tinned in fruit juice) or stewed fruit
- three heaped tablespoons of vegetables (raw, cooked, frozen or tinned)
- three heaped tablespoon of any ‘pulse’ – beans, peas or lentils (however much you eat, pulses only count as one of your five-a-day)
- one dessert bowl of salad
Choose from red, green, yellow, white, purple and orange varieties of fruits and vegetable, including tomato-based products and garlic. The variety of the fruits and vitamins will provide you with most of the vitamin A and Vitamin C.
What about Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal products (such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy); it is also found in fortified breakfast cereals and enriched soy or rice milk.
What about Vitamin E? It helps maintain a healthy skin and eyes. Vitamin E is found in a wide variety of foods. Good sources include soya, corn, olive oil, nuts, seeds, cereals and cereal products
In addition, eating oily fish will provide you with some omega 3 that can help your skin look its best. The skin uses these fats to create a waterproof layer. Which fish/seafood re good sources of omega 3? Mackerel, kippers, pilchards tuna (fresh or frozen), trout, sprats, salmon, herring, crab (fresh), whitebait, swordfish, sardines.
Is your skin dry even though you eat a healthy diet?
It is a good indicator that you’re not drinking enough water. It is important to drink water regularly throughout the day. Drink more if it is hot, when you are exercising or if you are ill. Water, low-fat milk and sugar free drinks including tea and coffee all count.
What about alcohol?
More than 14 units of alcohol per week can cause dehydrated body therefore a dehydrated skin.
1 unit of alcohol is 10 ml or 8g of pure alcohol. Please see below examples of one unit of alcohol:
- 76ml of standard 13%wine
- 250ml of standard 4% beer
What about the cigarette?
Cigarette smoke displaces the oxygen in your skin, and reduces blood flow, leaving skin dry and discoloured. Cigarette smoking also depletes many nutrients, including vitamin C, which helps protect and repair skin damage. So ditch your cigarette in order to protect your skin.
What about the sun?
Ultraviolet light damage the collagen and elastin in your skin which keep skin smooth and supple. Never allow your skin to burn as this can causes wrinkles, and more seriously can cause noncancerous and cancerous skin tumours. Use sun cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 even in winter.
What about Sun and Sun beds?
Also too much exposure to the sun and sun beds (especially on fair skin) can lead to wrinkles, dryness and dehydrated skin.
What about sleeping and feeling well?
In order to prevent your skin looking tired and older, it is important that you sleep (7-9h per night) and feel well. ‘Me time’ is so important. With our fast pace of life and our endless to do list, it might be a good idea to plan in the beginning of the week to go for a walk with a friend or book a class you enjoy. According to British Dietetic A, ‘Being active will improve blood flow to the skins surface and will give your skin a rosy glow. Mindfulness can improve your mental wellbeing by helping you pay more attention to the present moment. If your not sleeping or feeling well, it might be useful to practice mindfulness for even 10 min in order to pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you.