Everyone has a favorite face cream or beauty treatment, but believe it or not, beautiful skin starts on the inside
As the largest organ of our body, skin has many functions besides covering our insides; such as protection from invaders, heat regulation, Vitamin D production, absorption of certain nutrients and drugs and it also has a role in detoxification.
Each layer of our outer skin is renewed in 28-32 days and oils produced by sebaceous glands keep it moisturized. To regulate turnover and allow cells to re-generate they need quite a lot of nutrients. But by eating the correct balance of foods you'll feed your skin the vital nutrients to help it stay soft, supple and blemish-free:
Vitamin C and antioxidants such as raw blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries, tomatoes and peppers; they all help to produce collagen to strengthens the capillaries that feed the skin and keep wrinkles and cancer causing free radicals away. (Revive Active contains Vitamin C)
Make sure you get enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids. You will find omega-3 in oily fish, but plant sources like walnuts, chia seeds linseeds and flax oil are also beneficial, if not as bio-available. (You should try Revive Active Krill Oil as a source of Omega-3).
Sulfur can help to keep skin smooth – egg yolks, garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables are ideal. They support detoxification also.
Vitamin E, such as almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Fat soluble antioxidants protect the cell membranes, holding moisture better. (Revive Active contains Vitamin E)
Zinc-rich foods, such as wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, pecans, sardines and oysters, help to repair skin damage and regulate sebum production (think dry lumpy skin or excess oil and acne!)
Vitamin A helps new skin to grow and heal without scarring: eggs, organic butter and oily fish are good sources.
Drink plenty of water to re-hydrate your skin You should aim for eight glasses a day. Green tea is an anti-oxidant rich liver supporter, so enjoy a couple of cups a day. Avoid alcohol as much as possible, and consume a glass of water between each unit of alcohol.
All the B vitamins are vital for skin health, but vitamin B2 or riboflavin (found in Revive Active) helps your skin glow. Wholegrains, seeds and dark green vegetables contain good amounts of B vitamins, but as most of them destroyed by heat or processing, I recommend taking a good quality B complex supplement daily.
Hormonal imbalances, poor elimination, sluggish liver detoxification, stress and bad diet can all lead to skin problems; acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. Growing evidence show a strong link between gut flora imbalance – weakened integrity of the intestinal membranes – immune dysregulation and many skin problems. You can rub anything on the skin or take the best supplements if the root cause of the issue is untouched.
Nutritional therapy will help you find and address the root of the problems – so find yourself a practitioner near you on the NTOI website - www.ntoi.ie
By Éva Hill DipNT (Dist.) mBANT mNTOI
Functional Medicine for skin and digestive problems
Thanks to Eva for contributing to the our blog this week as part of the Nutritional Therapy Awareness Week 2016. She is a passionate advocate for nutrition, having suffered her own calvary and healed herself through nutritional and herbal medicine. She is a member of the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland Organistaion. Her qualifications and interests include:
- Diploma with Distinction and a Scholarly Excellence Award from the College of Naturopathic Medicine - UK.
- Lecturing for CNM in Cork and Galway, and holds talks for healthcare professionals, carers, and associations (e.g. Parkinson’s Association of Ireland).
- Leading a Nutrition Club (info about the club) for the general public. She also writes a regular column in the Chronicles of Limerick.