So many tips that we think of for good diet and general health are also perfect for ensuring your skins always looks vibrant and healthy too. Here are Nutritional Therapist, Pippa Mitchell’s top tips for healthy looking skin this summer…
Keep your body clean from the inside out!
- What you need to do: Start the day with giving your liver support.
- How do you do it: On rising sip 1 dessertspoon fresh lemon juice in a glass of warm water.
- Why do you need to do it: The liver is the main organ of detoxification (along with the skin) so you need to keep it functioning so it can do its job. Lemon juice will also help stimulate digestion so you get the most nutrients out of your food.
- What you need to do: Drink enough water every day (6-8 glasses).
- How do you do it:: Try to drink throughout the day. Start with you morning lemon juice (above). Have another glass of water mid-morning, one after lunch, another mid-afternoon and one more after supper. Have a final glass about an hour or two before bedtime. You will need to drink more if you are exercising.
- Why do you need to do it: Helps to keep skin clear by avoiding constipation and keeps kidneys functioning well.
- What you need to do: Include lots of fibre in diet
- How do you do it: Eat at least 5 fruit and vegetables a day but preferably more. Aim to include vegetables and salads at breakfast; lunch and dinner. Aim to make half your plate leafy green and coloured vegetables.
- Experiment with different whole grains such as barley, rye, quinoa.
- Why do you need to do it: Fibre helps you avoid constipation so you can eliminate waste products from your body efficiently. Fibre also encourages the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.
Fight free radicals
- What you need to do: Include lots of antioxidants in the diet.
- Why do you need to do it: Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables to take full advantage of the different nutrients available.
- Why do you need to do it: Antioxidants help to neutralise free radicals that can cause ageing and susceptibility to disease.
Good fats, bad fats
- What you need to do: Reduce trans fats (processed foods, processed seed and bean oils) and increase essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6.
- How do you do it: Make sure you diet includes oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon. Cold pressed seed and nut oils (pumpkin, safflower, flax and avocado) can be used on salads. Cook with olive oil or coconut oil.
- Why do you need to do it: Essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties so are good for conditions such as dermatitis and eczema. They can also help with dry, flaky skin.
Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
- What you need to do: Avoid excess amounts of both these stimulants
- How do you do it: Stick to government healthy drinking guidelines that recommend no more than 14 units of alcohol per week for women and men. When you are out try to alternate alcoholic drinks with water. Aim for at least 2 days a week with no alcohol. Cut down on coffee and replace with herb or fruit teas
- Why do you need to do it: Both alcohol and caffeine ‘stress’ the liver and act as diuretics that dehydrate the body. Alcohol is also high in sugar so can cause weight increase and congests the skin.
Increase your friendly bacteria
- What you need to do: Enhance your digestion and immune system by making sure you have a good balance of good bacteria.
- How do you do it: Include plain bio yoghurt , kefir and fermented foods such as sauerkraut as part of your daily diet
- Why do you need to do it :The gut is the first line of defence for the immune system so ensuring a healthy digestion will help you absorb all nutrients from your food, including those that support your skin, more effectively.
Good sleep patterns
- What you need to do: Make sure you get enough sleep. This is when the body has the time to rest, heal and regenerate and that includes your skin!
- How do you do it: Set a regular daily pattern to help you sleep; avoid handheld devices in the hour before bed; listen to calming sounds and make sure you and your room are a comfortable temperature – being too hot can make it difficult to rest.
- Why do you need to do it: Your body boosts blood flow to the skin during sleep. Lack of sleep can show in your complexion making your skin look drab and lifeless. Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin surrounding your face and blood flow brings nutrients including oxygen to this area.