When it comes to maintaining – or attaining – a youthful appearance, the value of a well-balanced, nutritious diet is often overlooked. What is put into the body has a lasting impact on an individual’s health and wellness, and this is often most evidenced by the quality of one’s skin.
“We don’t often think of skin as an organ, but our skin is the largest organ in the body, and performs many vital functions,” said Futurelife® Dietician, Bianca Tromp. “Health and nutritional status are often reflected in our skin’s condition.”
She said, to achieve optimum skin health, three dietary practices should be followed:
1. Don’t deprive yourself
It’s important to implement healthy dietary practices early on, which means avoiding dietary fads that demand deprivation of certain foods. Rather opt for a balanced, nutritious diet that leads to health and happiness, because a healthy diet will result in healthier skin. To ensure no meals are missed, it’s worth trying a convenient meal supplement that offers the ultimate combination of a balanced meal supplement and a youthful ageing solution.
2. Get enough collagen in your diet
According to Tromp, the most abundant protein in the body is collagen, making up 70% of the protein in the skin. Topical cosmetics, such as creams, which include collagen, only reach the outer layers of the skin – the epidermis – while oral consumption improves collagen production from the deeper layers of the skin (the dermis).
“From the age of 25, our collagen production starts to decline, and this may lead to signs of ageing,” she said. “Collagen supplementation can improve skin health by improving skin elasticity, hydration and firmness, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.”
3. Make sure you’re getting the right vitamin balance
Vitamins play an important role in the continued functioning of the body, yet we don’t always have the time or inclination to prepare the necessary vitamin-rich meals we need. Certain vitamins are particularly vital to skin health, and it’s important that these form part of a daily diet. Key vitamins include:
· Vitamin C: This contributes to normal collagen production for the normal function and integrity of skin;
· Vitamin E: This contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress;
· Niacin and biotin: These contribute to the maintenance of normal skin; and
· Riboflavin: This contributes to the maintenance of normal skin and the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
“A balanced diet is crucial for skin health, which includes meeting our vitamin and mineral requirements, as well as a balance in macronutrients; carbohydrates, proteins and fats,” said Tromp. “A diet with adequate amounts of protein and unsaturated fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids, is great for skin health.
“Without certain vitamins, we have an increased number of oxidants in our system and we suffer from oxidative stress. This leads to chronic inflammation which can cause collagen fragmentation, as well as the disorganisation of collagen fibres and skin cell functions, thereby contributing to skin diseases.”