Do you want glowing skin or just want to help your skin feel healthier a bit a little less dry, red and irritated, there are a few simple steps that internationally recognised nutritionist Rick Hay has given us to get surprising results its such little time.
Keep Read to find Rick Hays tips on choosing the right foods and supplements and how it can help with collagen synthesis to reduce skin imperfections such as fine lines and wrinkles. Keeping your skin healthy doesn’t happen overnight, having healthy skin also means having a healthy digestive system.
The importance of collagen
Skin is 70 per cent elastin and collagen.
‘We depend on collagen to keep our skin looking plump, our hair strong, bones healthy, joints lubricated and it also helps our digestive system to work smoothly,’
As we age our production of collagen and the quality begins to decline at a rate of 1.5 per cent per year – usually around the age of 25. By your 40s, collagen levels may have fallen by 30 per cent. ‘Without collagen, our cells lose structure and become weaker and thinner,’‘ If ageing is your main worry, marine collagen, in particular, may help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles’
Vitamin C – the super collagen booster
Daily consumption of collagen has been proven to improve your skin but if you are vegan or vegetarian or just aren’t into marine collagen or bone broth another way to boost collagen, is to increase your intake of vitamin C.
This can be done by eating vitamin C rich foods, such as berries, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, lemon, other citrus fruits and sweet potatoes.
Taking vitamin C supplements may also help prevent UV-induced skin damage, skin wrinkling and may also benefit dry skin and wound healing.
Beware excessive sun exposure
Sun exposure accelerates ageing and may lead to more serious problems such as skin cancer. ‘Exposure to the sun and excess sugar are two of the strongest premature ageing agents,’ If you want some natural sun protection eat more tomatoes.’ Tomatoes contain lycopene, a natural carotenoid and phytonutrient that fights cellular damage and skin inflammation – it helps our body recover from UV rays. Lycopene may reduce sunburn by up to 40 per cent’
Go green to get your glow on
Green tea can also help to protect the skin from UV rays. Polyphenols which are antioxidant chemicals found in green tea have been shown to counteract inflammation in the skin that has been induced by exposure to UV light.
In a study of 60 women aged 40 to 65, half the women were given a green tea drink, and the other half a placebo drink every day for 12 weeks.
Results found that of the women who drank the green tea, their skin showed 25 per cent less redness in reaction to a dose of UV radiation after 12 weeks in comparison to the non-green tea group – the women who drank the green tea also had improvements in their skin elasticity, and reduction in roughness and scaling.
Glycation is one of the fastest skin agers – beware excess sugar!
‘Excess sugar in the diet can cause an accelerated ageing process in the skin,’
When we eat too much sugar, protein molecules in the skin cross-link with sugar molecules in a process called glycation and glycation leads to the breakdown of collagen which in turn increases the signs of ageing.
This results in wrinkling, loss of elasticity and accelerated ageing.
Diets high in sugar, as well as those that include foods high on the Glycaemic Load, such as refined carbs, crisps, sweets, white pasta and bread all, have a negative effect on skin.
Fats can be good
‘Good fats such as omega-3 and -6, are required to maintain the structure of our cell membranes which are vital to skin structure’
Increase oily fish, including salmon, mackerel, sardines as well as nuts and seeds such as flax, hemp and chia. Good fats can also be found in coconut oil, algal oil and avocados.
‘These fats contain essential lipids that create a protective surface around our skin cells and prevent essential water from escaping,’
Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids also support our body’s anti-inflammatory response.
Supplementation with these good fatty acids can significantly improve eczema symptoms.
Essential fats such as omega 7 are also essential to the production of collagen, ‘sea buckthorn in particular, when applied to the skin or taken orally, can help skin hydration’
Anti-inflammatory turmeric – the collagen-boosting super spice
Turmeric is rich in curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
Curcumin is also reported to increase our body’s collagen synthesis and helps cell regeneration’
One easy way to get more curcumin is to have one or two turmeric lattes each day – make with a cup of almond milk or coconut milk and add in a teaspoon of turmeric with little cinnamon.
This may help with liver health also which in turn can help with improved skin condition.