Guest blog by Sam Hadadi
Eat Your Way to Clearer Skin
With the harsh winds of winter, dreary mornings and lingering Christmas decadence, our skin is often less than supermodel-worthy come February.
While we all long for plumped-up, dewy skin, the winter can often take its toll, leaving our faces grey and dull. Yet, there’s plenty you can do to get fresh-faced, especially if you ditch processed foods.
You see, poor gut health can take its toll on our faces, and what goes on on the inside can hugely affect the outside. In fact, if you suffer from conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis, then it could well be a sign that something is going wrong elsewhere.
These common complaints are often triggered by poor gut health since those clever gut microbiota1 can affect skin lipids and fatty tissue and they can even control sebum production. Those same gut flora can also help us to absorb essential nutrients, all of which can impact on our complexion.
Studies2 have even found that up to 54 per cent of acne sufferers can have huge alterations in their gut flora, and acne can also be a result of inflammation, triggered by microbial toxins.
Things That Can Affect Your Skin
Of course, it’s not always so easy to find the trigger and hormones can also play a role in how your skin looks. Other factors that can affect your gut health and show on your skin include:
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics can wreak havoc on the one trillion bacteria living in our body by wiping out the good bacteria. This can lead to pathogens growing and forming (a known cause of yeast infections). These pills can also reduce the gut flora’s ability to absorb iron and digest certain foods, which can leave you with pasty or congested skin.
- Stress – Stress can lead to an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria – a trigger for acne rosacea – as well as reducing gut biodiversity. It can also affect our ability to digest food and absorb nutrients, all of which can affect skin health.
- Diets high in refined carbs and processed foods – Simple sugars and refined carbs can cause inflammation in the gut. To combat this, try eating more probiotics (found in yoghurt and other foods) to reduce acne-causing inflammation and eliminate toxins.
- Dietary toxins, such as wheat – Many of us can react badly to wheat or gluten, which studies have found can cause yet more inflammation in the gut.
So, if you want to get the glow and heal your skin, then it helps to start gut-first.
Happily, you can do this overnight by simply ditching processed foods and eating organic, unprocessed produce.
Everyday Foods For Clearer Skin
There are also plenty of foods that are great to add to your plate if you want beautiful, youthful skin. Some of our favourite complexion-boosting foods include:
A favourite in our morning smoothies, this leafy green is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, which protect from free radical damage. It’s also a good source of vitamins and antiaging omega-3 fatty acids. As an added bonus, spinach is rich in sun-protective carotenoids.
These ruby red seeds don’t just look pretty – they’re packed with polyphenols, which help to keep the skin hydrated. These polyphenols also regulate the skin’s blood flow, which keeps cheeks beautifully rosy.
Rich in vitamin C, these zesty fruits are fantastic for the skin. You see, vitamin C works as an anti-oxidant and can help the skin to neutralise free radicals and boost face-plumping collagen. What’s more, the bioflavonoids found in lemons help the vitamin C to work even more effectively.
Those omega-3 fatty acids, found in this healthy snack, can work wonders for our complexion by improving skin elasticity. Walnuts also contain copper, a nifty mineral that can boost collagen production.
While it may not be great for the breath, garlic can work a treat for acne sufferers. Thanks to its high sulphur content, garlic can help banish those blemishes, leaving you with a flawless complexion.
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