Feeding Your Beautiful Skin
Author: Leah Van Lambaart Date Posted:9 November 2019
Feeding Your Beautiful Skin
Our beautiful and unique skin is considered the largest organ in our body. Its many roles include protecting us from the outside world, as well as eliminating toxins and maintaining body temperature.
At this stage of the year, our skin has gone through a bit of a beating. Performance make-up, sweaty practice days, even changes in weather can cause our skin to become dry, sensitive or dull. To ensure your skin is as vibrant as ever, feed your skin with some of the following nutrients…
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are provided to our body by what we eat. These foods include fish (salmon, anchovies, mackerel, sardines and herring), flaxseeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, avocado, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and some leafy greens. One of its roles in our body is to help build the cells that make up our skin (1).
There are two layers of our skin, the outer most layer that we see is called the epidermis and the inner layer that we can’t see is called the dermis. EFA’s are used by our dermis to help build skin, repair skin and helps to regulate inflammation (2). A wholemeal wrap with mackerel, avocado, spinach, sprinkled with hemp seeds is an EFA packed lunch.
Vitamin C rich foods include guava, blackcurrants, citrus, kiwifruit, broccoli and sprouts (4). Without enough vitamin C, our bodies will be unable to produce collagen, found in the dermis of your skin. Collagen helps to keep our skin stretchy. Vitamin C aids in protecting our skin from environmental damage, helps to keep our skin hydrated and vitamin C works with vitamin E to build new layers of skin (3). Keep some kiwifruit and guava in the freezer. On the next hot day, pop in a blender and blitz on high with a big squeeze of lime until smooth for a hydrating and refreshing sorbet packed with vitamin C.
Almonds and hazelnuts are great sources of vitamin E. This vitamin helps our skin feel hydrated. There are many skin products that are on offer at our supermarkets and pharmacies that contain vitamin E. Many studies look at the use of vitamin E topically, which is absorbed directly into the skin (5). Although getting some vitamin E rich foods into your diet may help to build strong, healthy and hydrated skin! A quick vitamin E rich snack before class could be some almond butter or hazelnut butter spread on seeded crackers with sliced apple!
Zinc is a mineral that is found in many nuts and seeds, particularly high in pumpkin seeds! Just 2 oysters provide us with more our daily requirements of zinc (8). Zinc is found in both layers of our skin, highest in the epidermis. Here is where our cells need zinc to produce the energy needed for the constant repair and rebuild our skin (6,7). A zinc loaded pesto recipe is on my Instagram. Stir this pesto through some buckwheat pasta, delicious!
Our best friend, water! When dancing, our body maintains its temperature by sweating. Although this is essential for keeping us cool, we lose water through our skin. Without adequate hydration, our bodies have a really hard time maintaining their normal healthy functions. Although much scientific research around water and skin health has been inconclusive, some research has shown that dryness, roughness, extensibility and elasticity are improved when we are hydrated (9).
DIY Face Mask
1 big squeeze of honey
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 egg white
¼ tsp turmeric
Mash avocado until smooth, then mix through honey, yoghurt, egg white and turmeric. Spread onto face and leave for 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat dry.
This antimicrobial, probiotic-rich face mask is a delicious addition to a little downtime. Spend an hour this weekend dedicated to some self-love by whipping up a quick face mask and watching your favourite movie!
These nutrients are feeding the largest organ in your body. As 2019 starts to wind down, give your skin a little extra nourishment.
Hope you’re all having a wonderful week, thanks for reading!
Leah Van Lambaart for Total Dance Australia