Tips to improve your skin’s health
Good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and making sure you are getting essential nutrients, are all ways to you can improve the health of your skin. Premature ageing, rosacea, eczema, acne, fungal infections and rashes are all signals that there may be internal deficiencies and imbalances that need correcting. Often people with chronic conditions such as eczema, rosacea and acne become reliant on topical corticosteroids or other prescribed creams and medications. While these can be useful in the short term, it can be beneficial to understand and address the underlying factors contributing to these skin conditions.
Dietary and lifestyle modification is an excellent start to improving your internal health and ultimately your skin health – this includes enjoying plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet alongside whole grains and good quality proteins such as fish, chicken, tofu, eggs and small portions of lean red meat.
The following nutrients are especially important for promoting skin health and healing:
· Zinc is important for skin repair and immune health. Zinc can also help to balance blood sugar and hormone levels that can negatively impact skin health. There are many great food sources of zinc such as oysters, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, kidney beans, yoghurt and non-GMO tofu. Despite this, zinc deficiencies amongst Kiwis are common because New Zealand soils are low in this vital mineral so supplementation may be necessary. Eczema and acne are two skin conditions that can respond well to zinc supplementation. Excess doses can cause gastric upset and nausea so it is important to talk to your health provider to find the correct dose for you.
· Omega 3 Fish oils can have strong anti-inflammatory effects in the body and can assist with some skin conditions. Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include oily fish such as sardines, salmon and anchovies, as well as chia, flaxseeds and walnuts.
· Vitamin C is a key nutrient involved in collagen synthesis. Collagen gives your skin its strength and structure, and assists in maintaining the elasticity of your skin. Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
· Probiotic bacteria are important for the health of your bowels and your immune system. Having a healthy balance of probiotic bacteria in your gut may have a positive impact on inflammatory skin conditions including acne and eczema. Fermented foods such as yoghurt, miso and sauerkraut contain a good supply of probiotic bacteria, but it can be hard to include enough in your diet. If this is the case for you, then a good quality probiotic supplement may be a good addition to your diet.
To optimise your health and get expert advice on how you can improve your skin and get the essential nutrients you need, make an appointment with one of the Holistic Medical Centre Naturopaths or Holistic GPs . Contact us on 09 370 0650