The Vitl Nutrition Team / 5 Sept 2019
These colourful vegetables are in season and are rich in beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A within the body. Vitamin A actively repairs signs of premature ageing that can occur from UV exposure1. Beta-carotene also has antioxidant properties which help repair free radical damage caused to our skin internally by normal bodily processes as well as externally by chemicals found in the products we use on our skin as well as pollution2, 11.
These awesome greens are low cost, quick to prepare and fully loaded with micronutrients such as vitamin C and E. These vitamins are potent antioxidants (also referred to as free-radical scavengers!), protecting your skin against the effects of chemicals, pollution and lesions. Vitamin C is active in collagen formation and vitamin E is thought to be ‘photoprotective’- protecting our skin against the damaging effects of UV rays3,4. These greens also contain vitamin K, which is anti-inflammatory and contributes to reducing the appearance of scars.
As the body’s primary defence mechanism, the skin acts as a physical barrier to any undesirable bugs that attempt an invasion. Oily fish are high in essential fatty acids which maintain our skin's function as a protective barrier. The well researched anti-inflammatory properties of essential fatty acids can help combat inflammatory diet and lifestyle choices such as drinking and smoking, as well as diets high in sugar and saturated fat5,6. Reducing the inflammation caused by these choices can then improve the appearance of our skin.
Nuts are also a rich source of vitamin E as well as essential fatty acids omegas 3 and 6, and therefore are a brilliant alternative to fish for vegetarians and vegans. Vitamin E and essential fatty acids support the integrity of our skin while being anti-inflammatory and photoprotective, making the skin less sensitive6. Walnuts are one of the most studied nuts in clinical trials and there is broad evidence of antioxidant and antimicrobial properties7. Rich in a family of antioxidants known as phenolic compounds, hazelnuts have also been shown to significantly reduce the harmful effects of free radicals, such as tissue damage and symptoms of ageing such as loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles8.
Many fruits have high concentrations of vitamin C which is one of the strongest antioxidants we can consume9. Berries have been identified in the nutrition community for their powerful vitamin C content which plays an integral role in collagen formation. Collagen is necessary for optimal skin structure as well as wound healing and therefore aiding a youthful appearance10. Regular consumption of berries in your diet can help alleviate damage resulting from toxic free radicals that have damaging effects on skin health11.
Not only does water contain essential minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium)12 that themselves contribute to a healthier appearance of our skin, water is a vital component in the removal of toxins from your body via eliminatory systems. Significant positive changes to skin health and appearance have been identified in trials where people drank 2L of water per day13.
Consuming foods that contain vitamin A (beta carotene), C and E will certainly aid in extending our summer glow into autumn and improve skin quality. There are also many other habits outside of eating that will influence the quality of our skin, including drinking enough water, reducing intake of processed foods and those high in saturated fat and sugar, spending 30 min outside per day (using suncream), and prioritising 7-9 hours of sleep each night. You can also take care of your skin this autumn by personalising your vitamins, for 50% off your first pack throughout September, to ensure you’re supported with the right nutrition. Existing Personalised Pack customers are also able to change their health goals to include skin.