Gather round beeyoutees, for there’s some more sage advice from naturopathic nutritional therapist Bex Sullivan, as she offers you the last in her current series on ‘eating for good skin health’. If you missed the last two, Don’t Panic! You can catch up on skin function and the importance of vitamin C here and, the benefits of vitamin A and biotin here.
This week, Bex is musing about the wonders of EFAs (essential fatty acids) and of course, the all important H2O.
Essential fatty acids or EFAs –These little beauties are polyunsaturated fatty acids that can’t be produced by our bodies so we have to get them through our diet. There are two classes of EFAs omega-3 and omega-6 and they are tasked with the job (among many others!) of keeping our cell membranes fluid and flexible. Research has shown that EFA deficiency leads to abnormalities in skin function and without enough EFAs in your diet, your skin can suffer from signs of dryness and premature ageing. They help to keep skin cells moist and strong by reducing the amount of water lost through the epidermis so helping to create that peachy plump look we all want.
Most people have no problem with their intake of omega-6 fatty acids as they are found so widely in vegetable oils, grains, nuts and seeds. It’s the fabulously anti-inflammatory omega-3s we need to be more mindful about getting into our everyday eating habits.
The best source of omega-3 is oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, herring or sardines. Aim for three portions a week to give your levels that needed boost (fresh where possible but one canned, one smoked is acceptable).
Flaxseeds are probably the most well known plant-based source of omega-3 so chuck a handful in a smoothie or on your salads to get a plant based boost.
Water – Finally, and one that I’m sure won’t come as news to anyone, is good old H2O. It’s a basic but a goodie and, one change that everyone can incorporate into their daily routine with relative ease. Aim for between six and eight 250ml glasses every day to really see the benefits of clearer, plumper skin. Sometimes upping our water intake is all we need to improve our skin tone and texture. Now that’s got to be worth a try, right?
Thanks for this fabulous series on ‘eating your way to healthier, younger looking skin’ – two of my favourite things – eating and youthful skin! Bex will be back again soon with some more tips on how to optimise your nutrition in order to age more ‘intelligently’…
If you have any questions for Bex or, would like her to investigate a naturopathic nutritional therapy topic in the name of ‘intelligent ageing’, please leave your comment below.
**If you’d like a private consultation with Bex, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org**
Artwork credit: Three Mackerel by John Nolan