In the name of ‘intelligent ageing’, my musings have occasionally incorporated some slightly suspect looking (but deeelishously healthy nonetheless 🙂 ) recipes, because as we all know, what we put in our body is just as important as what we put on it.

Rebecca-Sullivan-Naturopathy-2So with this in mind, I’m super excited to be welcoming on board Bex Sullivan to Zodleblog. Bex is a naturopathic nutritional therapist and all round health detective, who is all about helping people tap into every resource available to them to optimise their health and well-being. Bex will be posting regular naturopathic nutrition tips in order for you beeyoutees to support a holistic approach to ‘intelligent ageing’. Up this week, is the first of a series on skin health…

EAT AND DRINK YOUR WAY TO HEALTHIER, YOUNGER LOOKING SKIN – Yes it is possible!

Skin Function – At first glance the thin epidermis that makes up our outer most shell seems like pretty flimsy body armour. But the truth is, our skin is flipping amazing stuff. It is a multi-tasker extraordinaire fulfilling a huge number of functions to keep us as fit and healthy as possible. This awesome structure is a waterproof barrier to environmental nasties, a hormone synthesizer, a semi permeable membrane allowing certain fat-soluble substances to be absorbed into our bodies and our bloodstreams (remember this when choosing your skincare products. Avoid those unnecessary extra toxins by choosing as natural and organic as possible!). It acts like a switchboard to our central nervous system, transferring information like touch, pain, temperature and pressure. Finally and crucially, our skin also regulates our body temperature ensuring all those magical chemical reactions that happen within us can keep on ticking over. So there you have it – the skin is pretty darned important to keeping us fit and well and therefore keeping it in tip top condition is crucial to our overall health and well-being. The condition of our skin is also a pretty good reflection of how well our vital energy force is firing within us so, if you’re feeding your skin with the right things there’s no reason why you can’t sport that dewy glow we all crave.

So down to the nitty gritty – what do we need to eat to get skin like Cindy Crawford? A good dietary boost of at least three different coloured fruits and vegetables with every meal (yes that includes breakfast too!) will help ensure you’re getting a decent variation of nutrients needed for great health and therefore great looking skin. But let’s focus on some of the most important nutrients for keeping your skin plumped up and healthy looking and how to maximise your intake through the foods you eat.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and Vitamin E (tocopherol) – The antioxidant properties of vitamin C and it’s role in collagen synthesis and maintenance make vitamin C one of the big guns for maintaining healthy skin. Ascorbic acid works in synergy with vitamin E neutralising free radicals caused by sunlight and environmental pollutants. These highly reactive molecules destroy collagen and elastin causing wrinkles and other signs of skin ageing, so keeping them at bay with a diet rich in vitamins C and E will do wonders for your skin.

Fill up on vitamin C rich foods like acerola cherries, bell peppers, citrus fruits, kale and broccoli. It is well worth bearing in mind that vitamin C is water soluble and a pretty unstable molecule. This means that it can leach out of foods that are cooked in water and can also be destroyed during the cooking process. red fruitsSteam cook vitamin C rich foods or even better eat them raw in salads to maximise the vitamin potential. Stir frys are fab for getting numerous different coloured veg in one meal – just don’t over cook it and kill all that goodness!

Almonds, avocado, spinach, asparagus and sweet potato will all provide you with a hefty dose of vitamin E. It is fat soluble so if you’re getting your vit E dose from veg then have a good dollop of healthy fats with them to help absorb this wonderful nutrient. A drizzle of olive oil over cooked asparagus or sweet potatoes is the perfect accompaniment, especially as it’s got pretty good levels of the vitamin in it itself. Double whammy!

Plenty to digest then Bex 😉 – thankyou! 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.

See you next time beeyoutees for the next in this series on skin health…

🙂

 

**If you’d like a private consultation with Bex, she can be contacted at rebecca@rsnutritionalhealth.com**