Skin 101: Enhance Your Skin With Nutrition

Most people hit the gym for one or all of three reasons:

1)     You want to excel as an athlete

2)     You want to feel good

3)     You want to look good

The third of these reasons is a pretty big deal for the majority of gym goers and while your body may be in amazing shape, your skin could be letting you down. Sweating it out at the gym and then leaving the sweat to dry out your face is a really bad idea! Similarly, (and I speak mostly to the ladies here, I hope!) wearing make up to the gym because you want to look good is actually counter-productive. The risk of breaking out in blemishes is much higher if you combine sweat with foundation in a horrible gloopy mess on your face.

Skin is made up of an outer layer, the epidermis, and a layer of soft tissue underneath called the dermis. The epidermis constantly grows up towards the outer surface of the skin and sheds dead cells. Our skin acts as a barrier to protect our body from the environment, regulates body temperature and detects and fights off infections. The skin is one of the biggest and most complex organs of the body, containing hair follicles, oil glands, sweat glands, nerves and blood vessels.

You can look after your skin by keeping the surface clean and eating well. You have a great routine to keep your body in check and your skin deserves the same treatment. Keep in mind that it takes six weeks for new skin to emerge and become visible on the surface of your face. So if you have tried skin regimes before and given up before this time, you probably didn’t give it enough of a chance! Eating right WILL improve your skin if you stick with it!

Diet for Healthy Skin

WATER – It may seem really obvious, but the majority of us don’t drink enough water. Water is a vital ingredient in the battle for beautiful skin. It helps to flush out toxins and reveal fresh, clear skin.

Nettle tea – Yes, it is the same evil plant that stings the skin if you touch it. However, drinking it in tea form helps to cleanse the skin without stripping away natural oils.

Alfalfa Sprouts – These amazing little sprouts contain valuable, skin-clearing nutrients such as calcium, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, potassium, silicon, sodium and zinc. It is also packed full of vitamins so is the perfect food to include in your meals if you want amazing skin!

Peppermint – A contributing factor to looking tired and a common aggravator of acne is stress. We all have this in our lives, but studies have shown that ingesting peppermint (most commonly in tea) helps relieve stress and therefore can help in the bid for fresh looking, acne free skin.

Red grapes – This is easily obtainable and a tasty snack which reduces inflammation. It can help reduce redness and swelling in the skin and help to promote a clear and even skin tone.

Watercress – This is an excellent source of manganese, carotene and potassium. It acts as a powerful cleanser nourishing the skin and helping to flush out toxins.

Tofu – A great source of protein, calcium and healthy fats. It also contains iron, copper and manganese. Tofu helps to calm redness and keep your skin moisturised leaving it looking fresh, smooth and free from dryness.

Cashew nuts – High in selenium, these nuts actively increase the number of infection fighting white blood cells while the vitamin E, calcium and iron improve skin health and function.

Avocado – Vitamin E gives skin a luminous glow while Vitamin C helps reduce inflammation. The avocado oil containing collagen improves texture and tone.

Supplements for Healthy Skin

Wassen Selenium ACE – Provides the body with antioxidant protection. It can help improve and maintain skin tissue, avoiding breakouts and reducing dark circles under the eyes. Selenium levels in UK soil are low at the moment, so this is an excellent way to ensure you obtain this skin enhancing mineral.

Health Aid Shark Cartilage – Containing collagen, shark cartilage can improve the appearance and condition of hair, nails and skin. Look healthy on the outside and feel healthy on the inside.

Dymatize Guggel Complex – This supplement has been proven in studies to support a fine skin texture by decreasing the appearance of blemishes, and optimize thyroid gland function which supports fat loss.

HRI Clear Complexion – These tablets help to clear the skin of blemishes and acne. Containing burdock root, the tablets help to stop bacteria growth which leads to breakouts on our skin.

Vitamins B, C and E can also be supplemented to improve skin health but if you eat the food suggested in this article, it is unlikely that you will be low in any of these.

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

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