The focus on holistic healthy living is set to get even bigger in 2016.
And we love it! As looking good should be as much about what you put in your body as it is about what you put on your skin.
But where to start if you want to know a little bit more about nutrition and foods that your skin can seriously benefit from?
We teamed with London based Nutritional Therapist Kellie Weiss of kellieweissnutrition.com to dive a little bit deeper into the question of nutrition and how it can positively impact the condition of your skin.
In Part I (read here) Kellie answered some of the most pressing questions you had about anti-oxidants, toxins entering the body and the function of the liver. In this Part II we talk about food (!) and more specifically Superfoods. 'When focusing on certain ingredients or food groups it is essential to take a balanced approach.' says Kellie. 'But there are definitely 'Superfoods' that I would recommend adding to a varied diet that can be extremely beneficial to the skin and health.' So what are these Superfoods that are beneficial to the Skin?
Scroll through to find out which Vitamins and Fatty Acids packed skin loving Superfoods Kellie recommends and she shares some really simple tips how to incorporate them in your breakfast, lunch or dinner or just as a delicious but healthy snack.
Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C and the carotenoid beta carotene which are potent free radical-scavenging antioxidants. They play a pivotal role in protecting the skin against free radicals triggered by excessive exposure to environmental or chemical toxins like ultraviolet (UV) light, cigarette smoke, poor air, food and water quality that can lead to premature aging. Carotenoids can be converted by the body to retinol –vitamin A - an essential skin care nutrient. Vitamin A has anti-inflammatory properties and regulates the growth of skin cells and production of sebum. Sebum coats the outer later of the skin. Vitamin C is another powerful skincare antioxidant that plays a vital role in collagen production (the basis for the structure of skin). Even more impressive is its potential to limit and treat (UV)-induced premature aging, making it a vital component of skin health.
Kellie's Breakfast Tip: This fruit can be enjoyed at any time of day, but makes the perfect energizing morning treat to kick-start the digestive system and begin to glow from within. Remove the seeds and scoop out the flesh for a refreshing fruit salad, add to Greek bio-live yoghurt or a smoothie.
Blueberries also pack a punch when it comes to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile. A rich source of the powerful anthocyanins compound – part of the flavonoid phytonutrient family – they give blue, purple and red colours to fruits and vegetables.. Extraordinarily, the ability of flavonoids to absorb ultraviolet (UV) light exposure to the skin underlines their incredible skin and health protective benefits. They are also good sources of skin-friendly nutrients, vitamin C and fibre.
Kellie's Smoothy Tip: Naturally sweetened by nature, try adding a serving of fresh blueberries to your granola, yoghurt, quinoa porridge or as a snack on their own to reap the benefits. Frozen blueberries make a sublime berry smoothie ingredient.
Acai Berries are considered the antioxidant superstars of the phytonutrient (phyto = plant) family. They contain anthocyanins providing them with a phenomenal antioxidant capacity; concentrated in the skin and pulp, the highest for any food tested, as well as superb anti-inflammatory properties. Bearing in mind the variety of toxins that the festive / end of year party season exposes us to and the subsequent production of trillions of free radicals, the acai berry is the one to incorporate into your diet. With masses of potential to protect against free radical damage to the skin, it is an excellent superfood to help slow down the ageing process. Acai contains fibre to aid digestion and absorption of nutrients along with key skincare vitamins C and E. Kellie's tip for a superhealty porridge: Native to the rainforests of South America, Acai extracts are better enjoyed as a freeze-dried powder or frozen pulp that can be added to smoothies, juices, healthy ice cream or made into a compote to be used in Greek yoghurt, porridge or muesli. It is also suitable for baking.
Sweet potatoes The glow of the orange-hued sweet potato offers an abundance of the skin’s antioxidant vitamins A, C and E as well as the skin food beta-carotene. They share unique antioxidant properties in the skin by working in perfect harmony to protect it. Equally as fascinating is their capability to reduce inflammation. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant found in high-concentrations in the skin. It is essential to its maintenance and plays a significant role in the prevention of UV-induced free radical damage. Disappointingly, this level of protection naturally declines with age. This is even more of a reason to put the sweet potato on your weekly shopping list as a standout antioxidant food. It’s versatile; you can bake, roast, boil it or eat it raw, and tastes positively sumptuous.
Kellie's Potato In a Jacket Tip: Roast it in its jacket and serve with feta cheese, walnuts and lashings of avocado oil. Whip up a sweet potato pudding by scooping out its flesh and baking it along with raisins, coconut sugar and pecans. For a lighter dish, use it raw, diced and tossed in freekeh and a mixed-leaf and pumpkin seed salad.
Walnuts Moisturize from within and give your skin a more lustrous appearance by snacking on walnuts. The key to nourished, radiant looking skin is essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega 3, 6 & 9. They play a critical role not only in appearance, but the skin’s structural integrity, barrier function and fluidity of every skin cell wall, allowing an efficient flow of nutrients in.Walnuts are an excellent source of the hard to come by polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) omega-3, are notably high in the important skin antioxidants vitamin E and a phenol compound that supports detoxification of the liver. Such a unique cocktail of nutrients has a profound influence on the anti-inflammatory response in the skin. This overshadows the furore surrounding its high-calorie and high-fat risk*. The good news is a handful (at least 14 walnuts halves) every day as a snack, sprinkled on salads or on wholegrain or vegetable dishes for extra flavour or crunch is all you need to reap the benefits.
Kellie's tip for a crunchy crumble: Like most nuts, walnuts can easily be eaten whole or chopped and added to a lentil and sweet potato salad, as a garnish in a butternut squash soup or as a crumble for a chia seed and apple pudding.
Avocado This delightfully rich and creamy fruit, contains an amazing array of phytonutrients: phytosterols, carotenoids and flavonoids. Phytosterols play a vital role in the structure and function of skin cell membranes (the selective barrier that allows some things to pass through but stops others) by regulating its fluidity. Avocados are also filled with the EFA omega-3, vitamins E and C and fibre.ts high fat content between 71 to 88% of their total calories means there is some notable dietary contention. Yet, a typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but 20 grams of this fat are health-promoting. For example, by eating 1 small/medium avocado providing 20-25 grams of total fat in combination with a sweet potato or tomato sauce helps to increase absorption of the carotenoid content of these foods by the body.
Kellie's Tip: Serve with a crispy kale salad and walnuts, a three-bean chilli casserole or whip up a tantalising guacamole.
Wild Salmon This variety of salmon has a high concentration of the vital skin nutrient omega-3. What is striking is its immediate conversion to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) inside the body. Renowed for its anti-inflammatory properties, EPA may reduce collagen damage associated with skin-aging, UV damage and alleviate inflammatory skin disorders. Oily fish is the major dietary source of EPA and a slightly lower amount is provided in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA can act as a competitive inhibitor of usually potent pro-inflammatory signaling molecules that can influence the appearance of the skin. The amounts of EPA and DHA contained in salmon are unusual among commonly-eaten foods. Levels of omega-3 in the skin can be protective against the damaging effects of sunlight. However, its ability to influence UV-induced inflammatory responses in the skin relies on a good balance between omega-6 and antioxidants; vitamins A, C, E, minerals and phytonutrients. **Wild salmon is a rich source of selenium (a mineral which acts as another powerful antioxidant) and vitamin D (a particularly essential vitamin at this time of year).
Kellie's easy salmon tip: There are many ways to enjoy salmon: poached, grilled or baked or smoked. Salmon poached in miso soup with soba noodles, baby corn, raw courgette ribbons and diced sweet potato is calming on the digestive system and therefore skin. Bake it and serve with short-grain brown rice and a tenderstem broccoli, beetroot and pumpkin seed salad.
Spinach has outstanding health benefits. As well as a rich source of the antioxidant carotenoid, beta-carotene, which can be converted to the essential skin health vitamin A, it is also the richest source of the carotenoid, lutein an important antioxidant for healthy bright eyes.High in fibre and those all-important omega-3 fatty acids, raw spinach makes a fantastic accompaniment to a salad, sandwich or blitzed in a green smoothie. It can be lightly cooked and served with wild-caught salmon and beluga lentils or tossed in spelt–grain risotto and sun dried tomatoes. Look for bright, vibrant-looking spinach leaves, not only are they more appealing to the eye but contain greater concentrations of the skin defense antioxidants vitamins A, C and E.
The first unique feature of linseed is its incredibly high omega-3 fatty acid content in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which once digested can be converted by the body to the omega-3 fatty acid, EPA. It also contains omega-6 essential fatty acid. In combination these EFAs are taken up by the skin cell membranes bestowing them with a wonderful fluidity and suppleness. Linseed has beneficial effects on skin quality, improving hydration and reducing dryness.The second unique feature of linseed is its lignans. Lignans are fibre-like compounds that provide support to the digestive system by improving intestinal absorption of nutrients. They also offer antioxidant protection; due to their structure as a polyphenol.
Kellie's tip: These are best enjoyed whole as chewing activates all the natural health properties and oil. They can be sprinkled on porridge or Bircher muesli at breakfast. To pump up the nutritional value of your smoothie or juice add a tablespoon of golden linseed. You can also enchance the flavour of your vegetables, soups, bread and muffins. Cooking at oven temperatures of 150C doesn’t spoil their beneficial oil.
Who: Kellie Weiss
Occupation: Nutritional Therapist, with an aptitude for a balanced and wholesome approach to nutrition
Motto: Nutrition is not about dieting, but about having fun taking charge of your health and wellbeing Interested in working with Kellie and creating a bespoke nutrition plan to support your healthy lifestyle?
Get in touch with Kellie via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kellieweissnutrition.com Follow Kellie on instagram