Beauty ideals – and the millions of cosmetic products that help us achieve them – vary worldwide. What remains consistent, however, is the reality that what we put into our bodies has a very real impact on achieving both skin and body health. What exactly do we mean when we say that? Lovoir Beauty gets under the skin to investigate!
It’s quite simple, really: By including all the colours of the rainbow in your diet, you’re optimizing your vitality. Not only will this make your meals instantly instagrammable (yay) but it will also send healthy messages to your body. How’s that for a pot of gold?
Vitamin A: Playing a major role in cell renewal and healthy skin, you can get plenty of this vitamin from both plant and animal-based foods, such as carrots, spinach, tomatoes, mangoes, apricots, butter, liver, eggs and sweet potatoes. It’s also worth noting that drinking alcohol and smoking can lead to Vitamin A deficiencies (#justsaying).
Vitamin C: The antioxidants contained in Vitamin C make it a must-have molecule for skin health. Good sources include oranges, berries, broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Zinc: Helping to produce collagen fibres, zinc also helps regulates the function of the Sebaceous Glands which can cause acne. Popular ways to get your zinc quota naturally include almonds, spinach, asparagus, salmon, red meat, oysters, chicken and pumpkin seeds.
Copper: If zinc produces collagen fibres, copper links them together. It also keeps bones, heart and blood vessels healthy.
This antioxidant helps prevent premature ageing caused by sun damage and a deficiency – often caused by a diet high in processed, fried and fatty foods – can lead to a whole host of health issues. Eating nuts, avocados, spinach, wholegrains and seafood will help up your Vitamin E intake.
A special shout out to the incredible green hulk that is the avocado. Full of healthy fats, including a good amount of these in your diet will lead to more supple, moisturized skin – also helping to protect it from sun damage.
We also couldn’t let this moment pass without singing the praises of the humble sweet potato – packed with Beta-carotene, which functions as Provitamin A. What this means – in real terms – is that along with other sources such as oranges, carrots, peppers and spinach, it protects your skin from sun exposure, helping to prevent sunburn and wrinkles.
As well as being packed with the vitamins and minerals necessary for skin health, broccoli also contains lutein – a carotenoid that works like beta-carotene. The result? Another superfood that prevents your skin becoming dry and wrinkled. What’s more, it also contains a special compound called sulforaphane, which not only helps to maintain collagen levels in the skin but may even hold some anti-cancer properties.
Boasts Vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein in its repertoire, making this an excellent choice for maintaining healthy skin.
Also known as fatty acids, these healthy fats act as a natural moisturizer for the skin – also helping with its elasticity, like much of the above. However, it also goes one step further thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Good sources can be found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel and herring), walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, eggs, olive oil and coconut oil.
Ever feel totally drained – both physically and mentally? You’re not alone. Luckily, ingesting more amino acids – found in proteins such as nuts, tofu, sprouts, lentils and wild rice – can do wonders for your energy.
Spices and herbs
Turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel, rosemary and garlic are all packed with anti-inflammatory properties.
Yup, it’s true – scout’s honour – that eating some dark chocolate in moderation can do wonders for your skin, thanks to the cocoa flavanols which help to soften skin. (You’re welcome.) Make sure to choose chocolate with at least 70% cocoa – keeping sugar to a minimum – to reap the full benefits.
How much water should I drink in a day?
The truth is, you can never have too much! One of the biggest dos in nourishment is in the simple act of drinking water – great for overall skin health as well as flushing toxins out the body. Six to eight glasses a day is the minimum recommended amount to give your skin the necessary moisture it needs.
Also growing in popularity, coconut water has intensely hydrating properties, as well as being a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Green tea, in particular, is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to its richness in antioxidants – especially useful in keeping the elasticity of the skin firm, fighting inflammation and boosting energy. Check out the awesome range of organic herbal teas by Bestow Beauty.
A great way to get a nutrient boost in one healthy serving, but try to avoid preservatives and added sugar as these can wreak havoc on your skin. Instead, opt for making your own at home wherever possible. Even better, favour green juices – made up mostly of green vegetables with a few fruits thrown in for good measure – to help counteract things like under-eye puffiness and inflammation.
Ok hear us out – we are not suggesting for a second that you take up heavy drinking. However, if you naturally enjoy some red wine as your alcoholic beverage from time to time, you might be in luck. Studies have shown that resveratrol – a compound that comes from the skin of red grapes – can be credited with a whole host of health benefits, such as anti-aging.
The supplements industry is growing exponentially – and it’s no secret why. Nourishing our bodies with vitamins and minerals is the way to ensuring tip-top health – especially in a fast-paced world which prevents us from getting everything we need from diet alone. (Not to mention the fact that pesticides and the like compromise the full nutritional quality of soil – and hence the food which grows in it.) Here are some examples of the supplements you should be taking – and why:
Living in sunny New Zealand, you could be forgiven for assuming that your body is rich in vitamin D. Whilst this is, in theory, true, too much exposure to the sun – especially without proper protection – can cause more health problems than it prevents. Taking this anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral vitamin will ensure you’re getting enough of the good stuff – without putting yourself at serious risk. Vitamin D:
- Boosts elasticity
- Helps prevent wrinkles
- Enhances the quality of sleep by releasing melatonin
Promoting the growth of good bacteria, probiotics not only aid in digestion but also help absorb and move toxins out from the gut.
Here at Lovoir Beauty, we understand the importance of nourishing the body from within, which is why we use products from Koru Nutrition and Bestow Beauty, offering everything from beauty powders and ‘Gut Love’ to nutritional supplements for chronic pain.
Featured image: Patrick Feller, Flickr