Our skin is an organ that relies on what we feed it, so it makes sense that a nutrient rich diet is key to skin strength and skin health!
The gut-skin axis
There’s a two-way conversation going on between our gut microbes and our skin (just like with the brain)
What we eat and how we treat our gut microbes often plays out on our skin. You might have noticed this yourself if you’ve had a few days of not eating many plant-based foods or having one too many glasses of Prosecco.
So I’m diving into research-backed foods to include in your diet for optimal skin-gut glow with Lancôme. Here are my top 5 ingredients for looking after your skin from the inside out…
Flavanols – plant chemicals found in many plant-based foods, such as berries, green tea, kale and dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa). One study (placebo-controlled i.e. good quality!) using cocoa showed reduced facial wrinkles and improved elasticity after twenty-four weeks! (Journal of Nutrition, 2016)
Lycopene – a plant chemical found in things like tomatoes and watermelon, shown to help protect our skin from UV damage. It’s best eaten with fat so our body can absorb the lycopene more easily, so add extra virgin olive oil to tomatoes or enjoy watermelon with full-fat live yoghurt.
Omega 3s – they feed our gut bacteria and are linked with a reduction in skin inflammation, found in oily fish as well as plant-based sources such as chia seeds and walnuts (just keep in mind it’s not as efficiently absorbed vs oily fish)
Carotenoids – found in richly coloured yellow, orange and red foods such as sweet potato, are also shown to protect skin against excess UV light (but that’s still not an excuse to skip the sunscreen! ;))
Vitamin E – found in foods such as walnuts and avocado, research has shown vitamin E can have antioxidant properties to protect the skin from environmental damage
Just remember it’s not only about diet – stress, sleep and exercise can have a big impact too (and of course genetics, but I’m all about focusing on what we can influence rather than dwelling on what we can’t), so try to relax, get your 7-9hrs of shut-eye every night and move your body for at least 30mins most days.
This post is part of my long-term sponsored collaboration with Lancôme to keep you updated on the latest skin science and help you nourish your skin (and gut) health from the inside out. All words are my own. I cover this more in my second book, Eat More, Live Well, too!