Foods to feed healthy skin

New Zealand’s favourite well­be­ing ex­pert, Dr Libby an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their health and well­be­ing.

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH -

Ques­tion: I suf­fer from dry and dull skin. Are there any foods that will help the ap­pear­ance of my skin? Thanks, Katie.

Hi Katie, skin, hair and nail health are in­flu­enced by a num­ber of fac­tors in­clud­ing our ge­netic makeup, our en­vi­ron­ment (hu­mid­ity or dry­ness, etc), and from a holis­tic per­spec­tive our nutri­tion, be­liefs and bio­chem­istry.

Stress can have a huge im­pact on our phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance as it di­verts the fo­cus away from sup­ply­ing non-es­sen­tial pro­cesses such as nour­ish­ing our hair, skin and nails with the nu­tri­ents they need. When it comes to real food, for me they are all su­per foods. Here are just some of the many real foods that sup­port healthy skin, hair and nails.

1. Al­monds. A good source of vi­ta­min E, cop­per, mag­ne­sium, man­ganese, potas­sium and cal­cium, all of which are es­sen­tial to skin oxy­gena­tion and func­tion.

2. Av­o­ca­dos. A good source of bi­otin and mono-un­sat­u­rated fats, av­o­ca­dos help to pre­vent dry skin and brit­tle hair and nails; when ap­plied top­i­cally, they help to hy­drate dry skin.

3. Blue­ber­ries. One of the rich­est sources of an­tiox­i­dants, these beau­ti­ful and de­li­cious berries help to coun­ter­act pre­ma­ture age­ing.

4. Brazil nuts. These are a good source of the an­tiox­i­dant se­le­nium, which helps in­crease the num­ber of in­fec­tion-fight­ing white blood cells in the body, as well as pro­tect against cel­lu­lar dam­age, thereby help­ing to pro­tect the skin from dam­age. A truly amaz­ing nut!

5. Ki­wifruit. Ki­wifruit is a rich source of an­tiox­i­dants in­clud­ing vi­ta­min C, which help keep skin firm and slow down the for­ma­tion of wrin­kles, and are also great for healthy teeth and bones. The an­tiox­i­dants in ki­wifruit have also been shown to help pro­tect against can­cer and heart dis­ease.

Ques­tion: I have just been di­ag­nosed with coeliac dis­ease; I typ­i­cally eat a lot of prod­ucts con­tain­ing wheat. Any sug­ges­tions for how­tomake this tran­si­tion with­out hav­ing to buy lots of gluten-free prod­ucts. Thanks, Raewyn

Hi Raewyn, at first I’msure it can seem like a daunt­ing task – but for­tu­nately many whole­foods are nat­u­rally gluten free.

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