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Can Nutrition be your new Beauty Secret?

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

The skincare industry is worth billions, but have you ever thought that your best kept beauty secret could be hiding in your kitchen cupboards? Well, you’d be correct. Food can be one of the most powerful tools when enhancing your natural beauty, and comes without the daunting price tags of expensive creams and lotions. Don’t get me wrong, some foods can completely wreak havoc with your beauty goals, however knowing what to avoid and what to indulge in is the secret worth keeping a note of on your fridge door.

Oxidative stress is the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, and is associated with ageing. There are many foods that can cause an increase in inflammation and oxidative stress, resulting from advanced glycation end product (AGEs) formation in food, which are ultimately detrimental to your skin health, causing premature aging. Foods that are highest in dietary AGEs should be avoided, such as barbecued meats, cakes and fried food (Goldberg T et al, 2004).

The way food is prepared is also a key factor in how much AGE formation takes place. For example, meat cooked at a high temperature can contain twice as many AGEs than if it was slow cooked on a low heat. Additionally, it is the combination of solid fats and sugar that cause a high formation of AGEs, seen in cakes, biscuits and doughnuts (Uribarri J. et al, 2010).

The best way to combat the damage caused by dietary AGEs is to increase your intake of antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, E and Beta-Carotene. In fact, Vitamin C can help us maintain the collagen in our skin, and acts as a defence mechanism against UV-induced photodamage caused by the sun (Pullar J et al, 2017). Foods highest in antioxidants include red bell pepper (Vitamin C), grapefruit (Vitamin C), sweet potatoes (Beta-Carotene) and almonds (Vitamin E). These foods detoxify the blood and neutralise any wrinkle-forming free radicals that come in their way.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” said Hippocrates, exemplifying how food has been the pillar of health from centuries ago. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy the odd Krispy Kreme or Ben and Jerry’s every once in a while, more so, now you know that when you do indulge your balancing beauty secrets await!

Ishika Sharma (ANutr)

Ishika Sharma is a registered associate nutritionist from London, specialising in weight loss, gut health and healthy ageing. She graduated from King's College London in Nutrition BSc, and has had clinical dietetic training in the NHS in weight loss, malnutrition, paediatrics and gut issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. She keeps up to date with nutrition research and critically appraises scientific literature to ensure all nutrition advice is current, and evidence-based.

Ishika sees patients who wish to lose weight and want a personalised approach, with regular guidance and check ins. She also gives nutrition advice for gut issues, skin problems, optimal ageing and fatigue issues.


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