I recently spent the day at the Health Show in London and sat in on a presentation about the skin and how nutrition can help. Good timing considering I had just attended a lecture on the integumentary system and its pathologies at my naturopathic nutrition course at the weekend.
Collagen is the main protein of connective tissue and is responsible for skin firmness, moisture, suppleness and constant renewal of skin cells.
The decline in collagen due to decline in oestrogen and other hormones such as DHEA is one of the downsides to menopause.
And if you have been stressing your body with over work, lack of sleep, anxiety and not enough ‘me’ time then this long term stress causes the adrenals to be too tired to pick up where ovaries left off – giving you problems producing the much needed oestrogen for your collagen.
Lack of sleep which can be a stress induced sleep debt will raise your cortisol levels. This will impair melatonin which has the action of protecting our skin.
So what can you do about this? According to Dr Leah (yes she was at the Health Show too!), don’t spend your money on expensive creams. They only work on the epidermis and don’t go down to the dermis.
Christine Bailey recommended the following:
- Get your Omega ratio right. Most of us have far too many Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3 (found in fish oil)
- Do a skin detox
- Eat cruciferous veg (broccoli, spinach), sulphur foods (onions, garlic) and take green powders (Spirulina, wheat grass)
- Keep your blood sugars level – no peaks and troughs!
- Hyaluronic acid
- Plant polyphenols
- Lycopene (found in tomatoes)
- Curcumin (found in turmeric)
- Catechins – found in Green tea
- OPC – found in Grape seed extract
- Soy isoflavanoids
- Fish oils / GLA
- Vitamin A – for renewal of the skin cells
- CoQ10 – for protection of the fatty layers
- Resveratrol (No, there’s not enough in red wine to count!!)
- Vitamin E
Did you find this helpful? I would love to hear from you, email me to tell me if you are making any changes to your food if you’ve noticed a difference.