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Healthy radiance doesn’t come in a jar – which is why changing your diet could do more for your looks than any anti-ageing cream
They say beauty is only skin deep. In fact, true beauty starts on the inside. Sure, the latest high-tech moisturisers and serums can certainly help boost your complexion and minimise fine lines, but the real secret to looking beautiful is to nourish your hair and skin from within. Which is why everything your mother ever told you about eating well is true! After all, healthy-looking skin and hair requires key nutrients for its formation. Unfortunately, as we get older, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing some of these nutrients, while reserves of certain vitamins and minerals can naturally become depleted. This is one of the reasons that hair loses its gloss and begins to thin as we get older, for example. Time also takes its toll on our skin: cell regeneration and repair slows down as we age, so the complexion appears dull; the production of skin-plumping collagen and stretchy elastin fibres also slows down, and fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear. Yes, beauty products can help, but these are purely cosmetic. The only way to make a real difference is to anti-age your body from the inside, tackling the underlying cause of those tell-tale signs of ageing rather than just masking them. Eating a healthy balanced diet that includes protein-rich foods, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats (particularly those rich in omega-3 oils) and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables will help ensure your body receives all the nutrients it needs to age beautifully. Taking a supplement can help, too. Marine oils are especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important role in cell hydration (nature’s moisturiser, in other words). They’re also a natural source of vitamin A (a powerful antioxidant that helps protect and repair skin), and vitamin D (which growing evidence suggests plays a role in hair growth(1)). A multivitamin and mineral containing biotin (a B vitamin) and zinc (a mineral that helps promote skin, hair and nail health) can also be a good idea. After all, if you’re feeling great on the inside, you’ll naturally look younger and more radiant on the outside. A little secret you can pass on to your own daughter someday.
(1) Does D matter? The role of vitamin D in hair disorders and hair follicle cycling K.T. Amor, R.M. Rashid, P. Mirmirani. Dermatol Online J, 16 (2010), p. 3