The abc’s (vitamins) of making a great smoothie.
We all know skincare and treatments alone aren’t enough to keep your clients’ skin looking its best. Nutrition plays a massive role in our overall wellbeing and skin health, but with information overload online and a booming market of ‘do-it-all’ beauty ingestibles, it’s hard to know where to start.
Stephanie Watson is a beauty therapist, nutritionist and founder of Thrive, a consulting business specialising in skin and digestive health. On top of this, when she isn’t working at Saltair Health Spa in Torquay or consulting, she is furthering her studies in Natural Health. As you could probably tell by her varied resume, she knows a thing or two about skin and nutrition.
“I love educating people how to look after their skin from the inside out whilst still delivering an indulgent experience through practical care,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie has a few go-to ingredients when making a beauty smoothies. She looks for foods rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C and Vitamin E. These foods help protect against cellular damage caused by stress, UV-radiation and environmental pollutants.
“Free-radicals that accumulate from these factors have the ability to negatively alter lipids, proteins and DNA within our bodies and thus affect the health of our skin,” she said.
Foods such as blueberries, blackberries, turmeric, cacao, mangoes, avocados and dark leafy greens can help protect against free-radical damage whilst providing many other essential nutrients vital for our skin, Stephanie says.
Essential fatty acids also help to regulate inflammatory responses in the skin while keeping the skin barrier moisturised. These are found in walnuts, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds and hemp seeds. There are several ways to incorporate these foods into a diet, but Stephanie advises to keep things simple to see the most benefits.
“I love to keep it simple and incorporate these foods into a delicious smoothie or chia pudding so I can sip or snack on throughout my morning. I also love adding raw nuts and seeds to my buddha bowls, salads and to garnish on top of my curries or stir fry,” she adds.
There is no steadfast method for incorporating these foods into a diet. Personal preference is important as consistency is key when it comes to nutrition. Pick the ingredients you like the taste of so your antioxidant hit is something you look forward to and not dreaded.
However, Stephanie does like to incorporate at least one meal per day that doesn’t require a heating or cooking method as this alters the essential nutrients found in food. For example, Vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat and best consumed fresh for optimum intake. It’s also a constituent for collagen production, so no Vitamin C = no collagen production.
Finally, she says not to be afraid to seek a local nutritionist’s support when guiding your client on lifestyle choices for better skin health. They are the experts who know the right foods to get the right results.
“Seek support from a local nutritionist or dietician that can spend some time in clinics to share some key information on the foundations of a healthy diet and lifestyle to add value to a therapist’s current knowledge about skin health. By making the connection between our internal and external health, clinics and therapists may be able to provide a deeper and more comprehensive treatment plan for their clients and help them make the connection between our diet, lifestyle factors and skin,” she finishes.
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