We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach to nutrition. At L’Atelier, we take time to understand your current diet, your concerns and individual circumstances and needs. We have several approaches as detailed below – but they are in no way set as we’ll tailor plans to deliver the best possible results for you.
Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein and helps keep skin healthy. As we grow older, the body produces less collagen which leads to fine lines and wrinkles, and loss of firmness and radiance. Eating the right foods can help boost collagen:
- Vitamin C is essential to the production of collagen and can replace lost collagen. It also neutralises free radicals that cause collagen breakdown in the skin. The recommended daily intake (RDA) is 90mg for men and 80mg for women – tuck into oranges, grapefruit, lemons, dark green veg such as kale, broccoli and spinachto get your daily boost.
- Protein is made up of amino acids, which are used to make collagen. Make sure you eat plenty of lean organic meat, nuts, fish and eggsto prevent wrinkles and sagging.
- Zinc plays an important role in protein synthesis – a process that increases collagen. The RDA is 11mg for men and 8mg for women. You’ll find zinc in lean red meat, cocoa, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, spinach, white mushrooms, oysters, lobster, crab and nuts.
- Lycopene is a carotene that gives many fruits and veg their bright yellow, orange or red colour. It inhibits the activity of enzymes that break down collagen. You’ll find it in beetroot, red peppers, tomatoes, pink grapefruit and papaya.
Sugar can have an ageing effect on the skin. This occurs through a process called glycation where sugar in our system bonds onto fat and proteins. Glycation results in the formation of glycation end products which damage skin proteins including collagen and elastin. These end products also make skin more vulnerable to UV light and cigarette smoke.
Here are some easy ways to cut sugar from your diet:
- Avoid processed food
- Only eat whole fruit
- Eat fat and protein
- Eat more veg, grains, nuts and eggs
- Beware of the ‘no-added sugar’ label – many products still contain considerable amounts of sugar
Antioxidants will keep you healthy on the inside, but they’re also wonderful for boosting your skin’s health and appearance. They combat free radicals created by sun, smoking, pollution and stress which can damage skin to cause wrinkles and other signs of ageing. You can boost your intake with:
- Vitamin A – this multi-tasking vitamin promotes cell turnover and can treat skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Many foods are rich in vitamin A including kidney, cream, butter, egg yolks, cod liver oil, carrots, sweet potato and liver.
- Vitamin C – this antioxidant is extremely important for healthy skin protecting and boosting the formation of collagen. It’s found in many fruits and veg including red peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli, citrus, strawberries and parsley. Eat them raw for maximum vitamin C.
- Vitamin E – this fat-soluble antioxidant can help neutralise the effects of oxidation. Vitamin E can also protect against UV. Try avocado, dark leafy greens, almonds, sunflower seeds, shellfish, trout, salmon, plant oils, broccoli, squash and kiwi.
- Polyphenols – these naturally-occurring compounds found in plant sources have antioxidant properties. They can help protect against UV damage, fight free radicals and reduce signs of ageing. Top up on berries, pomegranate, green tea, red apples, red wine (in moderation), dark chocolate, garlic, yoghurt, tomatoes, broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Inflammation is the body’s way of combating injury or infection but long-term or recurring inflammation can lead to chronic diseases included diabetes, heart disease and acne.
Oily fish – high in omega 3 fatty acids, oily fish can help decrease inflammation. Try salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines.
Wholegrains – high in fibre which reduces levels of C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation in the blood); choose wholegrains with no added sugar. Dark leafy greens are particularly beneficial as they are high in vitamin E. Spinach, broccoli and kale are all good examples.
Nuts – eating nuts is a great way to boost your vitamin E levels. They are also high in fibre and some nuts have alphalinolenic acid (a type of omega 3 fatty acid).
Turmeric – this is the yellow powder found in curry. It has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger – from the same family as turmeric, ginger is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also good for digestion.
Berries – dark-coloured berries are full of quercetin, which is particularly good at fighting inflammation. It’s also found in citrus and olive oil.
Green tea – renowned for its fantastic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, polyphenol in green tea boosts its anti-inflammatory benefits even more so.
Garlic – this power-packed bulb is full of antioxidants and has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Its high sulphur content means it has exceptional anti-inflammatory properties too.