Are you what you eat?

We’ve all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’. But have you ever really thought this through to its logical conclusion?

It’s not just about your weight, but about your skin, hair, eyes, mood – essentially, what you put in is what you’re going to get back.

Woman balancing up whether to eat a burger or an appleGlowing, radiant skin comes from within, so feeding your body with the right nutrients will show on your face in more ways than one.

Your skin will be soft and supple, your eyes will be clear and bright and your smile will be wide and happy. In fact, eating the right things is one of the best ways to fight the signs of ageing.

As a skin health and massage therapist, people often wonder why I focus so much on food. Well, it’s because every day I hear stories of ‘bad’ skin, lethargy, feeling low and illness, and I just know that some of this will be down to food and nutrition.

So often people see eating as something they do in order to survive, or to ease a hunger pang. But it’s far more than this. Food is essential fuel. And every single one of our cells needs fuel – the right kind – to carry out its function.

Here’s the science…

Our bodies are made up of around 200 different types of cells, working together day and night. Inside each cell is a tiny factory where thousands of chemical reactions are taking place to provide you with the energy you need, get rid of waste (toxins) and to turn the food you eat into the molecules your body needs to keep you healthy.

See also  Calorie chaos?

This includes the way you feel, not just the way you look.

So it follows that the quality of what you feed your cells amounts to what your cells can make of it. If you eat poor-quality fuel like a pizza or microwave burger, your cells don’t have much to work with. And if you eat high-quality fuel like fresh fruits and vegetables, your cells will be bathed with vitamins, minerals and water and will be far happier – and so will you.

Which foods are good for my skin?

Woman holding a bunch of carrotsFruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants which help remove free radicals in your body that cause premature ageing and disease.

A healthy diet can not only help you keep trim, live longer and feel better, but it can help you stay looking younger, too.

Here are my personal favourites. They’re delicious and easy to find:

Blueberries. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, these powerful little beauties tackle the cause of wrinkles. New research suggests that they might also help your memory.

Carrots. Full of vitamin A for healthy skin and shiny hair, and could also help acne.

Brazil nuts . Rich in selenium, they repair cell damage and slow down the ageing process.

Eggs. An amazing source of B vitamins, oils, iron and protein, eggs will keep your skin, hair and nails healthy, and help to balance your mood.

Tomatoes . The humble tomato contains lycopene, not only famous for its anti-cancer properties but it is anti-ageing too. French peasant women working in the fields used to cut a tomato and apply it to their skin, as it not only protected them from the sun but gave them a youthful glow!

See also  Four ways to enjoy a makeover

Avocados. One of the richest sources of good fats and pantothenic acid, which is critical for converting your foods into energy. We just couldn’t exist without it!

Cucumbers. With such a high water content, the much underrated cucumber keeps skin hydrated and possesses anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory qualities. Much of the goodness is in the skin so buy the unwaxed kind.

Fish. Rich in essential Omega oils, fish helps your cells function properly so that all the above can take place!

My top tips

  • If it’s in a box and has a list of ‘ingredients’ – it’s not real food. 
  • For a serious boost of goodness, make yourself a salad with cucumber, carrots, avocado and tomato. Top it with a boiled egg or two and serve with a piece of salmon (skin on), steamed in foil with a slice of lemon and real butter and a sprinkle of organic sea salt. Delicious and oh-so-good for you!

About Misia Smith

I'm a skin and wellbeing practitioner based in West Bridgford, Nottingham. I specialise in helping women achieve the healthy and radiant skin they deserve, naturally. But I'm not just about skin, I have a holistic approach to helping my clients reach a state of deep relaxation through tailored massage movements, feeling special and valued and ready to take on the world. I tailor my treatments to each individual taking into account lifestyle and nutrition so its not about a 'beauty' treatment for me. Its about taking care of the whole woman. I have another caring role as founder and Director of Therapists Taking Care of Therapists which takes my caring to a very different place! I hope you enjoy my articles but if there is anything you'd like to know about skin or wellbeing please send in your suggestions!