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  • Writer's pictureCoralee Shaman LPN

Eat your way to healthy skin

Our mothers were right when they insisted that we eat our veggies before we have dessert. A recent paper published in the British journal The Lancet linked poor diet to one in five deaths around the globe.

Researchers concluded that 11 million deaths could have been avoided . The diet-related causes of death were cardiovascular disease (10 million), cancer (913,000) and Type 2 diabetes (339,000). The deaths were a result of diets low on vegetables, nuts and seeds and high in sugar, salt and trans fats.

The skin, our body’s largest organ, often reflects inner health and the ageing process. Most of my clients come to me for aesthetic reasons, and I can certainly take care of fine lines and wrinkles with cosmetic injectable treatments, but I cannot improve the health of my clients’ skin. They must take control of their diet and health.

When I read the findings of the recent study, I started thinking about how many times I have advised my clients to prepare colourful meals and add foods such blueberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers, walnuts and pumpkin seeds to their diets. Not only will these additions to your diet make your skin glow, they may also prolong your life. It’s a win-win!

Here are a few of my favourite anti-ageing foods that you may want to add to your diet:


Touted as a superfood, blueberries contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid, that give the fruit its pigment and act as a powerful antioxidant. Blueberries also happen to be one of the most studied fruits. Blueberries have been reported to boost cognition, lower blood pressure, improve vision and promote skin health. Blueberries are delicious in smoothies, on top of oatmeal and in spinach salads.

Sweet Potatoes

The antioxidant called beta-carotene gives sweet potatoes their orange colour. Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps promote skin cell production and restore skin elasticity. They also contain vitamins C and E. Both vitamins protect skin from the free radicals we encounter every day such as pesticides in our food or air pollution.


Delicious in salads or on oats, walnuts contain healthy Omega-3 fats that strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, protect your skin from damaging UV rays and preserve your skin’s natural oil barrier.


Go ahead and eat that avocado toast or guacamole—your skin will thank you. Packed with inflammation-fighting fatty acids, avocados will help to give you smooth skin. Rich in vitamins, vitamins, this powerhouse can act as a “nutrient booster” by helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, K and E, all of which contribute to healthy, glowing skin.

Indulge but don’t forget to eat your veggies

There are so many other healthy, vitamin-packed fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that will get your skin glowing and keep you healthy. What I liked about the study is that the researchers didn’t lambaste people for eating sugar, salt and trans fat; instead the authors recommended adding healthier foods to reduce mortality. It’s OK to indulge and have that ice cream cone or the salty chips from time to time but listen to Your SkinCare Nurse and eat your veggies!

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