We caught up with nutritionist Rina Whyte from Eat Your Greens! to ask her for some tips on what we should be eating right now to get our best skin.
Q: What are your top 5 tips for treating rosacea with nutrition?
Rina: The way Nutritionists approach rosacea is that the integrity of the epithelium on the outside can very much be a reflection of it inside. Everything links back to the gut and how healthy the digestive system is.
1. Identify any food or environmental triggers – food intolerance / allergies and remove them from the diet under supervision of a nutritionist, also ask for a gut healing protocol.
2. Be sure to get tested for Helicobacter Pylori – a stomach bacteria that is linked to rosacea and is important to have treated.
3. Maximise stomach acid levels to help you digest your food by drinking lemon in warm water before meals or taking cider vinegar shots (difficult for some).
4. Ensure you have plenty of healthy bacteria in your gut by eating fermented vegetables, probiotic natural yoghurts or taking a recommended supplement.
5. Sometimes MSM creams can be really helpful also when applied topically.
6! Great soothing foods include turmeric added to as many meals as you can, aloe vera juice- choose a very pure and organic product, avocados, omega 3 fish oils (oily fish or a good supplement), chia seeds. Plenty of clean water and vegetables in the diet.
Q: Any tips for treating acne with nutrition?
Rina: Using food to ensure healthy digestion, management of inflammation, reduction of free radical damage and increasing skin healing by including plenty of good and easy to digest proteins (fish, eggs, fowl), vegetables, all colours, wholegrains, zinc and omega 3 oils, plenty of clean water also. Remove processed foods, trans fats and high sugar foods. Research has shown that people with acne have significantly lower levels of several antioxidant nutrients compared to people with healthy skin so it is very important to include plenty of vegetables, greens and other colours into the diet.
Q: What made you interested in becoming a nutritionist?
Rina: I worked in a vegetarian restaurant in Dublin, Ireland called Cornucopia for most of my school years and have been vegetarian since the age of 7. I studied design in college and I also work in the creative industry but my passion for food and it’s power to keep us healthy or make us feel really ill intrigued me and I went back to college following my primary degree to study nutrition. I love the reward when a client is delighted about how well they feel, when their energy levels have increased and when all the things they couldn’t do before are now accessible to them again. Food is so powerful and you only realise that when you have a problem with it.
Q: Any advice for eating to prevent signs of aging?
Rina: Yes, cut out sugar. Sugar is one of the worst things for your skin, it is so volatile when it is being metabolized. Test it, give up sugar for 7 days and see how great your skin looks. Good clean water and plenty of vegetables and great proteins and healthy fats are important as always! I recommend you watch this video on The Truth about Looking Younger – made by the BBC – really great information and with scientific support.