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Brazil nuts are a wonderful source of selenium, a mineral known for its ability to improve the condition of your skin, hair and nails.

The Otago University did a study that showed two Brazil nuts a day increased blood serum selenium levels better than supplements. But remember, only two a day, as high selenium levels are toxic.

Brazil nuts also contain good amount of zinc, an amazing skin mineral and one that I always consider when working with skin conditions or preventing skin ageing. Zinc helps heal our skin and ensures proper keratinisation of our Stratum Corneum.

Zinc is also a vital component required to make healthy collagen. Unfortunately it is also the building block we are most to be deficient in so most of us need to boost our levels.

brazil-nuts

This is the first in a series of articles that we will be running each week about the subject of skin foods.

Lately it seems that more and more of our commonly eaten foods are managing to find their way onto the growing list of ‘super foods’ due to their powerfully protective health-giving properties. Even the good old cabbage has been bestowed with an exciting little phyto chemical, indole-3-carbinol. Studies have shown that people who eat cabbage once a week slash their colon cancer risk by a whopping third.

From a beauty perspective many foods that we eat contain phyto-chemicals that keep our skin looking gorgeous. It is important for us to remember that while it is great to have anti-ageing ingredients in our skin care ranges, nothing can beat delivering these protective chemicals directly to the fibroblasts (the skin’s anti-ageing cells) through our blood supply. This is the art of dermo-nutrition.

Dark Berries
Dark red and blue berries such as blueberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and cranberries, all help your body make strong collagen, keeping your skin supple, smooth and healthy. This action is due to the anthocyanidins found in dark berries. These stabilize the collagen fibres making them more resistant to being broken down by collagenase, a process that gets out of control as we age or are exposed to UV rays.

Another benefit these fruits offer is their ability to help protect our skin from the sun. Blackcurrants in particular reduce the ageing effect of UV rays by neutralising free radicals.

I buy frozen organic berries, defrost them in the fridge and add them to my porridge every day.

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