September 08, 2017

We all know how good we feel when we’re feeding our body the right nutrients, but with all the changes that the menopause brings, we can sometimes fall short of our changing nutritional needs. We interviewed three experts, nutritionist Fiona Hunter, Dr Sarah Brewer, and Head of Healthspan Nutrition Rob Hobson, to get their advice on how to eat for your skin, both during and beyond the menopause.

Do we need to eat differently for our skin as we age, particularly during and after the menopause?

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter: The loss of oestrogen and other hormonal changes mean that many women notice a change in their skin. If you’re concerned about dry, dull skin, up your intake of avocadoes, tomatoes, oily fish and nuts and seeds. For wrinkling and fine lines, vitamin C and other antioxidants can help neutralise free radicals, so look for red peppers, kiwis and citrus fruits.

Nutritionist Rob Hobson: Research involving postmenopausal women has shown that soy isoflavone supplementation may help to improve skin health by increasing thickness, elasticity and elevating levels of collagen. Great sources of soy isoflavones include soya beans, soya milk, chickpeas, peanuts and tofu.

Dr Sarah Brewer: Researchers have found that green leaves, aubergine, asparagus and garlic have the most anti-ageing properties. The fruits that offer the most protection against wrinkles are cherries, melon, dried fruit, apples and pears.

Do you have any other top tips?

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter: Protect your skin from sun damage by wearing a sunscreen. Drink plenty of water and use a gentle exfoliator to keep skin bright.

Nutritionist Rob Hobson: Hyaluronic acid helps to keep the skin plump and hydrated, but natural levels deplete as we age. We can obtain hyaluronic acid from dietary sources (for example beef, pork, leafy greens, seeds and nuts), but it’s also a valuable ingredient to look out for in topical skincare products.

Dr Sarah Brewer, doctor: Although diet should always come first, supplements can help you bridge any nutritional shortfalls. Take regular exercise to boost skin circulation and if you smoke, do your utmost to stop: women who smoke develop more wrinkles, and at an earlier age, than those who don’t.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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