Put on Your Best Face for a Vibrant New Year
Feeling under-par after the excesses of the festive season? It’s very likely your skin is showing just what you’ve been up to. All that rich food and alcohol takes its toll on your digestive system, which usually means, constipation, weight gain, dark circles under the eyes, and a few too many pimples. These are all clear indicators that it’s time to re-balance your diet, pack in the skin healthy nutrients and get back on track. When better than the beginning of a new year to start afresh. Now’s the perfect time to bring some glowing radiance back to your skin and re-boot your energy levels, so let’s get started.
Bring On The Collagen
Collagen is literally the protein that gives your face its structure. But it’s a protein that is produced less by the body as we age, particularly after the age of 30. 1 As time goes on your expressions leave marks on the skin as collagen breaks down and is not fully replaced. Features harden, wrinkles become ingrained, the skin starts to sag and generally age starts to show.
The good news is there are powdered forms of collagen that can nourish your skin from within. Collagen can be added to smoothies, drinks and food and can really set the wheels in motion during the night when the replenishment of collagen is most active. With this in mind, a bedtime drink super charged with collagen can be a real treat for your skin.
Which Collagen Is Best?
First of all, aim for a bovine sourced collagen because it has higher levels of hydroxyproline, a substance shown to improve skin moisture and elasticity.2 Also when you choose a collagen supplement its important to take one that contains hydrolysed collagen, this basically means the collagen has been broken down into easily digestible peptides. It should have a small average molecular weight of 2000 Daltons, which ensures the collagen is rapidly absorbed and integrated into the skin cells. Avoid collagen peptides that have a higher molecular weight as they are too large to be absorbed across the intestinal lining.
Deal With Oxidative Stress
Along with collagen, other nutrients such as vitamin C play a key role in helping the body make fresh youthful looking skin. The properties of an antioxidant like vitamin C not only help to enhance collagen production but also work within cells to neutralise the oxidative stress that may develop if for example the liver is overwhelmed.
Topping up your vitamin C also has the added bonus of raising energy levels and fighting fatigue, just what you need if you’re going to upscale your fitness regime to drop a few surplus pounds. Don’t forget the extra exercise will also boost your circulation, pushing lots of oxygen and nutrients to your skin as well as getting your lymphatic system moving. The lymph system is a great back up to your liver, acting via a network of vessels and nodes that help to filter out and remove harmful substances from the tissue spaces around your cells.
Elevate Your Gut Health
Another way to reclaim your skin’s natural glow is to target your gut microbiome. A sugar and alcohol rich diet so typical during the party season, is the perfect combination for unhealthy bacteria to thrive and multiply. Inflammation usually follows and is often reflected in your skin with blotchy break-outs.
Constipation is also a clear sign that unhealthy bacteria is dominating your microbiome. A sluggish gut means toxins can’t be eliminated and this may impact your skin health. Adding some fermented and fibre-rich foods to your diet will encourage the growth of healthy bacteria. Pickled foods, kefir, live yogurt, whole grains, beans, lentils and lots of fresh vegetables like chicory, leeks and onions are sure to get things moving.
Promote Effortless Weight Loss
Gaining a little extra weight after the seasonal festivities is an inevitable downside to too much rich food and little activity. Unfortunately, the increase in daily intake also pushes up your appetite threshold and the urge for sugary foods, making it harder to resist over eating. This is when you need a new approach to eating that will effortlessly take care of those extra pounds.
The key to warding off sugar cravings is to maintain steady blood sugar balance throughout the day. This is made easier if you follow a meal plan that is high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates, like the ketogenic diet. Raising your fat intake also naturally suppresses hunger pangs making weight management that bit easier.
Many people choose to follow a keto diet at this time of year because it really helps to kick start the ‘New year, New you’ process. It might be all you need to drop a few pounds, but it could also be a great motivation to shift more stubborn weight gain that might have accumulated over a longer period of time.
You can enhance the rapid weight loss effects of a keto diet by including fats like butter and coconut oil which is one of the richest sources of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). This type of fat is quickly absorbed by the body and delivered directly to the liver to be converted into ketones. The process of ‘ketosis’, fuels the body, brain and muscles when sugars are not available. MCTs are weight-loss gold dust making it so easy to get your body into a fat burning zone.
Calculating the right ratio between fats, carbs and proteins when you’re embarking on a Keto diet for the first time, can be challenging. If you don’t want to fall at the first hurdle, check out this blog which outlines how to avoid the pitfalls of keto dieting: 5 biggest mistakes to make on a keto diet - Abundance and Health
Say Yes to Supplements
Whenever you embark on a new eating regime it makes sense to support your diet with a few carefully chosen supplements that will help to fill any nutrition gaps and enhance the wellness effects. For maximised skin health, energy and weight loss, we recommend these fabulous Neutrient products:
Butterfat Keto - Why? This formula is a favourite for supporting weight management strategies and for good reason. It’s perfect for popping into your morning coffee or tea and really helps to curb cravings and keep you full for longer. Butterfat keto is a unique blend of coconut sourced MCT powder, with deliciously creamy organic ghee and butter from grass-fed, pasture-raised herds, plus heat stable microbiome spores. The MCTs in BFK are particularly high in C8 the MCT that is most effective at burning fat for fuel.
Advanced Collagen - Why? We think this unique formula offers all you need for glowing skin and a healthy gut. As an added bonus the protein content helps to keep you fuller for longer, so it pairs really well with the BFK if you’re hoping to drop a few pounds. Advanced collagen not only gives you hydrolysed collagen peptides with an average molecular weight of 200 Daltons for rapid absorption, but also 80mg of vitamin C to enhance collagen production, plus 300 million CFU of heat stable microbiome spores for added gut support.
Total C - Why? The synergistic actions of the nutrients within Total C give you intensified nutritional support for optimal energy and maximised skin protection. TOTAL C combines five distinct forms of vitamin C including buffered magnesium, zinc and sodium ascorbates. It also contains ascorbic acid and fat-soluble ascorbyl palmitate, which is thought to reach areas of the body that water soluble vitamin C may not reach. The addition of DH-quercetin, Bioperine and D-ribose maximise absorption and complement the antioxidant properties of vitamin C. The mineral ascorbates in Total C are well tolerated even at high doses, unlike standard ascorbic acid supplements which often trigger digestive discomfort.
Varani J, Dame MK, Rittie L, et al. Decreased collagen production in chronologically aged skin: roles of age-dependent alteration in fibroblast function and defective mechanical stimulation. Am J Pathol. 2006;168(6):1861-1868. doi:10.2353/ajpath.2006.051302
Inoue N, Sugihara F, Wang X. Ingestion of bioactive collagen hydrolysates enhance facial skin moisture and elasticity and reduce facial ageing signs in a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study. J Sci Food Agric. 2016;96(12):4077-81.