Fats have had a pretty complicated reputation over the past several decades. From being demonized to being obsessed over, the information on fats is varied, confusing and overwhelming. But as nutritionists and foodies, what we do know is that a healthy balanced diet consists of a large variety of foods including fats. It’s a micronutrient that’s beneficial to us in many ways, one of our favourites being skin health.
You’ve probably heard about the essential fatty acid Omega-3 before, and for good reason. It’s incredibly anti-inflammatory, helps moisturize skin, reduces redness, dermatitis and acne flare ups, which are all signs of active inflammation. Incorporating sources of omega-3s into your diet will help promote younger, smoother looking skin and a definite reduction in any inflammatory skin condition like psoriasis or acne. Fats are also important for cell membrane integrity. Every single cell in our body has a fatty membrane made of phospholipids, which are made-up of fatty acids. These cell membranes keep toxins and pathogens out, while keeping the cell contents in and giving the cell it’s shape. Providing the cell with omega-3 fatty acids daily will ensure that they’re at their healthiest, which means your skin itself will perform better. It will be able to better absorb nutrients and oxygen, remove toxins and hold on to moisture as well as the nutrients in your skincare products.
Not only do fats deeply nourish our skin, but they also help our bodies absorb other skin-loving nutrients. Vitamin A, D, E and K are all fat-soluble, meaning they need fats in order to be dissolved and absorbed by our bodies. Our favourites foods high in essential fatty acids as well as other nourishing nutrients like fibre, protein, vitamin A and K are avocados, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, grass-fed butter, fatty fish like wild salmon or sardines, and nuts and seeds like walnuts and chia seeds. There’s no need to fear or obsess over eating fats..instead feel empowered knowing you’re doing some serious good for your body when you include fat in your diet.
Julia Gibson is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, functional foods recipe developer, and write currently based in Toronto. She hopes to inspire and empower others by creating nourishing foods, living a sustainable life, promoting holistic healing and sharing thoughtful writing.