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Want to improve your skin and reduce inflammation? Here are ten top diet tips that will help you. Check your omega 6 levels: In small doses, this healthy fat (found mostly in vegetables oils) is essential for our body - but in high doses it triggers the production of pro-inflammatory compounds called cytokines that are linked to problems like arthritis and allergy. And most of us do eat high doses. Ideally a healthy balance of omega 6 vs omega 3 fats is 2:1 - most us eat a ratio of 15:1. Redress things by swapping omega 6 heavy oils like sunflower, safflower or margarine, for omega 3 heavy ones like flaxseed, walnut or avocado oil. Go low GI: Studies show that women who eat high levels of refined carbohydrates have higher levels of inflammatory compounds in their system. On top of this Australian researchers have linked high GI diets to increased risk of acne - an inflammatory condition. Swap all white carbs for wholegrains. Calm down: Stress negatively affects skin - firstly, researchers at Clinique have shown it breaks down the skin's natural protection barrier making it more sensitive and inflammation prone, but stress also triggers the release of inflammation hormones like cortisol. Even just a few minutes deep breathing is enough to chill you out. Eat dark chocolate: We thought you'd like that one. It's packed with bioflavonoids that calm your system. Try a fish oil supplement: Top nutritionist Patrick Holford recommends these as key inflammation fighters - plus, they help maintain the integrity of your cell membranes which increases skin hydration making your skin look firmer and younger. Get moving: It's well known that exercise boosts blood flow to the skin, but experts at the University of Illinois in Chicago have found that blood carries particularly high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds. The main job of these is to heal cuts and grazes that might occur - but it's also possible they'll be fighting nasties like cross-linking and spots while they are there. And it's even more important to harness this response as we age - apparently, the older our skin, the more inflammatory compounds it releases when it's damaged. Try for at least 20 minutes of exercise at least three times a week.


Drink more milk: Vitamin D is powerfully anti-inflammatory. It's particularly good at protecting parts of cells called telemores which seem to control the speed at which our body ages. Ideally we need 1500iu of vitamin D a day - milk is a good source as is oily fish. If your diet is low in these, also think about a vitamin D supplement - an extra advantage is that vitamine D increases calcium absorption helping boost bone health too. Watch your weight: Fat cells actually release inflammatory compounds that may be aging us from the inside. Try to stick to a healthy BMI. Up your probiotic levels: Not only do they aid gut health, probiotics help fight inflammation - but that's not their only skin boosting benefit. The healthy bacteria in probiotics actually increase natural moisture levels in the skin plumping out fine lines and wrinkles.

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Beauty Tips