Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but often it’s the most overlooked.
Processed meats, breads and sugary convenience foods are a surefire way to create an inflammatory response within the body that shows itself externally in the shape of skin redness, fine lines and blemishes—not the kickstart to the day you, or your skin, were probably hoping for. So we called on nutritional health coach Madeleine Shaw, founder of the eight-week app programme (£50), for her advice. Keep scrolling to read her five skin-friendly breakfast tips.
Ah, breakfast. It can be a minefield. Processed meats—high in saturated fats—that have been pumped full of chemicals (sausages, I’m looking at you) can be bad for your skin, as well as convenience foods like cereal and white bread that last for a week thanks to all the added sugar and preservatives. Loaves of bread shouldn’t last for a week. For skin to look its best, you need to feed it glow-giving vitamins and minerals from the inside out. Here are my five top tips and tricks.
Hydrate before you caffeinate—drink a big glass of water when you first wake up. Skin needs moisture to stay plump and flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Keep drinking throughout the day—I carry a bottle around with me and fill it up when it gets empty, or sometimes I set reminders on my phone to make sure I’m drinking enough.
Take back a shot of apple cider vinegar or mix it with warm water and drink first thing. Apple cider vinegar is great for your gut, I take it when my digestions feels off. It’s fermented vinegar loaded with enzymes that help break down to the food in your belly—perfect before a big meal.
Avoid high-GI carbs like breakfast biscuits and sugary drinks. These trigger the production of insulin which may damage collagen and accelerate the onslaught of those annoying wrinkles if consumed regularly!
Don’t forget zinc! It is involved in the normal functioning of the glands that produce oil in our skin. It helps to repair skin damage and keep your complexion soft and supple. Try adding some zinc-rich foods to your brekky like fish with eggs or try adding some nuts and seeds to your porridge.
Get your omega-3 fatty acids in first thing. Our bodies can’t make omega-3 from scratch so we need to get it through our food. These good fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds that can help your skin. Add some smoked salmon to your breakfast.
I personally like to have avocado with a poached egg for breakfast because they’re both full of skin-plumping good fats and vitamin E, which is great for skin, hair and nail health. I also say that one cup of really good quality coffee is not bad for you—go and get some organic beans, grind them and brew it yourself! But if you’re looking for something tasty that isn’t coffee, I would say the turmeric milk (pictured) from my program is an ideal alternative. It’s cinnamon, turmeric and ginger—a warming cocktail of antioxidant and immune boosters mixed together with hot rice milk for a little sweetness.