Updated: Mar 11
This blog post will discuss exactly why choosing the right kinds of dietary fat should be included in your skincare routine and the benefits they can have on menopausal skin. So let's dive in and see how nutritional therapy for skin health can help you during this time!
Are you a woman approaching or already in menopause?
If so, do you know how important it is to ensure your skin stays as healthy as possible during this transition period?
What may surprise you is that one way to help keep skin healthy and glowing during menopause is through the intake of certain types of fats!
That's right – when chosen carefully and implemented correctly into your diet plan, healthy fats can actually be beneficial for healthy skin ageing and maintaining youthful-looking skin.
How does diet impact skin health during menopause?
When it comes to menopause, there are a multitude of symptoms that can make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Many of us are unaware that the food we put into our bodies can hugely impact how our skin looks and how we feel throughout this stage of life. The hormones that control many of our bodily functions require healthy fats to work correctly, and so a diet rich in healthy fats is essential for women going through or nearing menopause. Healthy fats like avocados, oily fish, nuts, and seeds can be incredibly beneficial for menopausal skin health.
Healthy fats are essential for hormone balance
Menopause can be a difficult time for many women, as hormones are thrown into disruption. Studies have shown that eating healthy fats regularly is one way to help balance hormones and reduce the intensity of symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. When hormones are kept in check, mood swings and fatigue can also be lessened, bringing comfort to those going through menopause. Healthy fats also provide long-term health benefits, such as supporting heart health and reducing inflammation.
Healthy fats are also essential for your skin health
During menopause, the skin can become much dryer, thinner and saggy due to the falling estrogen levels. Estrogen stimulates collagen production and oils in the skin, which help keep it moisturised and firm. Therefore, a good intake of healthy fats not only supports hormonal balance but is essential for the skin’s barrier function and appearance. Fat makes up a large part of the skin's protective barrier at the top layer, just underneath the surface. This barrier helps lock in moisture and prevent dryness while reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Eating healthy fats such as avocados, oily fish, walnuts, or flaxseed oil can help women feel more balanced inside and out during this phase.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
As women enter menopause, hormone levels and skin health can change drastically. That's why it's essential to take extra care of your skin during menopause - and part of that means incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fats associated with several health benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids benefit your skin in menopause as they help improve moisture retention and elasticity and reduce inflammation
They also support cell membrane health, allowing more nutrients into the skin and reducing things like dryness or wrinkles over time.
Omega 3s are a great source of antioxidants which can protect against environmental damage from pollution and general wear and tear, helping keep menopausal skin looking healthier for longer.
What foods include omega-3 fatty acids?
Oily fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel or herring are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetarian sources include walnuts, almonds, chia seeds and flaxseeds. However, many vegetarians may need help to get enough omega-3 fats as plant sources provide omega-3 in an inefficient form for the body. Plant-based omega-3 sources contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which must convert into the more active forms of EPA and DHA. Although these plant sources contain omega 3, the degree of absorption of ALA into beneficial DHA or EPA is more difficult. Therefore, omega-3 supplements can ensure you get enough of this nutrient, especially if dietary sources are low.
By adding these simple steps into your menopausal routine, you can ensure your skin will look and feel its best.
Avocados are rich in healthy mono-unsaturated fats that help keep your skin hydrated and moisturised, essential during menopause due to lowered estrogen levels.
Avocados are also packed with minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin E, which helps protect against oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals – one of the significant contributors to ageing skin. They are also a good source of vitamin A, which is vital for cellular repair and supple skin.
Avocados also help keep your hormones balanced, which is another reason to add them to your menopausal diet
Their rich source of mono-unsaturated fats acts as an essential building block for hormone production, helping to keep your hormones in check.
What are the best ways to include avocados in your healthy-skin diet?
There are countless ways you can incorporate avocado into your meals, from smoothie additions to meal toppings or even the classic avocado toast. An easy idea is to add avocado to grain-based dishes, salads and sandwiches – just slice or mash avocado and simply place it on top of your food. Or try something like avocado tzatziki or guacamole for a dip or spread that pairs well with tacos, falafels, burritos and more! Avocado can also be used as a healthy replacement in many desserts – try an individual chocolate mousse made with cocoa powder, dates and avocados for the perfect healthy treat.
3. Nuts & Seeds
Many women may be put off consuming nuts during menopause and associate their fat content with weight gain, but these powerhouses of nutrition contain healthy fats and many other beneficial nutrients, and their consumption isn’t linked to putting on weight. Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, chia seeds and flaxseeds are high in healthy fats, like omega-3 fats and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. These can help with cellular repair and skin elasticity. Additionally, nuts and seeds contain antioxidants such as Vitamin E, selenium and zinc, which help protect from environmental damage caused by sun exposure or air pollution.
Like flaxseed and sesame seeds, certain seeds are phytoestrogens and may have additional benefits for women during menopause
Phytoestrogens are weak plant-derived estrogens structurally similar to estrogen hormones produced by the body. Studies show that women who consume phytoestrogens have less uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.
How to include more nuts and seeds in your diet for menopause and skin health?
Nuts and seeds are easy to add on top of almost any dish or served as simple snacks. For breakfast ideas, try adding walnuts to your oatmeal, smoothie bowl or make chia pudding with almond milk. You can roast pumpkin seeds for a savoury side dish and incorporate sesame seeds into various salads. You can add nuts and seeds to grains like couscous or quinoa for lunch and dinner or make your veggie burgers with flaxseed meal as the base. And why not celebrate the healthy fats you're eating by baking nutty treats like an almond tart or pumpkin seed granola bars? These healthy additions give meals a more satisfying texture, flavour, and bonus nutrients!
While each person is different, and you should always listen to your body first and foremost, these are great reasons to include healthy fats in your diet if you want vibrant skin during menopause. Hormones play a significant role in skin health, so menopausal women may need to pay extra attention to their diets during these years.
What you put inside your body will reflect on the outside through your skin’s appearance - especially during menopause when hormone levels fluctuate drastically.
Incorporating healthy fats into your diet, such as avocados, oily fish, nuts, and seeds, is an effective way to nourish your skin from within, so you can look and feel your best during this stage in life! If you’re unsure where to start or haven’t considered nutritional therapy for skin health before, contact us at the Powers Nutrition Clinic, and we can devise a customised plan that works best for you and your lifestyle.