Plume Q+A: Ananda Mahony, Nutritionist and Naturopath
Very soon, we’ll be hosting our first community event (you can buy tickets here) discussing one of the most common skin concerns we are asked about in the clinic - acne. Joining us for this information session is Ananda Mahony, local nutritionist and naturopath who I have seen personally and recommend to many clients looking for support with their diet and nutrition.
We sat down to ask Ananda a few questions on how we can all be looking after our skin from the inside out.
Plume (P): What is the easiest change people can make to their diet to improve their skin?
Ananda Mahony (AM): The easiest dietary change people can make to improve their skin generally is to increase their vegetable intake. Vegetables are rich in nutrition and contain phytochemicals that support skin health. A number of research studies have shown that an increase in yellow, orange and red vegetables improved skin appearance, specifically skin colour and tone. Additionally a diet rich in phytonutrients from foods such as apples, tea, plumbs, vegetables and olive oil and low in refined fats and sugars also reduces skin ageing and helps protect from sun damage. My standard advice is to ensure you eat 5 + serves of vegetables per day and 2 fruits. This habit not only supports skin health but it also crowds out less healthy options.
P: What are some of the most common dietary irritants that shows up in our skin?
AM: There are a number of key factors when it comes to diet and skin health particularly with dietary irritants. The foods that have the most significant negative impact on skin are sugar, processed and trans fats and for those with acne, dairy also plays a role by increasing inflammation. These dietary irritants are common in the Standard Australian Diet (SAD), particularly in processed foods and drinks such as soda and caffeinated beverages.
P: Acne is a concern for many young adults and for some in various stages as adults, what are some of the easiest ways people can support their skin from the inside out?
AM: The easiest way people can support their skin from the inside out is to choose a low glycaemic diet, which is one low in added sugar, processed and fast foods. It is also high in whole, unprocessed foods and grains (e.g. Wholemeal bread and pasta, brown or wild rice, quinoa etc), fruit and vegetables and has a moderate quantities of good quality oils and fats such as those from olive oil, lean cuts of meat and fish.
Australian research has shown that teens and young adults with acne choosing a low glycaemic diet saw significant improvements in acne severity scores and overall improved symptoms of acne.
P: What does skincare from the inside out mean to you?
AM: Skincare from the inside out isn't just about eating a whole, unprocessed diet, although this is a very important element. It is also about ensuring that all the internal factors that could be contributing to acne or skin issues are addressed. Commonly I see issues with detoxification, the balance of bacteria in the gut, liver, hormones and skin nutrition impacting skin health. These can be assisted with diet and specific foods as medicine, with some extra support from specific nutrients or herbs sometimes required.
P: Anything else you'd like to add / share?
AM: Specific foods can be of benefit depending on the skin issue being experienced. For example a diet for psoriasis or Rosacea might be different to one recommended for acne. So while a whole food diet rich in plant foods is common to all, each skin issue will have specific recommendations and each individual might have different needs. It is worthwhile working with a nutritionist to have a diet tailored to your individual needs.
Join us to hear Ananda talk more about how diet and nutrition play an integral part in our skin health, especially when working to support specific skin concerns, on Saturday July 27th at 2pm. Tickets available here and include complimentary skin consultation with our skin experts at Plume.
You can read more of Ananda's blog here.