Body & Soul
Beautiful skin comes from within. What we eat is more important than what we buy at the cosmetics counter. Good nutrition is the key to a youthful appearance.
If you want glowing, radiant, healthy skin, all you need is to stop by the nearest supermarket. Research shows that the right diet can help you nourish the skin from the inside out. Certain foods have powerful ingredients that keep skin supple and smooth and help fight wrinkles.
Every woman should have a few skin care products in her daily regimen, but do not forget that beauty truly comes from within. In fact, what you eat can be as important as the serums and creams you apply on your skin.
Our skin cells are always getting older. However, they continue to divide regularly, and older cells are shed and replaced by younger ones. The collagen-producing skin cells, called fibroblasts, typically divide about 50 times. Once a cell reaches this end point, it enters a stage in which it no longer reproduces and finally dies. It is, therefore, crucial to nourish the cells of our skin with beneficial ingredients to prevent premature damage and prolong their lives while enabling young cells to grow quickly and healthy. Maybe we can’t stop aging, but diet (and lifestyle) do affect how your skin looks and ages. That’s why we rounded several foods that are good for your overall health—and great for your skin.
Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals.Vitamin C is scientifically proven antioxidant needed for a radiant skin and helps blemishes heal properly. The best sources of this vitamin are broccoli, kiwi, oranges, papaya, and strawberries. Moreover, according to research in Clinics in Dermatology, kale is one more superfood that will help you look beautiful. Just one cup gives you 134% and 133% of your daily value for skin-firming vitamin C and A. These foods, rich in vitamin C can be essential to make collagen, the structural cement of the skin. In addition to vitamin C, there are also other vitamins that can protect skin from oxidative damage and support healthy skin growth.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that helps to protect skin cells from UV light and other environmental factors that generate cell-damaging free radicals. According to a study published in Experimental Dermatology, with 37% of your daily needs for vitamin E per ounce. Sunflower seeds can help keep your skin free of pimples. Almonds are also full of vitamin E and are also potent sun blockers. Other foods high in vitamin E include avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and corn oils.
Beta-carotene, found in pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes, is another potent antioxidant, necessary for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A which is essential for the growth of skin cells. A half cup of cooked pumpkin packs nearly 400% of your daily value for Vitamin A.
Protein is the building block of collagen and elastin tissue, which keeps skin taut and less wrinkled. Protein-rich foods help to nourish the cells in our body and promote growth and development. Grass-fed beef contains nearly 30 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving. Most of us eat plenty of protein from meat, chicken, legumes or eggs, but you should be careful. If you eat more protein than needed, your body will convert it to fat.
Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to keep your skin glowing. Yes, water keeps your skin hydrated—and staying hydrated makes it appear plumper and less wrinkled. It also helps your cells take in nutrients and get rid of toxins. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly gray. You can also give yourself a daily flavonoid dose with a few cups of black, green or white tea. Both carotenoids and flavonoids help protect skin against UV damage and can improve skin hydration and condition.
Like it or not, the body needs fat. Omega-3s and omega-6s are healthy fats that help make your skin’s natural oil barrier, keeping away dryness and blemishes. These areessential fatty acids which mean they cannot be made in the body and must be obtained through the diet. Eating some oily fish each week such as salmon, sardines, and tuna, increases the type of omega-3 called DHA, an anti-inflammatory. Walnuts are the only type of nut that contains a significant amount of an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid, which is especially important for vegetarians who are skipping fish. There are also foods that are great sources of Omega-6s such as safflower oil, soya bean oil, olive oil, walnuts, and peanuts. ■
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