Eat your way to beautiful skin

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Published on March 2013

More and more people are spending money on numerous skin-care products found on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies that promise to delay aging, smoothen skin and get rid of blemishes, among other benefits. While some of these products actually deliver what they promise, the science behind proper skin care could literally be found in our hands.

A healthy body means healthy skin. Exercise, enough sleep, and a proper diet are simple things that go a long way to not only improve the quality of your life but also improve your skin.

There are certain things you could include in your diet regularly to improve various aspects of your skin, for instance skin tone, texture, evenness and clarity. Here are several key foods to consider and the different benefits they offer to your skin.

Citrus fruits

Smooth and taut skin is one the greatest benefits of citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruits, which are all rich in vitamin C. In fact vitamin C is one of the prime skin-care ingredients in many beauty creams as it aids in the production of collagen.

Collagen, a protein that forms your skin’s basic structure, starts to break down as you age, which leaves the skin with a saggy appearance. Why not get vitamin C from the direct source? The vitamin C found in citrus fruits helps to tighten your skin and prevent wrinkles.

Fish

Apart from being good for our overall health, fish, which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc and works wonders for the skin. Omega-3 is good for reducing dryness and inflammation, which causes the skin to age faster.

A lack of it may be a contributory factor to some inflammatory disorders like psoriasis and eczema. The fatty acids found in Omega-3 are also important in helping improve circulation, which is vital for skin health by keeping the heart’s arteries clear. Zinc helps fight acne and also helps in new cell production and ridding you of dead skin, leaving your skin with a radiant glow.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds help make skin supple, smooth and younger-looking. Consider almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, all of which offer many health benefits for the skin.

Almonds’ essential fatty acids are known to help reduce swelling and inflammation. In fact, nuts and seeds are a natural anti-inflammatory and also can help treat skin disorders like acne, psoriasis and eczema.

Nuts and seeds are also packed with vitamin E, zinc and magnesium which help keep your skin glowing, promote regeneration of skin cells and fight off bacteria that may lead to acne. In addition, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps skin repair itself quickly.

Whole grains

Consider including foods rich in whole grains like brown rice, whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereal and oatmeal, among others, instead of processed carbohydrates in your diet. Whole grains have compounds used to make skin-firming collagen and elastin.

They are also rich in rutin, an antioxidant that helps fight inflammation-related skin damage and the B-vitamin biotin, which help cells process fats. Avocadoes and mushrooms also provide similar benefits.

Green and red vegetables

With vitamin A and beta-carotene as the active components, these promote smooth and radiant skin. Red and orange vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, red peppers and sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A and prevents premature aging and cell damage.

Dark green vegetables like spinach, kales and broccoli are also rich in vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant preventing cell damage and premature aging, and has been used in many acne medications.

This means that you also get anti-acne benefits. The fibre content in vegetables also helps increase the flow of chemical amylase enzymes in the body, enhancing the digestive process. Proper digestion leaves you with a clear bowel system, which promotes clear and healthy skin.

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