• Deanne Panday

Eat your way to a fabulous skin

We have often heard, “You are what you eat”. No matter how apt your skincare routine is, if you don’t get the right nutrition, your skin will not look its best. It is very important to nourish your skin inside out. The key to a beautiful glowing skin is vital nourishment from within. Certain foods have powerhouse ingredients that keep our skin supple and smooth and help fight age-related damage. In order to look your best, treating your skin with a nourishing, well-balanced diet is a necessity.

Here’s how-

1. Healthy fats for the win

Fats may be at the top of the food pyramid but, not all fats are unhealthy. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats provide essential fatty acids which make your skin soft and supple. These fats are mostly found in Avocados, oily Fish, Nuts and Seeds. They are rich in Vitamin E too.

2. Fruits and vegetables are your Friends

We live in an era of pollution, harmful sun rays and free radicals. It is really important to make up for the damaged caused to our skin by these factors. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and nutrients that are essential for cell repair. Betacarotene, found in carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin, and lutein, found in kale, papaya and spinach are potent antioxidants, crucial for skin cell development and a healthy skin tone. So fill up your plate with colourful fruits and vegetables.

3. Opt for Omega 3

Fats in Omega 3 and Omega 6 are necessary to keep skin thick, supple and moisturised. In fact, a deficiency in omega-3 fats can cause dry skin. The omega-3 fats in fish reduce inflammation, which can cause redness and acne. They can even make your skin less sensitive to the sun's harmful UV rays. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce compounds, which can help your skin, particularly in case of inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

4. Vitamins are Vital

Vitamin C and Vitamin E are extremely important for a healthy looking skin. Vitamin C too, is a super antioxidant. It is needed to support the immune system, promote radiant skin and help blemishes heal properly. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin. Vitamin E protects skin from oxidative damage and supports healthy skin growth. Foods high in Vitamin E include almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and corn oils.

5. Go for low GI carbs

Try to eat plenty of beans, pulses, porridge and other low-GI, slow-releasing carbohydrates. These release sugar into the blood stream gradually, providing you with a steady supply of energy and leaving you feeling satisfied for longer and therefore less likely to snack. Avoid high-GI carbohydrates like biscuits and sugary drinks, as they lead to production of insulin, which may damage collagen and accelerate wrinkles.

6. Hydration is key for a Healthy skin

Just like hydration is important for the functioning of our body, it is equally as important for the smooth functioning of our skin. Skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day – all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the best. Herbal, caffeine-free teas are good too. Try to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption as both can age the skin.

7. Stock up on Selenium

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. It works alongside other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C and is essential to support the immune system. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. One way to boost your intake is to eat Brazil nuts. Just four nuts will provide sufficient nutrients. Mix Brazil nuts with other seeds rich in vitamin E can serve as a snack or salad sprinkle. Other good sources are fish, shellfish, eggs, wheatgerm, tomatoes and broccoli.

8. You are what you eat eats too.

Caring about the environment and quality of what we eat can add in more nourishment and flavour into our lives. There are a few things to keep in mind when you purchase your groceries. The nutrition in Food items like Eggs, Meat, Vegetables and Milk gets affected by different factors they are exposed to during the production process. For example, The “Grass-only” milk is received from cows on an exclusively grass fed diet. This milk is not only extremely organic and healthy but also has higher levels of Omega 3. Similarly, vegetables and fruits cultivated naturally in organic soil, are healthier and richer in nutrients. If the animals reared for meat are exposed to a healthy environment and not artificial antibiotics and supplements, the resultant meat is more superior in nutrition and taste. All these factors help in better nourishment of our skin.

Skin is the largest organ of our body. It requires equal amount of care and attention as our body. A well planned and balanced diet is vital for a healthy skin. These 8 steps will help you get an idea about the changes that you need to make in your diet to get that inside glow. Whatever we eat, reflects on our skin. So, it is extremely important to feed your skin!

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