Foods for the skin
We are constantly bombarded in the media of all kinds, with the latest products that promise glowing, young looking skin and many other miracles. The truth is most of them are very expensive and contain harsh chemicals that are anything but wonderful for our whole bodies let alone for our face. Beautiful skin comes from within because nourishment comes from what we put in our bodies and it’s shown on our skin.
The skin is our external reflection of how our body is functioning internally and problems may occur as toxins and waste products accumulate within the body and place additional stress on the skin.
Healthy skin needs help from the inside of the body as various lifestyle and dietary factors play a role in how it looks and feels. So the saying “You are what you eat” is very much spot on maybe in this case we can say “You show what you eat” instead. To get nourishment for healthy skin we need a variety of specific nutrients from our diet.
Here is a summary for these and what they do:
ANTIOXIDANTS-to prevent free radical production, anti-aging;
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS-Decrease inflammation, hydrate the skin;
HUMECTANTS-to draw moisture to the skin;
WATER AND FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS AND MINERALS-nutrients/food for the skin;
ADEQUATE FOOD AND WATER INTAKE-For optimal health and hydration.
INFLAMMATION – is said to be the key link to aging and therefore reduced skin integrity, hence why anti-inflammatory actions are important .
COLLAGEN – is the most abundant protein in the body; it makes up to 70% of the dry weight of human skin and is a critical component of the vascular and muscular system, hence why adequate collagen synthesis is important.
ANTIOXIDANTS – are substances that destroy free radicals, which are harmful compounds in the body that damage DNA and even cause cell death. Free radicals are believed to contribute to aging as well as the development of a number of health problems, including skin cancer.
HYDRATION – Is essential for proper skin cell integrity/production, as well as flushing impurities from the skin. Water and fresh fruits and vegetables (which are mostly made up of water) are responsible for this. There is a strong need to drink 2-3 litres a day, eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit to maintain proper hydration.(quantities are estimates and depend on the individual).
- VITAMIN A – Retinol- precursor to Beta Carotene
SPECIFIC SKIN FUNCTION – Lipid antioxidant, assists epithelial production, assists mucous membrane integrity, protects skin against epithelial carcinoma, and sunburn, increases resistance to microbial infection and anti-aging. FOODS – Barley grass, cod liver oil, green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, mint.
BETA CAROTENE FOODS – (Orange foods) apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, mango.
- VITAMIN C – Ascorbic Acid
SPECIFIC SKIN FUNCTION – Collagen production, potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, maintains integrity of connective tissue and cell membranes, promotes wound healing. FOODS – Aloe Vera juice, Black currents/berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, red capsicum, parsley, citrus fruit, pawpaw, rosehips, tomato.
- Vitamin E – Tocopherol
SPECIFIC SKIN FUNCTION – is an oil-soluble vitamin antioxidant and a reducing agent (best in combination with vitamin C), intracellular antioxidant, lipid soluble antioxidant, maintains lipid membrane integrity, kills free radicals, prevents tissue polyunsaturated fatty acid peroxidation, stabilizes cell membranes, anti-inflammatory. FOODS – Almonds, apricot oil, beef, corn, egg yolk, hazel nuts, safflowers, sunflowers, wheat germ.
- OMEGA 3 ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS – Linoleic Acid
SPECIFIC SKIN FUNCTIONS – brings hydration to skin cells, cell and tissue communication, maintenance of cell membranes and fluidity, decreases inflammation (inflammatory mediator, prostaglandin precursor) prevents dry/flaky skin. FOODS – Cod liver oil, mustard seed oil, linseed oil, cod, salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, walnut oil, linseed oil.
SPECIFIC SKIN FUNCTIONS – Assists wound healing and proper skin cell proliferation, improves immune function, cofactor for prostaglandins, improves hydrochloric acid levels (so we can absorb the nutrients in these foods). FOODS – Beef, bilberry, brewer’s yeast, egg yolks, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sea food, whole grains, ginger, herrings, milk, liver.
SPECIFIC SKIN FUNCTIONS – anti-aging, assists with cross-linking in collagen and elastin, assists collagen synthesis, humectant, assists the architecture and resilience of connective tissue. FOODS-Barley, brown rice, bell peppers, oats, horse tail plant, root vegetables, pumpkin skin, whole grain cereals.
- GREEN TEA (Always drink an hour away from meals)
SPECIFIC SKIN FUNCTIONS- Potent antioxidant, Promotes hydration to skin, anti-inflammatory, prevents free radical damage and decreases skin cancer production.
COCONUT OIL -my personal favourite!-
Most of the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil are attributable to its high content of Medium-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids such as Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid and Lauric Acid which are a “healthy” form of saturated fats compared to trans fats.
Unlike most other dietary Oils, Coconut Oil (if not hydrogenated) does not contain Trans-Fatty Acids (due to its very low content of Unsaturated Fatty Acids).
Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin, it acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin.
The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Fortunately, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of coconut oil.
Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin which normally accompany aging. Coconut oil is very good at hydrating skin.
It sinks in deep, conditions, moisturizes, and softens skin. It isn’t pumped full of water or petroleum byproducts like many commercial cleansers or lotions either. Skin is kept clean by an oily substance called sebum.
When sebum mixes with too much dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells it can clog pores and lead to acne and other blemishes. Coconut oil naturally clears away dirt, grime, and dead skin cells. It even has some antibacterial properties, killing off harmful bacteria.
It truly is the all-in-one natural solution to all your skin problems. It soothes bug bites, speeds healing, helps with rashes, gets rid of flaking skin, softens and shrinks wrinkles, protects against sun damage, keeps tans longer, acts as an antioxidant to prevent cellular aging, and so much more.
It removes makeup easily and even makes the perfect massage oil. When choosing coconut oil bear in mind that it has be organic, pure, extra virgin coconut-basically it is supposed to be white, thick (if cold weather) or a clear-yellowish liquid and smell of coconuts! So there you have it in a nutshell how to make your skin looks better. Make sure to update your shopping list with the ingredients mentioned before.
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