Beautiful Skin- from the Inside Out

Sue Chung Health Guide
  • Eating properly isn't always easy. Busy schedules and personal and professional responsibilities can get in the way of acquiring fresh produce.

     

    But what we eat can affect our skin more than we'd like to admit. I posted a few months ago (Can the Right Diet Reduce Wrinkles?) regarding the link between sugar and wrinkles, but there are more dietary factors involved when it comes to glowing, hydrated skin.

     

    For years, my mother told me drinking lots of water would help hydrate my skin. Unfortunately, drinking gallons of water turns out to accomplish very little if your diet is pretty fit to begin with. A diet already rich in water-laden foods such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy makes drinking tons of water unnecessary.

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    Whether or not you're able to drink your fill of water every day, make a few changes here and there to ensure that you're full of the right nutrients - the ones that can help improve the health of your skin by helping to fight free radicals and activating liver enzymes that operate your in-house detox center.

     

    Antioxidants

     

    We hear this word thrown around a lot lately, but antioxidants deserve their popularity. They reduce inflammation at the cellular level by fighting free radical damage and have been shown to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. Some of the most antioxidant-rich foods are fruits. Berries and pomegranates are full of these little fighters. Best of all, you can have your dessert and eat it, too. Dark chocolate contains a wealth of antioxidants. Some dark chocolate varieties are now packed with berries to get a double dose of good stuff while soothing your sweet tooth. Try Hershey's Extra Dark: Cranberries, Blueberries and Almonds.

     

    Vitamin C

     

    C is for...citrus. That's good enough for me. Maybe it's not as indulgent as a cookie, but it's far better for you and your skin. Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant, but also helps the activation of several enzymes that keep your body running properly. Citrus fruits contain loads of Vitamin C, are widely available-and taste good, too. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts actually contain higher amounts of Vitamin C, but you won't go wrong with the citrus.

    Liver Enzyme Activators

     

    Our livers have to work hard to remove toxins from our systems, so it's nice to do something to help its work along. Garlic and green tea possess antibacterial properties and help speed up liver enzymes. They also help reduce cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cabbages activate liver enzymes as well while oat bran absorbs toxins.

     

    Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

     

    If we need water for hydrated skin, we also need fat. The famed French actress Catherine Deneuve was once quoted as saying that a woman of a certain age "must choose between her bottom and her face." Fat, to a certain extent, plumps up skin and helps prevent the appearance of fine lines. However, instead of feasting on that cheesecake (save it for special occasions), indulge in healthy fats that will both lower cholesterol and prevent dry skin. Salmon and other types of fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, while sunflower seeds are rich in omega-6 fatty acids.

     

     

Published On: June 02, 2008