Eat a Healthy Diet, Have Healthy Skin

HealthGal Health Guide October 14, 2008
  • I saw a great magazine article in Self and here is a compendium of the information it offered:

    Why sunflower seeds and almonds?

    Vitamin E features prominently and not only does it fight free radicals (scavengers that when produced in bulk can predispose you to cancer) but the top layers of skin contain high levels of this vitamin which supports the guard cells that protect skin.

     

    Why strawberries, citrus fruits, red peppers and broccoli?

    Research shows that vitamin C is necessary for collagen production and formation and that's what provides your skin's support structure.

     

    Why fortified cereals, lean meat, pork and poultry (nix the skin, though)?

    Zinc and iron are key cell production, sloughing which keeps skin radiant and not dull and iron allows red blood cells to bring oxygen to the skin for a glow.

     

    Why dark orange, leafy green and red vegetables?

    Vitamin A helps with cell turnover so your skin stays smooth; carotenoids also help to make skin less sensitive to sun.

     

    Why is water the best beverage?

    From providing hydration internally to skin, which is predominantly water to getting skin moist, so a cream can lock that moisture in - just plain water is the beverage of choice.

     

    Want clearer skin?

    Whole wheat and whole grains which help to keep blood sugar stable and the hypothesis is that may help to lower the production of androgens, which could contribute to acne

     

    Want fewer wrinkles?

    Eat oily fishes like salmon, nuts and eggs fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.  Those healthy fats also battle inflammation.

     

    How about milk?

    Experts say teens (who do need the calcium and vitamin D) may need to see, if they have acne - whether or not the milk in their diet is a contributing factor. But let's remember if you need to drop the dairy - get calcium and vitamin D from other sources or supplements.

     

    What about sweets?

    A sugar high in processed sugars may indeed set off a process called glycation and produce compounds that can interact with collagen an elastin in the skin.  

    The net result is weakened collagen and this result may not undo itself too easily, even if you do stop the treats.  Eat fruit with their natural sweetness and fiber.

     

    How about the dark chocolate?

    The flavenols (anti-oxidants) may indeed help increase blood flow, oxygenate the skin improve skin hydration and reduce sun sensitivity BUT it's highly caloric - so go easy.

     

    And yes, I know...what about vino?

    Wine can dehydrate, so go easy and enjoy the benefits of the polyphenols in small to moderate amounts of red wine.