A common adage says that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It only means that beauty is the perception of the one looking. But according to a survey, beauty is defined as looking healthy. This says a lot about how health is connected to our outward appearance. And it all starts with healthy skin – the biggest system of our body.
Glowing skin is moist and soft. It is the best way to describe healthy skin and commonly compared to a youthful glow. Because with aging, our skin becomes dry, flaky, and wrinkled. And sometimes, skin problems such as breakouts and warts signifies an issue with our health. Another popular adage is “we are what we eat”. Our body needs nutrition mostly from food sources if we want to be healthy and reflect that in our appearance, then it is only proper that we supplement with nutritious foods to bring out the glow in our skin.
Eat your way to healthy glowing skin
Omega 3 is the type of fat that we want in our diet. Not only is it good for the heart, but it’s also good for our skin. It helps protect our skin from the harmful effect of sunlight UV rays, reduces acne breakouts, dry skin, and protects against skin irritation. Foods rich in omega 3 are green leafy vegetables, chia, flaxseed, walnuts, fatty fish, and plant oils.
Antioxidant reduces the harmful effect of free radicals in our skin. Free radicals are produced by sun exposure and pollution, which cause cell damage. The antioxidant helps by slowing down the signs of aging caused by free radicals. Foods rich in antioxidants are berries, fruits, vegetables, and cacao.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect our skin from cell damage. Besides slowing the aging process, it also reduces the appearance of brown spots and pigmentation. This vitamin also keeps our skin firm and strong by helping in the production of collagen. Bell peppers, oranges, papaya, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, peas, and kale are good sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble and indispensable nutrient that helps in collagen production. It works with Vitamin C hand-on-hand to stimulate the formulation of collagen. It is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties to combat the effects of harmful radicals. Almond, sunflower seed, spinach, avocado, sweet potato, dark green leafy vegetables, and hazelnuts are foods rich in Vitamin E.
Vitamin A is a fundamental nutrient that boosts overall health. This essential nutrient encourages the production of new cells and thus crucial in skin healing. It is another antioxidant that protects the skin from various toxins and pollutants. Food rich in Vitamin A includes carrots, squash, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, pumpkin, red pepper, apricot, mango, tomato, and peach.
The amino acid is also the main building block of protein that creates collagen, elastin, and keratin. Protein is necessary to maintain cell life, tissue repair, and production of new cells. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, algae, and green leafy vegetables are all excellent sources of protein.
Minerals (copper, silica, zinc)
Copper boosts the production of collagen, which is in charge of skin elasticity. It works with vitamins and zinc for elastin synthesis. This elastin is the skin component that makes the skin flexible. Dietary sources include sunflower seed, sesame seed, Brazil nut, hazelnut, walnut, pistachios, cashew, pecan, coconut, mushrooms, and soybeans. Silica strengthens connective tissues. It’s vital in keeping the skin healthy and elastic. Whereas, a deficiency leads to premature skin aging, loss of skin elasticity, and slower wound healing. Leeks, beans, chickpeas, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, and rhubarb are good dietary sources of silica. Zinc helps control the production of oil and stabilizes hormones. Thus, it is a vital nutrient for acne sufferers. It also has antioxidant properties to help prevalent premature skin aging. Brazil nut, almond, cashew, hazelnut, walnut, rice, barley, sunflower seed, olive, lean meats, liver, legumes, and soy foods are food rich in zinc.
The skin is the window to one’s health
When we talk about skin health, it’s easy to divert it to topical products, skin regimens, and cosmetics. But we need to understand that skin is our first layer of defense. Any abnormality in our skin shows deeper health issues. For example, when we have acne breakouts, it may actually mean unbalanced hormones. Glowing skin is not achieved through skin products alone. And foods are only a contributing factor. If we add enough sleep and hydration, it will be even better. But most importantly, our health and wellness are what appears in our skin.
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