Youth and beauty on your dinner plate
Trying to look younger we spend tons of money on different creams, serums and other treatment. But there is a cheaper way to preserve youth and beauty of your skin. It’s everything about what you eat.
First of all let’s remember what skin is. It’s the largest organ in the body and is constantly renewing itself. Skin is made up of two layers: the dermis and the epidermis. The epidermis is the layer that we see, and the dermis is the layer that lies underneath. It’s the dermis that is responsible for your skin’s plumpness. It’s made mainly of the proteins collagen and elastin, which give our skin firmness and elasticity. As we age, levels of collagen decline, fat cells (which help skin look plump) shrink and renewal of skin cells slows down. Other factors that affect skin health are: damage from UV rays, environmental pollutants, stress, excess sugar, lack of sleep. If you want your skin to look younger, it’s not enough just eat healthily. Your diet should be centered around several key nutrients that help protect the skin from damage, hydrate it, and keep your skin cells functioning properly.
These foods you should include into your diet plan.
1. Antioxidant-rich fruit and veg
Our skin is constantly exposed to UV radiation and pollution, creating free radicals that damage skin structure. Free radicals break down collagen, alter cell renewal, damage DNA and result in inflammation. You can fight their destructive action with antioxidants, particularly vitamins A, C and E, and carotenoids.
Food: Eat more colorful veg and eat two portions of fruit daily. Selenium-rich Brazil nuts will be a great addition to your diet, plus, nuts and seeds containing vitamin E. Selenium is a super vitamin when it comes to anti-ageing, because it’s important for the production of the antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione slows the skin’s ageing process by rapidly repairing cell damage. Also include foods containing polyphenols, such as berries rich in anthocyanin, green tea loaded with catechins and citrus fruits with bioflavonoids. Orange and red fruits are rich in carotenoids and lycopene, they are great UV protectors, so eat these daily, too. And, of course, it’s better to limit sun exposure and quit smoking.
2. Lean protein
That’s collagen that keeps your skin supple, firm and elastic. When collagen and other proteins break down, the skin essentially folds into itself, creating wrinkles and lines. For the production of collagen fibers and to help preserve collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid – all key components of healthy skin – you need vitamin C and plant antioxidants.
Food: High-quality sources of protein should be in your diet every day, at every meal. The body uses the amino acids in these protein foods to make collagen. Eggs, whey protein powder, fish and poultry are the easiest to digest and use. Eggs are also rich in biotin, and that’s an extra beauty bonus. Biotin is an important nutrient for healthy, glowing skin and a deficiency can lead to dermatitis. Also add to your menu zinc-rich foods, because zinc helps in collagen formation and new skin cell production. Great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, crab, lean meats and yogurt.
3. Oily fish
Fatty acids, that fish contains, are an important component of the cell membrane providing structure and improving function. If you want to have young-looking skin, set a balance of the right fats in your diet. Too much saturated fat or omega-6 fat (red meat, dairy, vegetable oils and margarines) can be inflammatory, but if you avoid all fats, it can lead to dry and dull skin.
Food: Mediterranean food, with plenty of olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and oily fish, is your best option. These products are rich in omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, which lower inflammation and nourish the skin. Try to eat at least two 115g servings of omega-3 rich seafood a week. Also include coconut oil. It’s is rich in lauric and caprylic acid, known for its antioxidant and anti-microbial properties.
4. Detoxifying greens
One of the ways the body eliminates waste is through the skin. If you have too much toxins inside you, you will soon see it on your skin. To prevent this, increase your intake of leafy greens like kale, cabbage and watercress, they all help in detoxification. Add to your diet such supergreens as chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass and barley grass. These are powerful detoxifying foods and also amazingly rich in nutrients.
Food: Eat a dark green leafy salad or blend leafy greens to make soup or smoothie daily. Green juices or a snack on kale crisps is always a great idea.
5. More water
To maintain youthful-looking skin you need to drink a lot of plain water. When skin is dehydrated it looks old and dull. Try to drink about six to eight glasses of water per day, or more if you exercise.
What to drink: Besides plain water (or water with lemon/lime), coconut water and green tea are also great options. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes and effective if you want to hydrate your body quickly. Green tea contains catechins which help prevent collagen from breaking down and help reactivate dying skin cells. That makes green tea fantastic for skin renewal. Avoid black tea, coffee and alcohol, which can block absorption of key nutrients and dehydrate you.