Healthy Foods For Beautiful Skin
If you really want beautiful skin, do the same things you would do to strengthen your heart, control your weight, lift your mood and live longer and better: Get regular exercise, sleep enough and eat well.Discovery Health suggests a number of foods to look at if you want a beautiful-skin diet. Here are a few of their suggestions:
The benefits of nuts -- especially almonds -- have to do with antioxidant activity. Vitamin E fights skin-aging free radicals, and also helps your skin hold in moisture.
Red and Green Vegetables
Orange-red vegetables are full of beta-carotene. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which prevents cell damage and premature aging. Spinach and other green, leafy foods provide lots of vitamin A, too.
Vitamin C aids in your body's production of collagen, which is the protein that forms the basic structure of your skin. Collagen breakdown can leave your skin saggy, and vitamin C will help tighten it back up.
As so wisely pointed out in the Discovery Health article above, the real "fountain of youth" is a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Without this foundation, no amount of creams and potions will alter the look and feel of your skin to any great degree. In fact, your complexion reveals a lot about your diet and overall health.
Foods with a Detrimental Impact on Your Complexion
When it comes to proper nutrition for a healthy, youthful complexion, you need to know both what to eat and what to avoid. Loading up on certain skin-clearing foods while still eating some of the most damaging will likely not make a significant impact.
For example, insulin and leptin resistance are major accelerants of the aging processes, which affect both your inside and outside, so it's important to keep your insulin and leptin levels low if you want to maintain a youthful look—not to mention optimal health.
The most effective way to do this is by reducing or eliminating grains and sugar, especially fructose, in your diet. What this means is, if you want to get the benefits from the foods I'll discuss below, you may also want to skip the soda...
Drugs and alcohol are clearly enemies of a glowing complexion, but processed foods, trans fats, processed table salt, and pasteurized dairy products are also common culprits.
Clear Skin Begins Inside Your Body
Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet offers great advice on how to improve your complexion through your diet and explains why foods have such a profound impact on your skin.
In a nutshell, in order to have clear, healthy skin, you need to make sure your body is relatively free of toxins, so cleansing your body of dangerous substances while putting in the finest nutrients is essential.
The organs responsible for providing you with beautiful skin include your liver, kidneys, adrenals, thyroid, and your large- and small intestines.
· Your liver and kidneys are the two organs that filter out impurities on an ongoing basis. If your diet is less than ideal, these two organs can easily become overtaxed, which can lead to breakouts and other skin problems.
· Your adrenals make many essential hormones, such as pregnenolone, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Hormonal imbalances can also result in problematic skin conditions, so adrenal function is important as well.
· A well-nourished, energetic thyroid also provides hormones and works closely with your adrenals to create energy. Dry, flaky, sluggish skin can be evidence of a weak thyroid.
· Your small- and large intestines provide nutrients to all your organs and remove waste products from your body. When waste meant for elimination remains in your intestines your skin becomes thick, oily and blemished. Pure, flawless skin is typically a reflection of clean intestines.
Eating a healthy diet that is suitable for your nutritional type, focusing on whole, bioavailable organic foods, is your number one strategy for helping your body detox naturally while supplying the necessary nutrients your body needs to thrive. That said, some foods are particularly effective at promoting beautiful, clear skin.
Foods that Promote Beautiful Skin
One of the first strategies you can use to improve your skin health is to make sure you are getting enough high quality omega-3 fats. This is such a reliable indicator that I can usually tell someone's omega-3 needs just by shaking their hand. If their hand is not smooth as a baby's behind, it's usually a strong indication that they're deficient.
Discovery Health agrees on this point, but recommends seafood as a primary source of omega-3 fats. I simply cannot agree with this recommendation as fish stocks around the world are now so polluted, the toxins you ingest from fish will likely do you far more harm than good.
Instead, I recommend taking a high quality omega-3 supplement. My favorite is krill oil, as its overall health benefits surpass that of regular fish oil, largely because it is far more bioavailable, better protected with antioxidants and therefore not rancid, and far more sustainable than fish oil.
That said, if you struggle with dry skin, make sure you are taking enough omega-3 fats. In the colder dry winter months, you may need to increase your dose. Vegetables are also essential for creating healthy, beautiful skin. I've seen 75-year-old women in my practice that looked like they were in their 40s, with virtually no facial wrinkles. Most of them were doing large amounts of juicing and led healthy lifestyles. That revelation was one of the reasons why I began juicing myself.
Vegetables are high in both water and nutrients (including essential minerals), and promote optimal functioning of your natural detoxification systems. For example, healthy liver function is supported by dark green leafy veggies, such as:
· Dandelion greens