Good for Skin

Good for Skin

Often, the importance of maintaining healthy skin is not emphasized enough. Besides reflecting your inner radiance, the skin protects internal organs from injury, acts as the first defence against microorganisms and protects against damaging radiation. The search for foods and fads to make the skin glow has been on since one can remember, with numerous successes and failures.

Internal as well as external factors exert stress the skin on a daily basis. Free radicals produced as a result of dietary and metabolic process are known to contribute to aging, while pollutants in the air, heavy metals in water and microbes in the surroundings can cause damage. Hence, skin care is a regular ongoing activity, not a one-time effort.

Adequate water intake is the first step towards maintaining skin health. Keep yourself well-hydrated at all times, and remember that excessive alcohol can dehydrate you, showing undesirable results on the skin. Eat foods rich in protein such as legumes, nuts and seeds, milk, milk products and lean meats. Proteins are the building blocks of skin cells.

Vitamin A, C and E are also important for skin health. While, vitamin A is essential for the proliferation of skin cells, vitamins C and E act as antioxidants and reduce skin damage. It is a good idea to include carotene-rich leafy greens, red and yellow vegetables, as well as citrus fruits and vitamin E rich nuts and seeds (especially sunflower seeds and almonds) in the diet. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of the connective tissue collagen, which helps maintain elasticity of the skin. Polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3, are also beneficial for the skin. Mackerel, salmon, sardines and plant foods such as walnuts and flax seeds are sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Taking care of the skin externally, through regular cleansing and moisturizing is just as important as giving it the right nutrition. When you think of personal care, run to your pantry, not your medicine cabinet. Foods that offer nutrition for the skin, can also be applied topically, rather than just being included in the diet. While milk, cucumber and tomatoes can tackle tan and pigmentation; besan, oats and sugar are excellent exfoliators. Use almond oil, coconut oil, honey or cream (malai) as moisturizers. Find natural products that use ingredients that suit your skin type and keep in mind the weather when choosing which products to apply. Indulge in skin care at least twice a day, and keep glowing!

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