Ever heard the saying, “you are what you eat?” Eating bad food will ultimately lead you to have bad skin. Eating a nutrient dense diet will help to alleviate all kinds of skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea and dry skin. However, some foods will nourish your body from the inside out, leaving you with glowing summer skin.
Eating fruit and other brightly-colored produce has many benefits for your skin such as skin rejuvenation, skin hydration and improved skin texture. Fruit contains powerful antioxidants which can help protect from free radicals and cellular damage.
Most importantly, you must drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps to keep skin clear by flushing out the toxins in the body.
Now is the time to start nourishing your skin with those essential vitamins and minerals. We all know fruit and vegetables are good for us, but let’s take a closer look at those that can really improve our skin.
Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin A and E, both of which are anti-aging agents. Rich in potassium it improves the skin from within improving circulation and immunity. Try snacking on a banana between meals to keep hunger at bay. It’s also great to use as a homemade face mask; simply mash a banana and some honey (try not to eat it) and apply to your face.
Amla, more commonly known as the Indian Gooseberry, is full of vitamin A which is excellent for increasing the collagen production in your skin cells, making skin appear youthful and glowing. No collagen injections needed here! The benefits of this berry don’t end there; it’s packed full of vitamin C and essential fatty acids. It has even been proven to help your liver function correctly. Amla is a well-known ingredient of hair conditioner and can help reduce dandruff and other scalp conditions.
Beta carotene, found in sweet potatoes, pumpkin, orange/yellow peppers and papaya, helps to improve skin tone and gives you a healthy glow. Typically fruit and vegetables orange or yellow in color are the best source for this. Try juicing carrots or papaya to get the most bang for your buck.
Selenium is another powerful antioxidant found in foods such as tomatoes, broccoli and Brazil nuts. Selenium helps to keep your immune system healthy and can protect against skin cancer and age spots.
Vitamin E helps to protect cell membranes. It is an antioxidant which is found in foods such as seeds, nuts and leafy green vegetables. As an antioxidant it defends the skin from environmental damage, protects against free radicals and slows the aging process. It is a fat soluble vitamin which means it is stored in our fat cells. We need an adequate amount for levels to stay high. It is secreted onto the surface of the skin around 7 days after consumption of foods rich in the vitamin. Sources of vitamin E include spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, almonds, sunflower seeds, peppers, asparagus, and kale.
I think we are all guilty of reaching for the vitamin C or an abundance of oranges whenever we feel run down or have the flu. As well as being great for the immune system vitamin C is also crucial to the stability of the skin, it regulates the structural protein collagen. Increasing the amount of vitamin C in your diet can lead to better skin appearance. It also contributes to faster healing by improving the formation of strong scar tissue. Sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, kiwi, citrus fruits, and strawberries.
No matter how many lotions and potions you apply to your skin, healthy, radiant skin starts internally. Start today and eat some of the above fruits and vegetables and watch as your friends ask what your secret is!
Heather Jane Geary is a qualified nutritionist and avid fitness fanatic. She is a published fitness author and blogs at Healthy Heather.
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