Geetha G. H.Geetha G H, is a Consultant Registered Dietician, Certified Diabetes Educator and Exercise & Sports Nutritionist. Her 10 years of diverse work experience encompasses lectureship, research, therapeutic nutrition and corporate nutrition. She is a regular nutrition columnist for print and electronic media. She is a university first rank holder and has several gold medals to her credit at both under graduate and post graduate levels. She is passionate about nutrition, writing and research.
Glowing skin without blemishes is every girl’s dream. Pollution, sun, air-conditioning, cosmetics, weather and stress can wreak havoc, raking up free radicals that damage skin.
The following simple steps will help you attain illuminating skin.
Glow Begins at Gut:
What you absorb and assimilate is more important than what you eat! The perception that beautiful skin is superficial may be incorrect. Flawless skin emerges from the gut! Probiotics and prebiotics work synergistically to groom gut health that improve digestion, vitamin absorption and increase resistance to bad bacteria. Yogurt offers live good bacteria Lactobacillus. Non-digestible dietary fibers found in whole grains, bananas, garlic, onions, asparagus permit the growth of good bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the intestine which intensifies immunity.
Adequate plain water intake keeps the skin stay supple, smooth and ensures detoxification.
Aim for Antioxidants:
Color your diet wild. Berries bursting with antioxidants synergistically protect skin and delay signs of ageing. Black berries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, polyphenols in pomegranates, lycopene in tomato offer the scavenging effect.
'Ace' to Axe Crow's Feet:
The carotenoids in spinach, eggs, low fat dairy, broccoli, carrots bolster collagen production. The vitamins C in amla, guava, citrus fruits, bell peppers, sprouts protect us from sun damage that destroys skin firming fibers like collagen and elastin. The anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing foods rich in Vitamin E - vegetable oils, nuts especially almonds, sunflower seeds, olives, spinach, slow down the production of enzyme collagenase, that breaks down collagen. Thus vitamins ‘ACE’ effectively reduce wrinkles.
Oomph of Omega:
The essential fatty acid – Linolenic acid is the skin’s natural oil barrier that enhances younger and smoother skin by shielding toxins and pollutants. Cold water fatty fish – salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, canola and olive oil, flax seeds, walnuts, avocado and dark green leafy vegetables are mandatory in regular menu.
Co Q 10 is a powerful antioxidant that prevents ageing and protects from free radicals. Fatty fish, poultry and whole grains intensify Co Q 10.
This vital mineral is an antidote to sagging and free radical damage. Selenium is plentiful in Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shrimp, lamb and fish – tuna or salmon, turkey, oyster, sardines, whole wheat, pumpkin seeds.
Make it Complex:
Choose whole grains and complex carbs that release glucose gradually in the gut. Whole grains also offer B – complex vitamins that regularize production of sebum. Brown rice naturally contains ceramides that maintain the bounce of the skin through hydration. Refined cereals have high GI and excess simple sugars lead to insulin surge that also elevates male hormones – androgens that contribute to wrinkles and lead to secretion of large amounts of sebum promoting acne.
Bring in Biotin:
What avocados and eggs have in common is biotin, the essential vitamin to ward off dry skin. The eggs also offer great quality of protein to repair and regenerate skin cells and collagen.
Green tea is a fabulous functional food and store-house of polyphenols, especially EGCG that stops inflammation, slows DNA damage and protects from sun, reduces the fine lines and DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) that causes acne.
Darker the chocolate the better. Choose 70 % or more Cocoa to impart flavonols that improve skin shine. A couple of squares will rev up skin texture and UV resistance.
Health with Zinc:
This trace mineral is integral to protein synthesis, collagen production, inflammation reduction, integrity of skin and mucosal membrane and healing of skin. Oysters are exceptionally high in zinc, followed by other protein foods – meat, sea food, poultry, dairy, kidney beans, nuts and whole grains.
Abstinence from smoking, simple skin care regime, adequate sleep that rejuvenates and optimizes human growth hormone to promote cell and collagen growth, exercise which increases nutrient reach through enhanced circulation and meditation or yoga alleviates stress hormones that reduce acne or eczema, holistically prevent premature ageing and wrinkles.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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