With the mainstream’s fixation with beauty and beauty products, it’s easy to lose sight of one simple fact: what you eat matters a great deal if you want to look great and feel great. Food provides the body with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and energy to build, rebuild and fuel itself through a wide gamut of activities everyday. If the body does not have enough of all these requirements to work optimally, would it be such a surprise if it malfunctions and appears shoddy? Scrimping on food that provides the body with necessary nutrients will obviously result in dry,blemished skin. Moreover, it’s not just the topical skin products that you use that will determine how beautiful your skin is. Rather, lifestyle choices, activities, and other actions that you do will help make that skin healthy. Just what does it take, then, to have beautiful skin?
For starters, your mother was right: Eat your leafy vegetables and fruits.
Free radicals are substances that are known to cause premature skin aging. Green leafy vegetables and vegetables like carrots, squash, and spinach, contain a lot of antioxidants, which combat these free radicals and thus reduce premature skin aging. For good measure, you must at consume at least five servings of these fruits and vegetables to make a real difference.
But there’s more good reason to eat fruits and vegetables than just keeping premature aging at bay. Vitamin A, which may be derived from both plant and animal sources, is an integral contributor to the body’s immune system. This is because vitamin A is an integral ingredient in the formation, protection, and repair of epithelial cells that make up the skin, which is the first line of defense of the body against unwanted allergens, biotic parasites, and other harms. With sufficient vitamin A, the skin is not only protected better from bacteria that may cause acne, but also not made susceptible to a condition called xerosis, a characteristic dryness of the skin.
However, because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that gets stored in the body’s fat cells, taking in supplements may lead to overdosing. Vitamin A, which is retinol from animal sources and beta-carotene from plant sources, is best derived from dietary intake where it comes in small doses. Some good animal sources of vitamin A include fish oil, liver, milk, and eggs. Vegetables that contain a healthy dose of vitamin A include dark orange vegetables like carrots and squash, and dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach.
Essential fatty acids like omega 3 and 6 present in fish liver oil, oily fish, and shellfish are excellent in keeping the skin clear and healthy as well. These two essential fatty acids reduce the likelihood of skin inflammation.
Another notable skin-friendly vitamin is the water-soluble vitamin C. Vitamin C is present in many fruits like oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, melons. This vitamin is necessary in the production of collagen and other connective tissues, which then help to keep the skin strong and protected, yet flexible and less susceptible to tearing.
Because vitamin C is water-soluble, there is little likelihood that you will overdose on this vitamin. As such, feel free to enjoy fruits containing vitamin C without having to earnestly take note of your intake.
There are a huge variety of other vitamins and minerals present in the food that we consume that contribute greatly to making our skin look beautiful. Scientists, however, recommend a general rule of thumb in variation: eat fruits and vegetables of varied colors every day. The colors of these fruits and vegetables not only imply what vitamins they may contain (as fruits and vegetables of similar color usually do contain similar nutrients), but also create a visual cue as to what you have consumed and what else you must consume. Moreover, it makes looking after your health and making sure you are eating a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables more fun and creative with the introduction of a ‘color’ dimension.