When I ask what is the largest organ of human body; protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature and permits the sensations of touch, heat and cold……..yes you guessed it right – its Skin- our beauty cover.
Human skin is subject to constant change. On the one hand, environmental factors and, on the other hand, the process associated with skin aging, it requires many nutrients and minerals that help maintain its homeostasis.
It is a proven fact that certain food items promote glowing skin, glossy hair, strong nails and clear eyes, so making them a part of your daily diet can do wonders for a Glowing Beautiful You.
So what in particular should one do to maintain an attractive appearance as the lustre and vitality of youth fades, hormones fluctuate and the body begins to change and sag?
While the fountain of youth is a myth, and there is no ‘’Magic’’ food that can push back the years and the toll they take, but certainly a ‘’Magic Diet’’ has a great deal to do with how well you look and also how beautifully your body ages. And it’s never too early to pay attention and begin implementing healthy practices.
Skin, hair and nails are made up of keratin, collagen and elastin – proteins that form building blocks, and provide strength and elasticity.
Sources of Protein for non-vegetarians are manySkinless, Boneless Chicken breast, Lean turkey, Fish – Tuna/ Salmon, Eggs.
The vegetarians need not despair; they can indulge in protein rich vegetarian food:
Cheese- Low or non-fatMozzarella, Beans/ Lentils/ Legumes/ tofu & other soya products/ quinoa and other whole grains/ nuts- peanuts, almonds, cashewnuts, walnuts/ seeds- sesame, sunflower
Vitamin C helps in the build-up of collagen, which reduces wrinkles. When your skin has more collagen your skin retains its elasticity and wrinkles take longer to form.
- Kiwi fruit is the best source of vitamin C. Other good sources are oranges, mango, honeydew and papaya.
- Citrus fruits which are rich in Vitamin C are known to aid in collagen synthesis & in avoiding winkles & dryness.
- Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
It has an incredibly high content of vitamin C and is incredibly beneficial for the complexion. It also supports the immune system and moisturises the skin all at the same time.
- Pomegranates– This fruit is packed with vitamin C, which helps guard against the wrinkling effects of sun damage.
- Watermelon– This refreshing, sweet treat contains the ultimate antioxidant, vitamin C, plus lycopene and potassium, which regulates the balance of water and nutrients in cells.
Food that is rich in vitamin B makes your hair shiny.
- Important sources of this vitamin are eggs, milk, green vegetables and poultry.
- Silica is important to keep your hair elastic, shiny and healthy.
- Raw oats, cucumber skin, onions and bean sprouts are rich in this mineral.
- Oats are rich in Zinc, Biotin, Magnesium and Potassium which are key factors which protects from brittle hair & split hairs.
Fish: Eating oily fish like salmon that contain omega-3 fatty acids will help hydrating and nourishing skin. The key ingredients for a healthy hair and scalp are protein and vitamin D. Salmon is a great source of protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. This omega-3 fatty acid is very much essential to keep your scalp and hair shaft very well hydrated. As healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, get in more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
Zinc and Calcium: Both these minerals help in eradicating pimples. Zinc is found in oysters, turkey, seafood, eggs and milk. Calcium is no doubt good for your bones, but helps in clearing your skin too. Calcium rich foods like skim milk, low-fat cheese and yogurt. These foods not only remove pimples but reduce wrinkles as well.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is known to ease the swelling and redness associated with sunburns. Swelling causes the stretching of skin that in turns leads to wrinkle formation.
- Peaches and Blueberries increase the build-up of vitamin E in your body.
- Nutsbesides being rich in protein are rich in Vitamin E which is the most important antioxidant required for your skin. It protects your skin from damage and premature ageing of the facial tissues. The best way to relish nuts and preserve all the health benefits is to eat them raw, unsalted, with the skin.
- Sesame Seeds -They are rich in vitamin E which prevents free radical damage to the skin. They also contain copper which is necessary for the production of a certain type of antioxidants that protects the skin.
Vitamin C and Iron: Vitamin C and iron together help to reduce the dark circles under your eyes. Eat skinless chicken and red, yellow and orange peppers. These are rich in both and will help in reducing dark circles.
Carrots– They are high in beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of the most important nutrients for healthy skin.
Kale and Spinach – These vital veggies contain special phytonutrients, or antioxidant compounds, that help guard against damage caused by the sun. Spinach is loaded with beta-carotene and lutein, two nutrients that have been shown to improve skin elasticity.
Water: Drink as much as water as you can. Water removes the toxins from the body and refreshes your skin and makes in glow. Water hydrates your skin and keeps it supple.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes contains skin-cancer-fighting antioxidants: beta-carotene, vitamin C and lycopene. Eat tomatoes in any form and you will ingest these antioxidants. To increase the body’s absorption of lycopene cook tomatoes in a little olive oil.
Green Tea:The anti-inflammatory properties found in green tea are simply unbelievable. Counted among the healthiest of all drinks green tea helps prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer as well. So fill a big thermos with green tea in the morning, and sip it all day — hot at first, over ice later, if you like. Start today, and continue drinking green tea every day for the rest of the week. Green Tea also helps in diminishing brown spots.
Yoghurt/Curd:Yoghurt has many healthy enzymes and adds natural oils to the skin. It can diminish pore size, a frequent nuisance for the skin, and can improve the overall skin texture, besides adding a healthy glow to your skin. To make yoghurt a staple in your daily diet we recommend you replace mayonnaise and salad dressings with yoghurt or try replacing ice cream and milkshake with frozen yoghurt and mixed fruit yoghurt smoothie.
Olive Oil:The “good fats” in olive oil are highly beneficial; they contain heart-healthy omega-3s, which improve circulation, leaving skin rosy and supple.
Olive oil in your weight loss diet recipes like salad which are rich in omega 3 fatty acid provides the essential oils which helps in lubricating & reducing inflammation which often leads to redness, acne, and scaly skin.
Coconut Oil: Healthy fat from Coconut Oil also contains vitamins E, K and minerals, which are one of the best natural nutrients for your hair, they aid in boosting growth and shine by moisturizing the scale
Try including some of these foods in your diet and glow and look beautiful. Always remember the Diet Mantra that all food, however healthy it is, should be consumed in moderate quantities as any excess can lead to weight gain.
Clear, glowing, flawless and healthy skin boosts our confidence. But maintaining healthy skin naturally is not easy, so go for the magic diet for a beautiful YOU.
by: Aditi Srivastava Director Diet Mantra & Diet Consultant Indoindians