Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gorgeous Skin From the Inside Out

Ok, so I decided to do a piece on this subject because I really do believe that in order to get the best out your body is the nurture it from the inside out and that includes the skin. Also, I've been having these terrible, worse-than-the-usual post menstrual breakouts to the point that I honestly don't feel comfortable with my skin even in makeup. My diet's been terrible these past couple of weeks (sandwich cookies and hardly any veggies or fruit, even my water intake has declined partly due to the temperature) and I really think my body as well as my skin had definitely taken a beating. So I've decided that I need to take control of my diet. This shouldn't even be an issue for me since I went to school for nutrition but as with most things its easier said than done. Its not lack of knowledge that holds most people back from eating healthy, its usually the behaviour modification aspect that's a struggle.

Anyways, enough of my ranting. Let's get on to the subject at hand. 

Glowing and beautiful skin has been sought after for ages and dates back even to the ancient Egyptians.Egyptians used many different treatments to beautify their skin and appearance. They have been credited with being the first to develop methods of extracting important ingredients from natural resources and even developing elaborate bathing systems, similar to spa treatment we see today.

However, I'm a firm believer that there's only so much serums and creams can do to provide beautiful skin, and still looking like yourself. 

Reducing the Problem
Simply put: free radicals are bad. Antioxidants are good. For those of you who may not have a chemistry background, free-radicals are highly reactive atoms, molecules or ions that break down the support structures of the skin, diminishing elasticity and eventually causing wrinkles and sagging. Antioxidants, on the other hand, help to slow or prevent oxidation from occuring.  Some common antioxidants include vitamin A, C and E.

Vitamin A (Not Just Good for Your Eyes)

Not just a vitamin for healthy eyesight, vitamin A helps to promote skin-building compounds and reduces fine line and wrinkles. Good sources of vitamin A include:

  • Liver 
  • cod liver oil
  • hard cheese
  • eggs
  • raw carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • spinach
  • mangoes
Please note: Pregnant women should consult their doctors before taking vitamin A supplements. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to fight free radical damage while promoting collagen growth and helps reverse sun damage. When formulated with Vitamin E, its functions are greatly enhanced - even boosting the efficacy of sunscreen! Since our bodies can't create vitamin C, it needs to be supplied in our diet. Some good sources include:

  • citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, grapefruits)
  • kiwi
  • strawberries
  • cantaloupe
  • broccholi
  • tomatoes
  • papaya (paw paw)
  • bell peppers
  • cauliflower

Vitamin E
Vitamin E works synergistically with Vitamin C to protect the epidermis from the early stages of UV damage. On its own, Vitamin E helps to reduce the severity of sunburn and protects the skin`s lipid balance during cleansing or exfoliating. Sources include:
  • sunflower seeds
  • nuts
  • vegetable oils
  • tomato paste
  • peanut butter
  • avocado pear

Selenium improves the skin elasticity, helps to battle skin infections, and is believed to help individuals with acne. Selenium is necessary for the production of glutathione, which neutralizes free radicals in the body that can lead to the deterioration of collagen and elastin in the skin. In addition to skin benefits, selenium improves the hair and nails. Sources include: 

  • brazil nuts
  • organ meats
  • eggs 
  • seafood

Sure, its hard to eat healthy but always aim to eat a s healthy as much as possible and you'll enjoy the pay-off: healthy, glowing skin!

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