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Feed your skin

If you want skin to be proud of, don't neglect your diet

16 DECEMBER 2010

Have you ever stopped to consider that the health of your skin depends on many factors, not just your skin-care routine? One of the most important influences is your diet, and different foods have good and bad effects on your skin. Rosa Ortega, nutrition expert and consultant to the firm Olay, summarises some of the foods that are good for your skin.



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“While there are no magic foods for the skin, eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains will be beneficial, as these provide antioxidants (which prevent excessive build up of free radicals) and fibre (which prevents constipation). They also provide vitamins that help maintain the general health and hydration of the skin.



Nuts, wheat germ, vegetable oils and avocados are all good sources of vitamin E – an important antioxidant that protects skin from external aggression – although these foods should be consumed in moderation as they are all high in calories.



Carrots, spinach and peppers are all good sources of beta carotene (pro-vitamin A), which is good  for overall skin condition. Some vegetables such as celery and lettuce are rich in psoralene, a chemical substance that protects the skin against psoriasis and improves how it reacts to sunlight.



“It is also important to try and prevent an accumulation of toxins in the body (which may be caused by liver or kidney disfunction, constipation or poor nutrition), as this can provoke eczema, skin rashes and irritations. Elimination of toxins is helped by drinking plenty of liquids and increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables.

“In many cases it's a good idea to reduce our intake of spices, sweets, fats, alcohol, tea and coffee.



“To encourage constant skin renewal, you need an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals, with special attention to vitamins A, E, C and B group vitamins. Minerals are important, too; iron and zinc, in particular, are essential to keep skin, hair and nails healthy.

 

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