Healthy skin happens when we eats good foods, have enough
exercise, minimize stress and protect our skin from the
Certain foods are especially beneficial to the skin.
Garlic is one such food. It contains sulphur compounds
(which give it its rather strong odor) which are beneficial
to your skin. It also acts as a natural antibiotic and
cleanses the whole system. If you like garlic, eat it as
much as you can. If the smell worries you, chew a piece of
parsley afterwards and this will neutralize it. Odorless
garlic tablets are available if this is all too hard.
Vitamin C is probably the most important skin vitamin
in my opinion. Not least because the human body can neither
make it or store it. This vitamin helps collagen formation
which keeps the skin looking young and plump. This could be
why smoker's skin can look older than a non smoker's.
Smoking also uses up the oxygen in the blood. Give it up if
humanly possible or at least cut it down.
Vitamin C is best consumed together with bioflavonoids,
the way it is normally found in nature. The two have a
synergistic effect. They can be found in Citrus fruit,
berries such as strawberries and blueberries and vegetables
such as broccoli.
Broccoli also contain vitamin A, an important vitamin
for skin as it helps it fight infection from the inside out.
Great for those with acne! Have some every other day if you
Carrots are a great source of carotenoids such as
"beta-carotene" which your body converts to vitamin A .
Beta-carotene is absorbed into the skin and can also protect
it from the sun's harmful UV rays. Carrots also contain
"alpha carotene" which protects against free radical damage.
Carrots are a great way to get your vitamin A as excess
carotenoids are expelled by the body. Too much vitamin A is
toxic to the body.
Dark leafy green vegetables, particularly kale and
spinach are a good source of zinc and iron. Iron will make
sure your skin gets enough oxygen and zinc is a great pimple
fighter. Eat some every day if you possible can or include
some in a fresh juice.
Parsley deserves a separate mention as it is rich in
just about all the skin boosting nutrients. It contains beta
carotene, chlorophyll, vitamin B12, folic acid (great for
firm skin), vitamin C and iron. Parsley can be added to
juices, casseroles, sprinkled over any savory dish or simply
chewed by itself. Its great for fresh breath too. Parsley is
easy to grow, pop some in a pot and keep it near the kitchen
Olive oil is fabulous for dry skin and wrinkles. Use
it for cooking - it contains monounsaturated fats and anti
oxidants- or slather it on your skin after a bath.
Flaxseeds and flax oil (also known as linseed)
contain the essential omega 3 oils not found in many foods.
(Fish also contains omega 3). Flaxseeds contain fiber and
phytoestrogens which balance the body's hormones and are
vital for younger looking skin. Sprinkle some on your cereal
or use in soups and stews.
Avocados give skin (especially dry skin) a boost.
Although fairly high in fat, its the healthy monounsaturated
kind which makes dry skin supple. Avocados contain
glutathione which is one of the most powerful antioxidants
around and will prevent cell damage in all skin types. They
are also high in potassium.
Drink as much water as you can, this flushes out toxins and
helps to hydrate the skin. If you can't drink eight glasses
a day - I can't unless its 40 degrees - then just drink as
much as you can without being uncomfortable.
Skin needs sufficient protein to replace and repair itself.
Most of us have plenty of protein in our diets but a lot of
it comes with a lot of fat attached. If you can substitute
low fat items e.g. milk, peanut butter, cheese etc, then do
so. You'll still be eating the same amount. Lean meat is
fine, fish is even better as it contains natural omega 3
oils which are great for your skin and your health.
Try and add as many fruits and vegetables as possible to
your diet. If you 're a committed junk food "junkie" this
may seem impossible, but if you tackle it in small bites (pun intended!) It will be easy. Commit yourself to healthy
foods on certain days of the week or drink water instead of
soda in the afternoons. When this becomes comfortable,
expand it to every day. Its just breaking old habits and
replacing them with new ones. After a while you'll be
comfortable with it. And you'll feel better and loose weight
The purists tell us that all vitamins and minerals can be
obtained from foods and there is no need for us to take
supplements. In theory this is true, however the stress of
life today probably robs our system of vitamin B. Smoking
uses up about 35 mg of vitamin C per day.
Added to this, the practice of storing fresh
produce for extended amounts of time, can't help but deplete
the natural vitamins in these foods. The pollution in our
cities and some of our bad habits like eating junk and
smoking (who me?) leads to the production of free radicals
in the body. For this we need an antioxidant which contains
among others beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A),
vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, lycopene (found in tomatoes)
Healthy skin loves exercise! It doesn't matter what kind.
Walking, jogging, all types of sport, aerobics, thumping
around in the gym, whatever you enjoy try and fit it in
three times a week. If you don't enjoy any exercise, find
one! Join a group of people or find a walking buddy, you
will get to enjoy it I promise!
Stress is bad for you and bad for your skin. Stress will
slow the circulation of blood to the skin causing a shortage
of oxygen to the cells. It will also deplete certain
nutrients from the body - for example vitamin B. It can ruin
your sleep thus preventing the repair and regeneration of
skin cells. It will put worry lines on your face and will
make you look old before your time! Who needs it? No-one!
check out this page on stress to see how you can deal with
this incapacitating disorder now!
As you may have gathered from all this, having a healthy
skin is the same as having a healthy body, it's worth
maintaining a good diet and lifestyle so you not only look
great but you feel great too!
Like to have better looking skin? http://www.holistic-facial-skin-care.com will give you detailed information on all facets of skin care. The author, Wendy Owen has had a lifetime interest in general and alternative health and skin care.