Human body is a very complex set of cells, tissues, bones and various vital organs, all held together by the largest organ of the body: Skin. It not only defends us from various external, environmental factors like preventing entry of bacteria, but also performs several important functions like temperature regulation, insulation etc. Our skin is also one of the integral five senses and is essential in retaining the moisture and nutrients within the body.
An organ that performs so many indispensable functions should therefore be given the utmost care and importance. Balanced nutrition is a crucial and significant building block of healthy skin. The macro and micro nutrients in foods not only protect one from the skin damaging UV rays but also slows down the appearance of wrinkles, spots and blemishes, boosts up skin elasticity and makes your skin smooth, supple and glowing.
The road to a beautiful complexion, of course begins with a well-rounded diet of fruits and veggies, lots of fluids, good quality protein, fatty acids and other micro nutrients. The only side effect of this diet is that “These super foods also do wonders for your whole body - builds brainpower, corrects your cholesterol levels, reduces your stress levels and improves general well being.”
Five power foods to get a great skin:
- Green leafy vegetables: Spinach, Methi leaves, mustard greens, Romaine lettuce, mint, coriander leaves and other greens are all excellent sources of Vitamin A, zinc, iron, fiber, and Vitamin K. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and it prevents or delays the process of cellular damage thus slowing the ageing of skin and appearances of fine lines and wrinkles. Zinc is an important co factor in enzyme reactions that help skin healing.
- Strawberries: A cup of strawberries provides approximately 149% of the daily value of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is another super anti oxidant that increases the production of the protein collagen that helps in keeping the skin firm. Ellagic acid, a natural phenol antioxidant found in abundance in strawberries reduces oxidative stress and prevents skin from sagging.
- Tomatoes: Another super food, high in lycopene, an antioxidant. It’s readily available in tomato paste and easily assimilated when cooked. Preliminary studies have shown that having tomato paste, daily for three months reduced skin damage by UV radiation up to 30%. Higher prevalence of this antioxidant lead to fewer lines and furrows.
- Walnuts and Almonds: These nuts are a storehouse of VitaminE, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and omega fatty acids. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and ALA and omega fatty acids provides lubrication to the skin and prevents dryness.
- Water: Drink water, more water and plenty of water. Guzzle up on this zero calorie drink to keep your skin moist, supple and hydrated. Adequate consumption of water not only prevents dryness of skin but also ensures cellular health and flushing of the toxins out of the system.
A quick fix smoothie to help get radiating skin:
1 small – frozen banana
½ cup – hung low fat curd/ 2 cups – chopped spinach/kale
5-6 – strawberries
5-6 – soaked and peeled almonds
1 tsp – cinnamon powder
Honey to taste
Method: Give the above ingredients a quick whirl in the blender with some ice cubes and enjoy this refreshing smoothie.