Foods for Healthy Skin - You Are What You Eat
The average life of a skin cell is about 28 days. As old cells reach the end of their days, new ones are forming to take their place. A spectrum of different nutrients are needed to create and nurture these new cells.
To ensure our skin reaches its potential for perfection it is important to choose foods that supply all these essential skin ingredients. If our diet is lacking, skin is the first to give it away.
Dry skin may be gasping for essential fatty acids (or vitamin F). Skin that breaks out in blemishes may be desperate for more vitamin A, while a tendency to produce .excessive oil is often tempered by a good dose of B vitamins. A sure way to improve the quality of your skin is to nourish it from both inside and out.
The kind of diet that builds beautiful skin enhances health at every level. While we need small quantities of every single essential nutrient, the skin relies on some of these for its wellbeing more than others. Certain foods are particularly rich in skin-nourishing nutrients so be sure to include them in your diet.
But before filling your shopping basket with skin superfoods, here are a few general guidelines for healthy eating.
Fresh is best - Fruits, vegetables and cereals are at their most nutritious when just picked or harvested. Nutrients are lost during storage and the longer foods stay on the shelf, the more depleted they become. For optimal freshness choose fruits and vegetables as they come into season and whenever possible pick your own.
Opt for organic - Pesticides and preservatives may yield better looking, longer lasting foods but to the body these chemicals are alien and seen as toxins. Their presence may upset the healthy functioning of tissues, and that includes skin. More alarmingly, some pesticides such as lindane are known carcinogens and can increase the risk of cancer. Whenever possible choose organically grown produce. Even small changes make a big difference.
Close to nature - Choose foods that are whole and unadulterated, as nature intended. Processing frequently destroys nutrients. When flour is refined and bleached it loses 70-90 per cent of its original B complex vitamins and many minerals. In the raw, sugar cane contains calcium, iron, potassium and sulphur, nutrients the body needs to metabolise this sweet stuff. When purified, these essential nutrients are washed away. Our biochemistry is attuned to foods as they occur in nature. Vitality comes naturally when we give our body what it really needs.
Cook it yourself - Time is precious and ready-made meals are a tempting alternative to home cooking. But commercially prepared dishes can be spiced up with artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives that may trigger sensitivity and skin reactions Simple dishes prepared from fresh ingredients like salads and stir-fries can be knocked up in minutes and are infinitely more nourishing.
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