Six Foods You Should Eat For Flawless Skin
Want glowing, radiant, younger-looking skin? The secret could be hidden in your kitchen. Here’s what you should be eating to achieve healthy skin during this hot and sticky weather.
By Adarsh Soni
This is probably the first time in two years when most of us are actually stepping out of our homes. And that means one thing—you need to step up protecting your skin from the sun and other skin-related issues that pop up during hot and humid weather. While topical application of SPF is absolutely necessary, we must not forget that beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within. A research paper published in the American Academy of Dermatology states, “As the largest organ in the body, our skin can benefit from the same nutrition we get from foods that have a positive effect on our heart and other major organs. In fact, eating foods rich in certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants might provide valuable effects for our skin.”
Older cells are constantly shed and replaced by younger ones and a steady supply of key nutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. Eat the correct balance of foods and you’ll feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to help stay soft, hydrated and well protected from sun damage and humidity.
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It’s a common misconception that sun damage is not prevalent during the monsoon months, but that’s simply not true. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, harmful UV rays can easily penetrate through clouds and rain. Want to reduce those sun spots and burns? Then toss a few raw tomatoes into your salad. A study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, suggests a diet rich in bright red tomatoes can reduce UV-induced skin damage. Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect the skin from sun damage and pollution that can cause dark spots, fine lines, dryness, and skin roughness.
Watermelons are the signature fruit for summer—and with good reason. They contain plenty of Vitamin C and just like tomatoes, they are rich in an antioxidant called lycopene which absorbs both UVA and UVB radiation, and helps protect your skin from sun damage. According to research by Dr Wilhelm Stahl, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany, after a few weeks of daily watermelon consumption, lycopene can eventually act as a natural sunblock and work hand in hand with your sunscreen in keeping your skin shielded from the damaging effects of sun exposure.
Nuts and seeds
Packed with the goodness of Omega-3, nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, chia and flaxseed help regulate the skin’s oil production and improve hydration. This makes them the perfect snack for hot and humid weather, something that causes an imbalance in the skin’s oil to water ratio. They’re also great sources of Vitamin E, an active sun blocker, which protects skin cells from UV damage, while also keeping it soft and supple. Nuts and seeds are packed with minerals including zinc, which is involved in the normal functioning of the oil-producing sebaceous glands in the skin. Zinc also helps repair skin damage while keeping the skin soft and supple.
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Research by Dr Wolfgang Köpcke, Department of Medical Informatics and Biomathematics, Münster University Hospital, Münster, Germany, found that our bodies convert a compound called beta carotene into Vitamin A, which is vital for skin health. The study also found that beta carotene found in leafy greens provides the skin with natural sun protection after ten weeks of regular supplementation. Leafy green vegetables are also high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which have been proven to protect against wrinkles and sun damage.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit are an excellent source of Vitamin C, a nutrient that strengthens the immune system and keeps your skin smooth and elastic. According to research by Dr G Rhie, Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University Hospital, South Korea, Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) can help protect the skin from sun damage and photo-aging while also aiding collagen production. Citrus fruits also contain good amounts of B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, flavonoids, carotenoids and essential oils—all of which can help achieve healthy skin.
Cucumbers are low in calories and contain large amounts of water and soluble fibre, making them ideal for promoting hydration. They also contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, manganese and flavonoids. Flavonoids provide protection from UV radiation for our skin. Some flavonoids also have anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties which can help shield the skin from free-ranging radicals. According to Self Nutrition Data, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled as peeling them reduces the amount of fibre, as well as certain vitamins and minerals.
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