Your skin is a reflection of your inner health and the first thing people see. Therefore, you want to present your very best to the world, and you can do that by eating certain foods that can help make your skin glow.
Can you really make your skin glow?
Although each of us has our own genetics and lifestyle habits, such as sun exposure, smoking, and makeup usage that can have a significant impact on the condition of our skin, we also can nourish and support skin health every day by choosing foods that are best for the biggest organ of the body.
What's in your medicine cabinet right now? Do you have cosmetics that claim they can feed your skin and make it look like a million dollars? Although these products offer a temporary fix, truly beautiful, healthy, glowing skin starts within. That means you need to provide your skin with the proper food, because glowing skin begins at the molecular level.
If you want your skin to glow, it helps to know its components. The complexity of human skin can be explained simply as the two threes: three layers and three proteins. Here's the scoop:
The three layers are the epidermis (outer layer), dermis (middle), and hypodermis (fatty).
- The epidermis contains keratinocytes, which produce the protein keratin, the main component of the epidermis; melanocytes, which produce pigment called melanin; and Langerhans cells, which protect the skin invaders
- The dermis contains hair follicles, blood vessels, touch receptors, and sebaceous (oil) glands, as well as two critical proteins: collagen and elastin. Also present are fibroblasts, which make collagen and elastin.
- The hypodermis has sweat glands, fat, and collagen cells. Loss of tissue here contributes to sagging.
Three proteins are big players in maintaining and supporting skin health and glow:
- Collagen, which makes up about 75 to 80 percent of your skin. Along with elastin, collagen, are responsible for preventing fine lines and wrinkles. Aging and environmental factors damage your body's ability to make collagen.
- Elastin, which gives your skin structure. When levels of elastin decline, you are more likely to develop wrinkles.
- Keratin is the main protein in your skin. It forms rigidity and helps protect your skin against the elements.
Foods that make your skin glow
Fortunately, there are certain foods that have various nutrients that can help support and maintain skin structure and proteins. You are encouraged to include these foods in your diet regularly so you can glow from the inside out!
Avocados have been shown to help your fight against aging by hydrating your skin and reducing damage from UV radiation, attributed to the high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids in this fruit. These same facts also help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., vitamins A, E, and K) that assist in protecting against sun damage.
Blueberries are a recognized superfood because of their high antioxidant properties. But did you know these little berries also can enhance the integrity of collagen fibers in your skin? That's because they contain anthocyanins, the phytonutrients that provide the blue hue. Fresh or frozen, make blueberries a part of your skin care program.
These mighty nuts contain super high levels of selenium, a mineral that promotes the production of collagen. Just one nut has more than 135 percent of your Daily Value of selenium, which also helps to preserve elastin. Two more added Brazil nut bonuses: they contain vitamin E, which works to keep your skin moist; and copper, which supports the production of melanin.
If you thought carrots were good just for vision, you've been short-sighted. The beta-carotene (a super carotenoid) in carrots helps prevent the overproduction of cells on your epidermis, which translates into less dead flaky cells to hook up with sebum (oily substance that moisturizes your skin) to clog your pores.
Enjoy several cups of green tea daily and the catechins in this popular beverage will help your skin glow. Catechins are a type of polyphenol and antioxidant that have proven anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Numerous studies have pointed out how green tea can benefit the skin, including a recent review in which the authors noted the "preventive mechanisms of green tea polyphenols that have been demonstrated to protect against UV irradiation-stimulated skin photoaging" while also calling for more studies of green tea and skin health.
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are a great source of carotenoids, especially beta-carotene. Research shows that people who eat red and orange vegetables can reap the most benefits for the health and their skin. Just one cup of baked sweet potato provides 214 percent of your daily need for vitamin A (via beta-carotene).
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a phytochemical with two skin-promoting abilities: enhancing the strength of collagen and protecting against the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays. These benefits are much improved when tomatoes are cooked, so tomato soup, tomato juice, tomato paste and sauce, and even ketchup are foods to include in your diet to help make your skin glow.
In a British study, for example, individuals who consumed five tablespoons of tomato paste every day for three months had 33 percent more protection against sunburn than those who didn't eat the tomato product. Tests suggested that the tomatoes boosted the production of collagen.
The potent antioxidant powers of this Indian spice, attributed to curcumin, can protect your skin against inflammation and damaging UV rays. If you'd like to help present your best face to the world, combine ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 tablespoon raw honey and spread on your face. This dynamite combination can help reduce inflammation, lighten dark spots, and kill microorganisms, which makes it a great natural way to manage acne.
Yellow bell peppers
Many foods are great sources of vitamin C, but yellow peppers are sometimes overlooked. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production and for fighting nasty free radicals that can damage your skin from UV rays and other environmental assaults. In a study of more than 700 Japanese women, those who ate the most yellow and green veggies were less likely to have wrinkles and crow's feet, even after allowing for smoking and sun exposure.
You have an opportunity every day to nourish your skin from the inside out by including these delicious, healthful foods in your diet. They will not only make you glow but enhance your overall health as well. And that's a glowing endorsement!
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