The skin can become dull, dry and lifeless due to a number of factors like the weather, pollution, lack of exercise, aging, dehydration and even the diet. However, there are some foods that can make the skin look fresh and smooth. Proteins are required for tissue repair, fats for good circulation and supple skin and vitamins to prevent premature aging.
It is important to keep the skin hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and choosing the right food. One must drink at least six to eight glasses of water to flush out the toxins from the body. Apart from water, herbal, green and white teas provide flavonoid antioxidants to the body. Essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the body, and must be supplied by the diet. They are required for the growth and maintenance of the skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish oil, flaxseeds and walnuts. Linoleum acid is nutritious for the skin, and can be obtained from olive oil.
Sesam seeds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that neutralizes the harmful effects of free radicals on the skin. They also contain vitamin A and B complex which the skin needs for nourishment and rejuvenation. Lightly toasted or roasted sesame seeds retain flavor and crunchiness. Vitamins E and B are also found in nuts like almonds and hazelnuts, green leafy vegetables and sunflower seeds. The avocado is a rich source of vitamin B complex and other essential oils which help to soothe the skin.
Antioxidant vitamin C is very essential for a healthy skin, and is found in brightly colored fruits like oranges, papaya, strawberries, lemons, grapefruit and strawberries and vegetables like broccoli, red bell peppers and spinach. The papaya softens the skin and reduces blemishes. The rich content of vitamin C and the mildly astringent property of oranges makes them beneficial for acne prone skin. Orange juice stimulates the production of collagen, thus making the skin smooth and soft. The juice deteriorates very quickly after the fruit is cut, so it is best to have it fresh. Moreover, it is advisable to consume the whole orange than just the juice, as the fiber is also beneficial.
Antioxidant vitamin A is found in items like broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato, papaya, mango and liver. Carrot is the richest vegetable source of pro-vitamin A beta carotene. Acne and other skin conditions are often due to toxicity of the blood, and can be remedied by carrot juice, which has a powerful cleansing effect. The juice is also effective in alleviating pigmentation and uneven skin tones. Though carrots can be eaten raw, cooking helps to break down the fiber in the beta-carotene and make it easy to be used by the body. Cooking also brings out the natural sweetness and is good for desserts Spinach and beetroot juice give a glow to the skin, while tomatoes keep the skin moist.
Ginger has the antioxidant gingerol which neutralizes free radicals that harm the skin. It also maintains the smoothness and evenness of the skin tone, especially during winter.
Spinach leaves are rich in vitamin C and also iron. While the vitamin C moisturizes and softens the skin and rejuvenates it, the iron also helps the skin by boosting the formation of hemoglobin in the blood. Moreover, it helps to transport oxygen to the body cells, thus keeping the skin healthy. Other foods rich in iron are poultry, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, peas, dried beans, dark green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals.
Honey has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, so it helps to refresh and rejuvenate the skin and make it supple and soft. It also has the property to absorb and retain water, so it prevents dryness of the skin and keeps it hydrated. Finally, low fat yoghurt gives smooth and young looking skin.
Apart from an adequate intake of fluids, green leafy vegetables, fruits and other items like honey to maintain a glowing skin, it is important to avoid oily, spicy and junk food. It is better to get a healthy glow from the diet rather than artificial means like cosmetics.