Thursday, August 5, 2010

Food Tips for Healthy Skin

We live in a society where everyone seems to be on a diet, but make sure you continue to eat foods that are essential for skin, hair and whole body health. For healthy skin and hair, eat foods that are high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and don’t forget to hydrate! Here are some tips.

Anti-oxidants prevent collagen breakdown and premature aging by fighting free-radicals that can damage your skin. What foods are high in anti-oxidants?

1. Fruits. Some delicious examples are Berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and cranberry), pomegranate, grape, orange, pineapple, avocado, date and plum.
2. Nuts. For example pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts and my personal favorite: almonds!
3. Vegetables. Artichokes, beans, spinach, broccoli, arugula, Radicchio, peppers and asparagus are high in anti-oxidant power.
4. Other. Cinnamon, oregano, clove, green or black tea, rice bran and last but not least, red wine.

Essential Fatty Acids:
These essential fatty acids are required (hence the word “essential” in the name) for proper health and must be ingested since the body does not have the capability to synthesize them. There are two types of essential fatty acids: omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid ) fatty acids which can be obtained from a variety of foods and help skin retain moisture while strengthening skin cell membranes.

Essential fatty acids can be found in Flaxseed oil (very high), flaxseed meal, hempseed oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, chestnut oil, sunflower seeds (raw), cold-processsed, unrefined canola oil, soybean oil, wheat germ oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, avocados, some dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens, collards, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and albacore tuna.

Water, water and more water! It plumps your skin cells giving it a healthy and youthful look. It also flushes the toxins out of your body and is the major component of your body. The average person loses about 2 liters of water (or eight cups [8 ounce]) each day through urination, sweating, etc. You need to replace this amount daily. Soda, coffee, beer, wine and even tea do not take the place of water; in fact these are diuretics that dehydrate you. For more information about water intake, you can visit the Mayo Clinic website.

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