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What is your diet doing for your skin?

In Health & Lifestyles on November 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm

By Morgan Deal

          Recent studies have shown that eating an overall healthier and balanced diet may improve your complexion. Some experts speculate that a diet missing essential foods for healthier skin may result in some serious skin problems. “Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look,” Samantha Heller, a clinical nutritionist at NYU, states. Here are some of the top foods you can eat to improve your complexion and overall health.

"Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look," Samantha Heller, a clinical nutritionist at NYU, states. Photo courtesy of Google images

            Low-fat dairy products are high in one of the most important skin components-vitamin A, upon which experts say the health of our skin cells are dependent. Low-fat yogurt is a great food to boost your vitamin A. Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, says, “Anything that helps keep digestion normal, any live bacteria or enzymes, is also going to be reflected in healthy-looking skin.” Also at the top of the list are antioxidant-rich foods such as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums. These four foods have recently been rated the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food by a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The foods help protect skin cells from free radicals, which are formed during long sun exposure and can damage the membrane of the cells. More antioxidant-rich foods are leafy greens, olive oil  and tomatoes. Be wary of red meat; eating too much can increase production of damaging free radicals.

            While eating too much fatty foods is not good for your overall health, some fatty acids are essential to a balanced diet, and are thus essential for healthy skin. “Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which is not only what act as barriers to harmful things but also as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell,” Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, says. As well as helping out your skin, essential fatty acids also protect your arteries from heart disease. Omega three and Omega six are the two most well known essential fatty acids, which can be found in fish, walnut and flax seed oil. Hand in hand with the fatty acids is healthy oils, which keeps our skin looking and feeling overall healthier.

            The simplest thing you can do to improve your complexion is to drink water. Hydrating your skin helps to move nutrients in and flush out toxins. Not only that, but being properly hydrated, you sweat more efficiently, which helps keep skin clear.

            From acne to dry skin, most teenagers are constantly plagued with skin problems. However, by following a healthy and balanced diet filled with skin-benefitting foods, you can begin to improve not only your complexion, but your overall health.

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