"You look younger!"
"There's something different about you, you're skin is glowing"...
How would you like to hear those words from someone you've met recently? Imagine, how your friends and colleagues would envy you because of your youthful glow?
Wonderful, isn't it?
There are growing information and scientific research on the effects of increased consumption of plant-based foods (fruits and vegetables) that can result to significant improvements on your skin.
In this research, increased fruit and vegetable intake resulted in a positive connection between increased consumption of fruits and vegetables with skin redness and yellowness which gives the "glowing skin effect".
In today's article I'd like to share which foods are actually healthy for your skin.
Before I show you the list of foods that are good for your skin, I'd like to quickly discuss why these foods are beneficial to your skin's health in the first place.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. An adult skin covers about 22 square feet and is about 3.6 kilos. It acts as an insulator, protection, receptor, and evaporator through the pores in our skin.
As we age, our skin undergoes normal "wear and tear" because of the ongoing "oxidative stress" in our body. Fortunately, antioxidants can slow down this "ageing" process and therefore give you a more youthful glow on your skin.
The primary reason these foods are great for your skin is because these are the foods that are high in antioxidants. There are also some nutrients present in these foods that I'll also be sharing in just a short while.
The 5 Foods That Are Good For Your Skin
Tomatoes - One of the world's healthiest...
Is tomato a fruit or a vegetable? It's actually a fruit, although a lot of people (including myself) have mistaken it to be a vegetable because it has been used when cooking dishes and meals.
This superfood originated in Central and South America. Thanks to the Aztec culture, we are now enjoying this fruit.
In a 2008 study in the UK, there was a group of people who consumed 5 tbsp of tomato paste everday had more sunburn/UV protection if they have consumed olive oil with it for 3 months. They had 33% more UV protection than those who didn't consume tomato and only olive oil. It was found out that the lycopene, which is present in tomatoes has helped improved the natural SPF of the skin.
Green Tea - For more elastic and smoother skin
Green tea originated in India and then exported to Japan the 17th century. It has been known to provide significant health benefits to our bodies and has been one of the most favorite beverages of all time.
A green tea is made by immediately steaming the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant right after harvesting. This technique helps it retain it's "green" color which is very different with the "Oolong or Black tea".
The catechins in green tea, mainly epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EPCG), is the one that is closely related to the health benefits provided by green tea.
You can start enjoying these green tea benefits when you use green tea as an alternative to water when creating your drinks, or you could drink green tea separately.
Kale - Best sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Kale is part of a group of vegetables called Cruciferous vegetables. While cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates (the compound that gives these vegetables the "bitter" taste is found to have anticancer effects, they also contain several carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and Zeaxanthin have both been found to have protective effects in eye and skin health as found in this research.
Kiwi - Packed with Vitamin C
I love the Kiwi fruit. It's one of the fruits that I can eat daily or add it as an ingredient in my smoothie drinks. Here's some background on this delicious fruit.
Kiwi was originally exported from China as "Chinese Gooseberry". People loved this fruit and had planted this fruit locally. Today, Kiwi is also harvested in California and this region has become one of the top producers of this fruit in North America.
Kiwi has tons of phytochemicals which are beneficial to our body, including Vitamin C which is very helpful for our skin's health. There is also some research on the positive effect of kiwi on the treatment of skin diseases. The compound that was mainly responsible for this are the polysaccharides predominantly neutral galactan and highly acidic arabinorhamnogalacturonans.
And as a bonus for eating kiwi, there was also a study on the positive effects of kiwi consumption in a person's sleep quality.
Carrots - For a Natural glow
There is growing scientific research and interest in the field of nutrition and skin aging. But before we dive into this, it's important to understand how skin aging happens.
There are actually two, independent and biologically different process of aging. The first is the intrinsic skin aging, which happens internally and it is the chronological aging of our skin just like any other organ in the body.
The second type of aging is the extrinsic skin aging. This type of skin aging is caused mostly by external factors like over exposure to the sun causing skin damage, smoking, poor health choices, and UV irradiation.
Most of the efforts for caring for our skin will be about extrinsic skin aging. Preventing prolonged sun exposure and UV radiation could be a great start. Diet and exercise also plays a key role in this.
When our diets are rich in antioxidants, these antioxidants tries to slow down the "oxidative stress" or the normal aging process of our cells.
There has also been growing research and information on antioxidants like carotenoids, tocophenols, flavonoids, vitamins (A,C,D and E) , essential omega fatty acids, some proteins and lactobacilli that enhance and promote skin health.
More Recipes for Glowing Skin
There you have it. More reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables.
These 5 foods are definitely NOT the only foods that are beneficial or good for your skin. Every food that is high in the vital nutrients for skin health would be a great source of nutrients for your skin.
You can either eat these fruits and vegetables whole, or you can try juicing or blending them. I prefer to drink them by juicing or blending them. While I still enjoy the occassional snacking of fruits like Kiwi.
Now, if you're looking for more skin care resources check these out.
This book by Jessica Ress is an Amazon bestseller. It contains over 100 skin care recipes.
It's a great book to start if you've never known how to take care of your skin before.
This book by the Editor's of Women's Health is a collection of the best smoothie and soup recipes for health
There are hundreds of recipes here for brighter skin, better health and more energy.
Definitely something worth checking.