“BEAUTY STARTS FROM WITHIN”- HOW NUTRITIONAL HABITS AFFECT YOUR SKIN
You must have heard people claim that “Beauty is only skin deep” but the truth is, we pay a lot of attention to skin.We often notice even the tiniest of flaws on our face, from dark circles to blemishes as we pass by a mirror. In social settings, we tend to approach people who seem attractive to us. It’s a fact that physical attributes contribute majorly to our initial judgments about a stranger’s personality and whether we would be willing to take initiatives to build a relationship with them or not. Beauty does lie in the eyes of the beholder yet;a clear and healthy skin always tip the scales in favor of the individual.Skin, the largest organ maintains a shield against pathogens and toxins encountered in the environment, regulates body temperature, enables the sense of touch and holds bodily fluids inside to prevent dehydration.Our skin is a reflection of what is going on inside the body. While, clear skin indicates a healthy and hygienic lifestyle, visibly irritated skin proposes poor nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle. Acne breakouts, inflammation, blemishes and certain dermatological conditions are all triggered by poor choices, the most damaging of which shall be discussed below: So most important if you want to have glowing skin than you should work on your skin health.
- PROCESSED/FRIED/SUGAR RICH FOODS: In today’s time we often find ourselves consuming either highly processed items, buying greasy fast-food meals or we just binge on delicacies which contain excessive amount of sugar.Our “modern diet” proves to be extremely problematic as it leads to the process of Glycation- glucose molecules(broken-down sugar) link themselves to amino acids (building blocks of protein)to produce Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which prevent proteins from carrying out their function. Flexible and repairable proteins- Collagen and Elastin become rigid and unrepairable after glycation, causing the skin to lose the plumpness and freshness it had earlier. AGEs also lead to oxidative stress which again destroys Collagen and Elastin. Sugar possesses inflammatory properties, affects hormonal balance and leads to excessive oil production. Premature ageing, acne breakouts and pigmentation are additional problems caused because of excessive sugar consumption.
- GLUTEN: The “stretchy” protein found in breads or pasta is responsible for the occurrence of issues such as uneven skin tone, age spots, bloated complexion and can contribute to the occurrence of skin conditions like Rosacea.
- CAFFEINE: Consuming coffee in a controlled manner acts as a beneficial antioxidant but,coffee acts as a diuretic when taken in unrestricted amounts, resulting in a dry and pale complexion.
- ALCOHOL AND SMOKING: Consistent alcohol consumption leads to dehydration, which teamed with the negative impact on the liver ultimately results in retaining toxins. As body retains those toxins, the skin appears to be dry and grey.Alcohol consumption also speeds up the ageing process and can cause inflammation (redness)in the cheeks and nose. Devouring excessive alcohol and smoking cigarette regularly adds to oxidative stress and can increase free radicals.
Inclusion of sheet masks, serums and an array of beauty products we witness in popular skincare regimes can prove beneficial for treating the skin but the results will be short-lived if the external efforts are not accompanied with proper nourishment.Incorporating a variety of nutrients discussed below into one’s diet allows the individual to have a healthy, clear and radiant skin while feeling absolutely fresh.
GOOD FATS: Fats constitute an important part of our daily nutritional intake. Skin uses fat to create a natural oil layer which acts as a barrier between the skin tissues and pathogens. The protective layer is also responsible to keep the skin youthful, plump and hydrated. Fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-3 assist in promoting healthy skin growth and provides nourishment to prevent dry skin. Sources such as fish, walnuts, soybean, olive oil, nuts, seeds etc, are rich in good fats.
PROTEIN: Proteins are responsible for cellular growth and repair. From our hair to muscles, these tissues require a protein rich diet to maintain ideal functioning. Deprivation of this macro nutrient over a period of time leads to visible issues such as thinning of hair, dull skin tone etc. Diverse sources of protein exist- meat, eggs, lentils, legumes, whole grains, soy products such as tofu etc.are excellent sources.
VITAMINS: Different types of vitamins serve a particular purpose for maintaining skin health. Deficiencies observed even in one particular vitamin can cause visible health issues.
- VITAMIN A: There are two types of vitamin A- retinoids and carotenoids, which are converted into retinol by liver for the production of new skin cells and prevention of hair loss. Green, red and yellow pigmented vegetables are rich in vitamin A.
- VITAMIN C: Ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C is a crucial micro nutrient for supporting skin health. It allows the body to produce its own collagen, which aids in maintaining cellular integrity and overall, a healthy skin structure. Vitamin C also supports in the production of certain lipids responsible for healing damaged epidermis (the outermost layer of skin). Citrus fruits such as lemon and orange, vegetables like broccoli and pepper are rich in vitamin C.
- VITAMIN E: Functioning as an antioxidant, Vitamin E assists in discarding radicals before they react with lipids, to control the oxidative processes which otherwise harms the cell membranes. Vitamin E also serves as a barrier against pathogens. Red bell peppers, pumpkin, almonds, peanuts etc. prove as rich sources of vitamin E.
- VITAMIN D: This micro nutrient shields against sun damage and contributes to cellular growth in the deep layers of the skin. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, cheese, egg yolks etc. are good sources of vitamin D.
MINERALS: Zinc proves to be useful in maintaining healthy skin turnover. Detecting deficiency in this mineral is easy because of visible negative impact skin health such as abnormal skin pigmentation, leads to hair loss, inhibits nail growth and increases the risk of dermatitis. Selenium, the mineral contributing against sun damage can cause hair loss, prevent cellular development and individuals with this deficiency possess a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Milk products, baked beans, chickpeas, red meat, whole grains etc. are beneficial to obtain zinc. Organ meats, seafood and Brazil nuts should be assimilated for a selenium rich diet.
HYDRATION: About 25-30% of the skin tissue is made up of water. The body requires 2-3 liters of water everyday to keep the internal functions steady and nourish the skin for a healthy glow.
As the title of the blog suggests, beauty truly starts from within! Sowing necessary nutrients into the daily nutritional intake allows one to reap skin which doesn’t only look radiant but also, feels amazing. Along with the external efforts we usually employ for our skin health, spending all that time on self-care and make-up applications, we must begin with altering our lifestyle and spend a little more time in grocery shopping to tick all the essential nutrients on the checklist!