Want healthy and smooth skin? Start including these 5 types of foods in your diet
Our skin is under attack from various external factors like heat and pollution, and internal factors like nutrient deficiencies and inflammation. Rather than applying endless creams and lotions, which are ridden with chemicals, change your diet. Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Co-founder, Food Darzee, a Mumbai-based health and nutrition company, says, “A diet comprising lean protein, a good amount of fiber, healthy oils and raw fruits and vegetables is best for skin care.” He shares a list of foods that are not only nutritious but also have a positive impact on your skin:
1. Say yes to Omega-3: These uber healthy fatty acids create an anti-inflammatory environment in the body that prevents breakouts and excoriation of the skin. Acne and rashes manifest due to an inherent state of inflammation, which are alleviated by Omega-3s. Increase your intake of fish (salmon, cod, and sardine), avocados, olive oil and nuts like walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds. These definitely should become a part of your diet since an anti-inflammatory environment is conducive to the heart and brain health as well.
2. Bring on the Vitamin C: Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid is important for the synthesis of collagen which is an important part of the skin. Fruits like oranges, amla, berries and melons that have large quantities of vitamin C, boost collagen production, and repair and rejuvenate skin cells. Regular consumption of vitamin C helps in smoothening and depigmentation of skin giving you a young and glowing skin tone.
3. Don’t forget Vitamin E either: Vitamin E makes sure that the natural oils of the skin are well maintained. This coupled with the healthy fats helps in giving the skin a soft and supple texture and prevents dryness and roughness. Foods like avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes and watermelon seeds are high in vitamin E.
4. Antioxidants are saviours: The primary culprits responsible for aging are free radicals. These are inflammatory destroyers that cause early aging of not only the skin but all cells of the body. Hence, antioxidants must become a regular part of the diet. The rule of thumb is to consume fruits and vegetables that are colourful i.e. carrots, apricots, beetroots. Foods like tomatoes, papaya and grapefruits are rich in lycopene, which is another important antioxidant. The neutralisation of free radicals is the most potent way of preventing skin aging, so raw fruits and vegetables must become a part of the diet.
5. Tuck into mineral-rich foods: Apart from vitamins, minerals form an integral part of skin health. Zinc, sulphur, selenium and copper are the most important minerals when it comes to skin and hair health. Meats are rich in zinc and are essential for hair health. Another mineral which is a great antioxidant is selenium. Brazil nuts, brown rice, pinto beans and mushrooms are great sources. Dark chocolate and soya too contain essential minerals. Sulphur, on the other hand, is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory – it helps prevent dermatitis and acne. Foods like eggs and meats are high in sulphur.
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