Thursday, April 18, 2013

How important is nutrition in skin care?

Often times we overlook just how important our nutrition is to healthy skin. It is a misconception to think that a trip to the dermatologist or facialist will redeem lasting effects on damaged or inflamed skin if proper dietary steps haven't been implemented. Our skin is a reflection of our inner health and nutritional balance. 

Two of the major causes of aging are inflammation and glycation (when sugar molecules bind to proteins rendering them dysfunctional). These are directly related to the quality of foods that we put into our system. Topical skin care is important to maintain a healthy epidermis and assist in cleansing, removing dead skin cells and avoiding transepidermal water loss. Quality moisturizers and treatments keep the skin hydrated, vibrant and protected. But if a poor diet perpetuates, the damage may become too difficult to reverse. Foods high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are necessary for staying young and physically healthy. 

Understanding your dietary needs is an important step to maintaining healthy skin and ultimately avoiding the aging process. Some individuals are allergic to certain types of foods, so it takes diligence to compensate for the lack of vitamins and benefits we are no longer acquiring from the food we are trying to avoid. Consider eating foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3s to protect the skin such as blueberries, spinach (and other leafy greens), carrots (and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables), tomatoes, nuts, salmon, avocados, flaxseeds, and legumes. Find out what foods compare to what your body is allergic to and replace it  - there ARE options. 

Avoid unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fat), and foods that are processed or contain refined carbohydrates. Such foods include whole milk, red meat (especially conventional non-grass fed), vegetable oils, white flour bread (and pasta), and sugary treats. These types of foods cause inflammation and glycation. The impact on your health alone is reason to avoid these types of foods. Gaining healthy skin is actually a compliment to the overall health benefit you'll receive from a whole foods diet. Remember that dehydration is also a major contributor to aging, because like all cells, skin cells require adequate amounts of water to function properly. So it goes without saying that a healthy diet also includes sufficient water intake.

It stands to reason that a good skin care regimen begins at the source of your diet. The best anti-aging treatment one can embark on is from a holistic standpoint (treating the whole body). Keep in mind that what you put ON your body is just as important as what you put IN it. Be TOXIN-FREE! Maintaining this balance will help you to achieve healthier, more radiant skin.