Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Good Nutrition and Your Complexion

Skin is the largest organ of the body, and of vital
importance to our well-being because it is a barrier and
protection against the harmful environment in which we live.

As the old saying goes, "Health is Wealth". So, it is
always important to uphold the value of proper eating and
living a healthy lifestyle to stay in shape and for optimum
health.

In fact, aside from having an attractive body, being
healthy can also mean having a healthy skin, as reflected
in your complexion.

That explains why, most people who are known to be health
buffs are also known to be good-looking people. Because
their inner beauty radiates and exudes deep from within,
even without make-up.

Nowadays, looking good is not just vanity but is already
considered one way of staying healthy. This is because of
the protective function of a healthy skin. And many medical
experts now confirm that good nutrition is, indeed, an
important factor in a good complexion and image.

Unfortunately, many people thought that simply eating the
right kind of food would make them healthier and live
longer. They did not fully understand, in addition, what an
essential factor healthy nutrition is in having a good
complexion and healthy skin, and the importance of this.

Here are some reasons to explain why good nutrition is
important in maintaining a healthy skin complexion.

Good nutrition replenishes lost vitamins and minerals that
the human body is not capable of producing. For example,
when people are exposed to the sun, the skin's reservoir of
vitamin C goes down, and unlike most animals, humans cannot
make vitamin C. So it is important to replace it by eating
foods rich in vitamin C with which your skin can combat the
harmful effects of the damage caused by the sun's
ultraviolet rays.

Eating foods that are rich in vitamin A is also important
in maintaining a healthy skin. Daily intake of vitamin A is
proven to be an effective way of reducing the appearance of
acne, wrinkles, and other skin problems. Take care with
foods rich in vitamin A especially if pregnant or likely to
become pregnant. Too much intake of this vitamin may result
in serious problems.

Foods rich in antioxidants are definitely beneficial to
skin as they fight the oxidants, or free radicals, that are
manufactured when bodily cells burn oxygen while generating
energy. Foods that are rich in antioxidants include fruit
and vegetables, especially the "green, leafy vegetables"
like spinach.

Antioxidants are also present in foods rich in carotenoids
such as beta-carotene. A good example of this is carrots.
Richly colored plant foods provide a good source of
antioxidants, for example berries.

Antioxidants can also be present in dietary supplements or
skin care products, from which they will still be absorbed.

Fiber, or roughage, is composed from a plant's cell wall
material. Whole grains, legumes, citrus fruits, nuts, and
vegetables are all good sources of dietary fiber.

In the basic sense, fiber is an example of complex
carbohydrate that is important in the absorption of the
other nutrients into the body. Without fiber, some
nutrients will be wasted instead of being used by the body.
Fiber is also important in promoting good levels of
excretion, and toxins will bind to fiber and be "escorted"
out of the body. So, with a good intake of fiber, your
complexion can be healthier looking.

For proper growth and production of new skin cells,
proteins are another essential part of the diet. Proteins
are chains of amino acids responsible for the skin's cell
growth and maintenance.

Sources of protein in food are eggs, meat, grains, legumes
and dairy products - for example milk and cheese. Complete
proteins are those that contain all the essential amino
acids necessary for building and maintaining bodily cells,
including skin cells.

Animal proteins contain all the essential amino acids; but
many plant proteins are missing one or more. This isn't a
problem, so long as overall the diet contains all the
essential amino acids. However complete proteins in a
vegetarian diet can be obtained from soy, quinoa,
spirulina, hemp seed, amaranth and buckwheat.

In conclusion, a good diet will contribute to properly
maintained skin cells and a good complexion. Those who are
more aware of what they are eating will find that the care
(or lack of care) they exercise will be reflected in their
skin's appearance. As is often repeated, "You are what you
eat".

However, remember that you can also nourish and care for
your skin externally, by application of skin products that
contain the nutrients mentioned above.


About the Author:

Joy Healey qualified as a nutritionist in 2000, at the
respected Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London.
Learn more about skin care and download a free ebook at:
http://www.nutrition4all.co.uk/skin.html