The below provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Any treatment protocol should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner ... Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.
Nutritionists emphasize the importance of good nutrition for a glowing, well-hydrated skin. Choosing foods that nourish your skin may make the difference of us looking like 65-year olds, when we really only are 50, or your skin - at that time -- looking closer to that of a 35-year old.
Even more importantly -- those same nutrients and the healthy lifestyle that keep your skin look beautiful are also, for the most part, responsible for maintaining your overall health and well-being. The more colorful the produce, the richer it is in antioxidants, which help slow the aging process and maintain elasticity in skin and underlying tissue. Keep your kitchen stocked with bright, colorful fruits and veggies that will help you look younger and feel better ....
Factors that influence / expedite skin aging:
Genetics, ultraviolet light exposure, and smoking play a part in aging, but most experts agree that nutrition plays a major role in either aging or healing the skin. Even if your skin has been damaged by prolonged sun exposure, nutrition can actually play a major role in reversing some of the damage ... You are what you eat and your skin is going to show it.
"Aging Nutrition": A healthy diet consists of foods that will nurture your skin. Skin ageing from dryness and thinning (and wrinkles) are linked to high-fat diets and diets high in carbohydrates. Refined Carbohydrates, also referred to as "White" Foods, are most damaging to your skin as they can affect insulin levels and cause inflammation that may ultimately lead to aging skin as well as skin breakouts.
Foods to avoid for good skin health:
Highly processed foods that lack the nutrition you need for good health and a healthy skin (and may contain harmful additives)
White-flour items, such has bread, cake and pasta, as well as sugar and white rice. Sugar is one of the most aging toxins, but any white flour, white rice or sugary food item will cause fluctuating blood glucose levels, which increase the process of aging.
Junk food that is high in unhealthy fats and / or carbohydrates
If you are intolerant to certain foods, it may show up as bags or dark circles under the eyes.
Cow’s milk is linked with acne and poor skin quality.
Excess alcohol and other toxins that make the liver overworked can make the skin look overworked.
Foods to eat:
Eating a diet low in vitamin C appeared to be a risk factor for wrinkling and aging-related skin dryness.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key ingredient for beautiful skin. Most people are seriously lacking in these fats that are vital for vibrant, healthy looking skin. Eczema, dry skin, cracked heels and premature aging are all signs of omega 3 deficiency. Omega-3 fats prevent dehydration in the cells so that the skin cells are strong and full of moisture. Fish oil and Alaskan wild salmon are good sources of omega 3. Vegetarians may substitute with hemp, linseed and chia seeds.
Nutrition that Fights The Signs of Aging and Contributes to Healthy Aging:
"The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look," says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York City.
Note: Eating foods high in nutrients is more beneficial than supplements. However, there are some supplements that you may want to consider ... Click here (or scroll down) for info.
mg vitamin C/ 100 grams (estimated)
155 to 215
120 to 180
Herbs & Spices:
A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods found a direct correlation between the phenol content of common herbs and spices and their ability to inhibit glycation and the formation of AGE compounds, making them potent preventers of heart disease and premature aging.
The top 10 most potent herbs and spices are:
Cinnamon (ground) (could play the role of an insulin substitute in the treatment of type 2 diabetes)
Jamaican allspice (ground)
Apple pie spice (mixture)
Pumpkin pie spice (mixture)
Gourmet Italian spice
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for the building of collagen - the most abundant protein built in our bodies and the major component of connective tissue. Vitamin C which has shown to promote a youthful skin, reducing wrinkles, thinning and dryness and increasing strength and resiliency against free radicals. For related research / information, please click on this link.
In addition, Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D. , http://www.tomlevymd.com, states as follows: " I never cease to be amazed at the number of persons who remain unaware that vitamin C is the best broad-spectrum antibiotic, antihistamine, antitoxic and antiviral substance there is." Therefore, besides anti-aging benefits, Vitamin C will also be an important factor in keeping you healthy.
Choose produce high in Vitamin C (please refer to the chart to the right).
Vitamin C topical preparations can deliver additional dosages of the skin-strenghening vitamin. Vitamin C cream applied daily to healthy female volunteers with sun-damaged skin over a six-month period resulted in a significant decrease in lines and wrinkles, according to a study published in Experimental Dermatology. Skin biopsies revealed improved collagen structure and reappearance of elastic fibers in the vitamin C-treated skin.
For an at-home vitamin C treatment, rub a slice of fresh orange in circular motions on the face before going to sleep, three nights a week. The vitamin C in the orange will help with cellular renewal, naturally exfoliating hyperpigmentation scars. Your epidermis will look like a whole new skin.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is often referred to as the mother of all skin vitamins. This vitamin helps the skin defend against skin damage. Experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.
It is even more important to eat food rich in Vitamin A if we have either diabetes or a thyroid condition, as patients suffering from these conditions can't easily convert beta carotene to vitamin A, which is the form found in many foods that we normally associate with this vitamin, such as carrots.
Foods rich in Vitamin A: Vitamin A occurs in orange-colored produce: apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, red peppers, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.
Low-Fat Dairy Products: The Vitamin "A" in dairy products is a "true A" (not beta carotene) so everyone's skin can use and benefit from it.
Low-fat Yoghurt is not only high in vitamin A, but also contains acidophilus, the "live" bacteria that is good for intestinal health - which also has an impact on our skin.
Whole grains contain magnesium and B vitamins that are important for the regeneration of skin cells.
Selenium: According to experts, that the mineral selenium plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high. For instance, in two clinical trials, researchers at Edinburgh University showed that when levels of selenium were high, skin cells were less likely to suffer the kind of oxidative damage that can increase the risk of cancer. The results were published in 2003 in both the British Journal of Dermatology and the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. A group of French researchers found that oral doses of selenium, along with copper, vitamin E and vitamin A could prevent sunburn cell formation in human skin.
Sources: Whole-wheat bread, muffins, and cereals; as well as in turkey, tuna and brazil nuts.
Essential Fatty Acids (omega 3 and omega 6) : Researchers found that diets high in linoleic acid, found in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, promoted younger looking skin by reducing dryness and thinning. According to Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Essential Fatty Acids " are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which is not only what act as barriers to harmful things but also as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell." She further states: "Because it is the cell membrane that also holds water in, the stronger that barrier is the better your cells can hold moisture. And that means plumper, younger looking skin. " Heller also points out that the same inflammatory process that can harm our arteries and cause heart disease can harm skin cells. Essential fatty acids can offer protection to both. The following food items are rich in essential fatty acids.
Cold-water Fish: Without the omega-3 fatty acids found in cod, mackerel, salmon and tuna, the skin appears dull, dry and scaly.
Click here to find the best and the worst fish to eat
Walnuts, and Flax Seed. These are also excellent sources for essential fatty acids, and thus are key foods for healthy skin.
Look for oils that are cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin.
A couple of teaspoons (or tablespoons) of a fish oil blend or flax seed oil, every day, helps keep your skin keep flexible and moist, and can diminish fine lines.
Cod liver oil, applied topically, contributes to faster wound healing and improvement in skin quality. Taken orally, it helps maintain soft skin and minimize wrinkles.
Avoid oils that were commercially processed - they may contain harmful solvents and as these oils are raised to high emperatures, important nutrients are lost.
Antioxidants: Free radicals damage the membrane of skin cells. The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in antioxidant-rich produce can protect the cell, thus reducing the chance for damage. Fruits and vegetables with a "high antioxidant capacity" include:
Fruits: Blackberries, strawberries, plums, and prunes
Blueberries: Blueberries have an oxygen radical absorption capacity value of 2,400 per 100 grams of antioxidant power and they are rich in anthocyanins, ellagic acid and phenolic acids. They help fight bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, and blueberry extract may combat pain. Fresh and frozen (without added sugar) are comparable from a nutritional standpoint, but dried blueberries contain lower amounts of antioxidant anthocyanins.
Goji Berries" Goji, the tiny red Chinese berry is attributed big health benefits, including protecting the skin from the effects of aging. In one stud, scientists found that Goji extract reduced levels of a skin enzyme linked to skin sagging while also promoting the survival of fibroblast - cells that create collagen, the main skin protein - under what the study authors called "suboptimal conditions." Other research suggests that Goji berries, which have been used medicinally in China for centuries, can also help enhance immunity, improve circulation and stave off age-related eye problems (i.e, macular degeneration). (Phytomedicine Volume 12) NOTE: Unprocessed natural Goji berries are best, but Goji juices / extracts are also available at health food stores.
Veggies: Artichokes; black, red and pinto beans
Leafy Greens: Chard, beet tops, kale, mustard greens, parsley and spinach make excellent detoxifying juices. Always buy the freshest produce possible, rejecting anything that shows signs of age. Buy organic whenever possible. Prepare a healthy juice every day for a healthy glow.
Click here for information on organic foods -- a listing of the most and the least contaminated food items, as well as handling tips.
Green Tea has anti-inflammatory properties and protects to the cell membranes. A study published in the Archives of Dermatology shows that green tea (either taken orally or applied to the skin) can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light (such as sun damage) - thereby reducing the risk of skin cancer.
Researchers at Case Western University in Cleveland maintain that the secret to green tea's skin-protective properties are its high levels of its high levels of polyphenols and catechins - powerful antioxidants shown to function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents.
Tip: After making a cup of tea, save the tea bags in a closed glass container in your refrigerator and use them as cleansing pads for your face the next morning. They are perfect for exfoliating the skin and green tea has anti-inflammatory properties.
Green tea is available at grocery stores -- please make sure that you get the organic, higher-quality variety.
Water: Good hydration plays an important role in keeping skin looking healthy and young. For most people eight glasses of pure, clean water (not sodas) a day are recommended to hydrate your skin, clarify your complexion, and to move nutrients in and toxins out of your cells.
MSM helps form a vital connective tissue component and this is best known as a joint supplement. But skin is basically made of the same stuff -- a strong, protein-based substance called collagen. Therefore, it is not surprising that MSM provides cosmetic benefits as well. Collagen contains protein fibers that supports skin cells that hold the skin together. These fibers are not only flexible, but also extremely tough. One reason a child's skin is so soft and smooth is that it is loaded with type III collagen, as we age, the amount of collagen declines.
In addition to younger-looking skin, MSM users reported another "side-effect": reductions in allergy miseries. Scientists discovered that MSM appears to block histamine, the chemical responsible for allergic reactions, from reaching susceptible tissues, such as the mucous membranes ling the nose. Early study results have been promising, with seasonal allergy symptom relief and increased energy levels (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 4/02).
Vitamin E's Anti-aging Perk:
Vitamin E is a natural free-radical fighter that neutralizes the effects of pollution and protects lipid layers so your skin retains moisture and plumpness, keeping winkles away. It's also been shown to decrease the risk of a heart attack and fight cancer.
Experts advise a dose of at least 200 IU for therapeutic benefit. Just be sure you are getting alpha-tocopherol, the only one out of eight types of vitamin E that the human body can fully utilize. Keep in mind that doses of 1,000 mg (or 1,500 IU) a day or more increases your chances of hemorrhaging. (Source: Natural Solutions Magazine, March 2008)
Note: New research shows that eating foods rich in Vitamin E (such as nuts, seeds and vegetable oils) is far safer than taking supplements.
Prolonged exposure of cultures of human connective-tissue cells to ascorbate induced an eight-fold increase in the synthesis of collagen with no increase in the rate of synthesis of other proteins (Murad et al., 1981). Since the production of procollagen must precede the production of collagen, vitamin C must have a role in this step -- the formation of the polypeptide chains of procollagen -- along with its better understood role int he conversion of procollagen to collagen.
Vitamin C is essential for the building of collagen, the most abundant protein built in our bodies and the major component of connective tissue.[Wolbach, S. B.., and Howe, P. R. Intercellular substance in experimental scorbutus" Arch. Path., 1:1, 1926] ... This connective tissue has structural and supportive functions which are indispensable to heart tissues, to blood vessels, --in fact, to all tissues. Collagen is not only the most abundant protein our bodies, it also occurs in larger amounts than all other proteins put together. It cannot be built without vitamin C. No heart or blood vessel or other organ could possibly perform its functions without collagen. No heart or blood vessel can be maintained in healthy condition without vitamin C.
A study involving women over 40 has confirmed. Vitamin C is essential for making collagen - the protein fibers that give skin its strength and resiliency. It also disarms free radicals that would otherwise destroy or weaken collagen.
Nutritional epidemiologist Maeve Cosgrove and other co-researchers have discovered that those who consumed plenty of Vitamin C-rich foods had fewer wrinkles as compared to those whose diets carried little of the vitamin.
Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.
GreenAndHealthy.Info strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!
Any content published on this site is commentary or opinion, and is protected under Free Speech. It is only provided for educational and entertainment purposes, and is in no way intended as a substitute for professional advice. Avianweb LLC or Greenandhealthy.info assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of any of the published material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.