Thursday, September 16, 2010

Go On A Skin Diet

It's common sense: Want beautiful skin?  Eat a diet fortified with foods that keep you young.  A junk food diet, consisting of grease, sugar and white flour, will take a toll on your health and the texture of your skin, hair and nails.  So if you want to look your absolute best and have glowing skin as long as you live, plan meals with a good balance of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Below are some nutrients known for their skin boosting properties:

1) Drink liquids – Pure water is the king.  Green, white and black teas are excellent choices too for their anti-oxidants.  So is coffee in moderation [up to 24 oz].  Doctors now say coffee and teas do not dehydrate the body and can be counted as fluids [unless you have a heart condition].  The day I found this out, coffee stopped dehydrating me!  Like many of you, I drink a cup in the morning.
2) Protein – Lean meats, low fat milk, yogurt and cottage cheese are excellent sources.  Protein is the building block of the entire body.
3) Anti-oxidants, especially Vitamin C – Blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, watermelon, and red peppers.  These foods build collagen and fight off free radicals.
4) Vitamin A – Eat carrots, sweet potatoes, mangos, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and eggs.
5) B Vitamins – Whole grains, breads, baked potatoes, bananas and peanut butter.
6) Omega 3 fatty acids – Salmon, tuna, sardines, nuts and flax seeds are rich in omega 3's, which fight UV cell damage.
7) Iron – Lean beef is a super source of iron.
8) Selenium – Stimulates antibodies to fight disease, keeping skin healthy.  Super sources include cod, red meat and Brazil nuts.
9) Zinc – Helps to produce collagen.  Oysters, red meat, pumpkin and lentils have plenty of zinc.
10) Biotin – Avocados are great for the skin, rich in biotin, niacin and monounsaturated fats.

But let's face it, once in a while everyone needs a treat.  Treats with anti-aging properties include dark chocolate and red wine; however, to benefit only have them in moderation.  Dark chocolate has flavonoids, which get converted into anti-oxidants.  And red wine is rich in polyphenols, another anti-oxidant that includes resveratrols.  Scientists are working to put high concentrations of resveratrols in pills to help people stay young ... so stay tuned.  Meanwhile, start your skin diet today to look and feel your fabulous best.

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