Reading Time: 3 minutesMaintaining the right kind of healthy diet can work wonders for your skin, from within
We often eat anything and everything with scant regard for the damage the food we eat could do to our skin from within. So while you slap on moisturiser and have your regular facials, it is important to eat right so that you look younger for longer.
I remember seeing a photograph on Facebook of Nigella Lawson and another lady who had eliminated all dairy products from her diet. While Nigella looked, well, her usual gorgeous self, the other lady looked like she was in her 60s, despite the copy below stating that they were of the same age! So unless you are a diehard vegan or, like this lady, have removed all dairy products from your diet, it is best to eat the right kinds of fat and eliminate foods that are high in sugar.
There is much to be said in favour of eating healthy fat as it is vital to our skin’s youthful appearance. In moderation, butter and ghee are also good for you, and monounsaturated fats are what prevent your skin from premature wrinkling. Olive oil, nuts and avocados are good sources of monounsaturated fats. In fact, you can mash a ripe avocado and apply it to your face for 15 minutes, it is a natural moisturiser and its oils acts as emollients for the skin. So next time you are tempted to have a pastry, maybe you should give in to your temptation.
Eat salmon and other fish that are rich in omega 3 which also help retain younger looking skin. For vegetarians, flax seeds are a good source of omega 3.
While sugar in excess is bad for all of us, it also hastens the ageing process, the main reason being because collagen fibres can lose their elasticity if your body has too much sugar. This is a process known as glycation, which occurs due to prolonged exposure to sugar and glucose. Instead of regular sugar, use honey as a sweetener, and artificial sweeteners are a strict no-no. Eat more fruit that are not too sugar heavy. Oranges, kiwifruit and dark berries are rich in antioxidants.
You can even apply fruit to your face – an overripe banana or papaya make excellent face packs.
More veggies please
Yes, you would have heard this before, but it’s true – the more vegetables you eat, the better it is for your skin. While the starchy tubers must be had in moderation, every other vegetable is good for you. Carrots, beans, turnips, spinach, fenugreek, pumpkin, cabbage, gourds, among others, all help in nourishing your skin with the vitamins and minerals they contain. Of course, try not eating too many of them in a fried state, as the excess oil will cause breakouts on your face.
Proteins are vital for retaining the skin’s healthy tone. They are important for every function of our body as building blocks. Beans, chicken, cereals and dals are healthy sources of protein.
Make it spicy
There is much to be said about the benefits of spices in improving the quality of our skin. The curcumin in turmeric is a potent antioxidant, while garlic, rosemary and cinnamon, among others, are all good aids to healthy skin. They contain substances which work as detox agents and in some cases, help in weight reduction too. Turmeric can even be mixed with cream and applied on the face for removing a tan and moisturising the skin.
The whole multigrain, whole grain trend has everyone believing that grains are good for you, but eventually, the starch and carbohydrate in grains get converted to sugar and makes the skin age faster. So while you have to eat bread, rotis, pasta and rice, make sure you eat them in moderation and concentrate more on salads and fresh vegetables.