7 Basic Diet Rules to Follow For Scoring a Great Skin
Wellness and lasting beauty comes from within. Healthy body translates into a healthy, great looking skin. That is actually a no brainer. Our skin is but just an outer covering of all that we hide inside. That’s why all the secrets we have churning inside - show up on the skin right away. So eat a lot of junk and your skin may break out, an allergy may show up as hives. Similarly eating right can help restore your facial tone and stimulate circulation for a natural healthy glow.
So get your skin in the game, and follow these diet rules to score a great looking skin.
1. Hydration Rules
This is indispensable to prevent dry tight and flaky skin, and is also essential to prevent wrinkles. Remember that most skin problems start with the kidneys. They require constant cleansing. Also given the high pollution levels and active lives that most of us lead, our skin gets easily dehydrated often leading to wrinkling, cracking, eczema, irritation and scaling.
A regularly cleansed system means no toxin output through the skin and therefore balanced hormone production; making for a clear balanced complexion - neither too oily nor too dry; also no pimples or zits. Just do it for a couple of weeks and see a visible difference.
2. Way to a Healthy Skin is Through the Gut
As most of us eat wrong these days our digestive capabilities are reduced. So:
- Eat food that is easy to digest - stews instead of meat curries, steamed instead of fried, moong dal instead of whole dals. Eat light and easily digestible foods, cooked or steamed vegetables, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, steamed salad, fruits, moong dal, khichree, corn, chickpea flour, and oatmeal etc.
- Have a probiotic everyday or include one fermented food like dosa, appam, dhokla or dahi in your diet everyday.
- Try not to have non vegetarian food more than twice a week as it is a little difficult to digest.
- To keep your skin healthy, avoid spicy, oily and excessively sour foods. They might weaken the digestive system and lead to an upset stomach. These foods also aggravate pitta (one of the three Ayurveda doshas that governs metabolism in our body), which is responsible for skin breakouts and eruptions.
- Eat herbs that have cooling effects on the body (pitta pacifying) such as fennel, coriander seeds.
- Avoid acidic foods: Acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, yogurt and vinegar should be avoided.
- Exposure to heat and sun, drinking too much tea, coffee, and alcohol, and smoking also aggravate pitta and mess up your skin, so be careful.
3. Say No to Junk
Chocolates, sweets and other fatty and sugary foods lead to a sluggish digestive system that hampers smooth elimination of waste matters from the body. These are then eliminated via the skin as blocked pores and acne.
Junk food, especially foods fried in hot-processed oils like chips etc add to acne problems. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and coke also lead to tired-looking skin, greasy skin and spots. The caffeine contained in them prevents the body from correctly processing the vitamins and minerals one takes in. Therefore collagen formation is hampered speeding up the ageing process. Skin sags and looks dull. Drink no more than three cups of such drinks in the day.
4. Eat Your Antioxidants - The List Below
Have at least five portions of fresh and colourful fruits and vegetables every day. It’s easy - have two kinds of fruits after breakfast and two more later in the day as dessert or snacks. Add a salad or vegetable dish to two meals and in 3 weeks you’ll notice the difference - more energy, more stamina, a lighter and younger you and a skin that breathes happy, is clear and brighter.
Also remember the more colours you pile onto your plate, the brighter your skin glows. These natural colours indicate antioxidant vitamins or sun protective compounds, that screen your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun as well. Pick two different ones every day from the below mentioned list:
- Red grapes
- Beet root
- Also drink two cups of green tea every day
5. Load up on Vitamin C
Vitamin C can neutralize the free radicals (highly reactive oxygen molecules) that damage cells and can prematurely age your face. It also helps aid in the body's production of collagen, a protein that forms the basic structure of your skin. Collagen breakdown, which starts speeding up significantly around the age of 35, can leave your skin saggy.
Choose any one every day:
- Sweet potato
6. Eat Only Whole Grains
Whole grains, instead of processed carbohydrates, can improve your complexion. Processed (or refined) flours can cause an insulin spike, which in turn can encourage acne.
So have two servings of any of the below everyday:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- Multi grain bread
- Red rice
7. Get Good Fats
Eating the right fats is imperative for a great looking skin. So choose from the below:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Fish - particularly salmon and mackerel as omega 3 in them can help reduce dryness of your skin and prevent inflammation
(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of ‘Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico).' Her next book ‘Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa)‘ will be out in September.)
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