The aging process is complex and involves many different mechanisms in the body. The skin does not exist in isolation from the rest of the body and is the first organ to show signs of accelerated aging. Outside of genetics, overall lifestyle plays a critical role in delaying or accelerating the aging process. It is also well known that chronic nutrient deficiencies or excesses can negatively impact our overall health and accelerating aging.
Nutrition is the study of specific nutrients and how they biologically impact the body and physiological well being. Beauty Nutrition is a category of nutritional science that focuses on targeted nutrients to promote optimal skin health and total beauty. By adding certain nutrients to your diet, you may protect your body from accelerated aging, promote glowing skin, maintain a healthy metabolism, and feel revitalized. Here are a few tips to help you look and feel your best:
We are exposed daily to stressors that can have a negative impact on our total health and appearance of our skin. Antioxidants have been shown to help protect our bodies from these stressors that may cause accelerated aging. A diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables of varying color can provide the best all-round antioxidant protection. Choose fresh and uncooked more often as heat deactivates most antioxidants.
WATCH OUT FOR INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Inflammation is critical in maintaining the balance of health; however, studies have shown that problems occur when the inflammatory process becomes chronically overloaded and unable to “shut off.” Studies indicate that inflammation may be the trigger on which several disease processes begin.
REDUCE EXPOSURE TO DIETARY TOXINS
It is well known that many of the chemicals we ingest daily through food, water, and air can become deposited in fat cells in our bodies. Diets that lack certain nutrients may also impair our natural ability to neutralize chemicals, which further leads to their build-up in the body. It is this cumulative load that is thought to be linked to impaired immune function, hormonal imbalance, malabsorption digestive disturbances, fatigue, dull skin, and brittle hair and nails.
There are many different types of detox diets. Generally, a detox diet is a short-term diet of organic foods (when applicable) that helps reduce toxicity and minimize the amount of chemicals ingested. Emphasize foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification. Also choose foods such as high fiber foods and water that can help to draw out and eliminate toxins through digestive and urinary pathways.
Based upon the above guidelines, the following foods provide all of the components that may help to support healthy immunity, control inflammation, and have minimal chemicals and preservatives:
- Deeply coloured fruits and vegetables – blueberries, pomegranate, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, dark green leafy vegetables, citrus, pears, melons, prunes.
- Omega-3 fat (wild salmon, fish oil, walnuts, sesame seeds, or ground flaxseed or oil). Choose high quality olive or grapeseed oils for cooking.
- High fiber/low-glycemic foods – higher fiber fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, beans, whole grains over white refined foods. Aim to get 30 grams of fiber per day, but start slowly and make sure you keep your fluid intake up. Best fiber sources come from beans, legumes, fresh produce, and whole grains. (Major health associations provide fiber scoreboards with all main foods groups and their approximate fiber content per serving.)
- Choose protein from non-animal sources like fish, soy, beans, and nuts. Rice or soy protein alternatives come in many varieties now and taste good too! High quality proteins provide amino acids critical to support the structural integrity of the skin.
- Ginger, tumeric, green tea, cocoa, cayenne, and cinnamon have potent anti-inflammatory and blood sugar balancing effects on the body and can readily be incorporated into foods or taken as a tea.
- Probiotics/prebiotics found in yogurt and functional beverages, cranberries juice, and milk thistle tea help to support the healthy functioning of the eliminative pathways in our bodies to effectively neutralize and remove toxins before they can be absorbed by the body.
Well-balanced eating should always be the foundation to attain optimal health; however, under hectic agendas and lifestyles, a nutricosmetic can help to bridge the gap between moderate nutritional deficiencies and optimal skin health--just make sure you seek products formulated by health professionals.