Spring is here, and with summer on its way we are going to enjoy planning and preparing outdoor activities even more. However, all those fun-in-the-sun activities can be dangerous unless we know how to protect our organism, especially our skin.
We know every season demands special skin treatment and nourishment, yet with sunny and warm weather skin needs extra protection, and when unprotected, it can be seriously damaged, which in turn will threaten our health in general, and lead to health problems.
Most of us are already familiar with skin-protective tricks, however, it is always good to know a few more tricks, so, let us start with the basics, and list must-do things to protect our skin. Where do we start?
Know your skin type, because every skin is unique, and every skin should be considered on an individual basis.
When choosing skin care products, read labels carefully. Many products have harsh preservatives and additives.
Avoid smoke, if possible. Smoking is linked to skin wrinkling, sagging and other skin related damages.
Change your bed linens on a weekly basis to combat bacteria. Be careful with material that your face comes in contact with.
Drink plenty of water,especially when you are out in the sun. Dry skin is especially sensitive to sun exposure, and it has less resilience and is more apt to wrinkles. Our skin needs water for elasticity.
Our diets need to include essential nutrients such as beta carotene, lutein and lycopene. External aging is the consequence of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, pollution, smoking, stress, lack of sleep and bad daily nutrition.
So, we have come to the most important question: How can food help us prepare our skin for warmer season? How certain food can protect us from external aging and skin damage? Above all, what should we eat in spring and summer to help us nurture and protect our skin?
It is no secret food has an important role in protecting our skin and maintaining healthy skin. The question is: what should we eat and why?
Even if you have been taking care of your skin properly, your skin needs a spring makeover because it needs to adapt to new weather conditions. Moreover, it needs detoxification as well. Below is the list of the food you must include in your diet to create “defense strategy” for your skin and to have a fresh, radiant and glowing skin.
Raw fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamin C
Vitamin C is a super antioxidant, and antioxidants are great for protecting us from harmful free radicals that damage our skin. This vitamin is also the one responsible for a strong immune system. Strawberries, blueberries, papaya, oranges, kiwi fruits, and cucumber, are all great sources of vitamin C. These foods help produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin. See top 6 benefits of vitamin C for skin.
Fruits and vegetables rich in lycopene, lutein, and beta carotene
Foods rich in lycopene and beta carotene are necessary protection against sun. You need to boost your immune system with beta-carotene, so everything from carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, and mangoes is a great option for protecting your skin naturally. As for lycopene, tomatoes and watermelons are rich with this red antioxidant pigment. Lutein is found in kale and spinach, and it is important for normal skin tone and skin cell development.
Food rich in selenium and vitamin E
Along with vitamin C and E, selenium is a powerful antioxidant, and it is great for the immune system. Diets rich in selenium help protect against sun damage, age spots, and skin cancer. Great sources of selenium are fish, eggs, broccoli, and tomatoes as well. As for vitamin E, which protects the skin from cell damage, and supports skin growth, opt for almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, sunflower oil, and Brazil nuts.
Food rich in omega-3 and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
These essential fatty acids, which you can find in walnuts, flaxseed oil, and linseeds, will help your body produce anti-inflammatory compounds that will protect your skin from inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. As for the facts, do not be afraid to include them in your diet as well.
Fats, found in avocados, nuts and seeds, are essential for moisturizing your skin. These fats are also a great source of vitamin E.
Food rich in zinc
This mineral keeps skin soft and supple, helps repair skin damage, and it is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin. Foods rich in zinc are seeds, nuts, fish, whole grain, and poultry.
Opt for skin cleansing food!
The food with skin clearing properties will improve the quality of your skin over time. Nettle, for instance, has great benefits for the skin. When taken in tea or soup form, nettle calms down the skin, and improve conditions such as eczema and acne. Due to high levels of antioxidants, nettle is also a detoxifying plant, and protects the body from over-production of free radicals.
Peppermint tea also has great calming effects, and it helps relieve stress, which is a common acne aggregator. Watercress is loaded with antioxidants, potassium, manganese, and carotene. This is one very powerful cleansing plant that will help flush out toxins, and nourish the skin. You should also include fennel in your diet. Apart from helping with digestion, it is great for both skin and hair. Finally, there is garlic, a plant rich in alicin, a compound that kills all harmful bacteria and viruses including those responsible for skin infections. To get the most out of garlic, eat it raw!
Opt for Green tea!
Green tea can do more than just relaxing your body and mind. As a great source of antioxidants, green tea is great protection for every skin type. The great benefit of green tea is that those antioxidants stay longer in the body and have longer protective effects.
Green tea is a stimulating drink and it hydrates the body as well. It reduces the stress, boosts immunity and provides pain relief, and it is great protection against sun damage. Above all, prevents wrinkles, reduces redness and psoriasis and tones skin.
Oates, C. (2007). Feeding your skin. Vermilion.
Tannis, A. (2009). Feed your skin, starve your wrinkles. Fair Winds Press.
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