Feeding your skin is quite a simple proposition.
A “rainbow diet” of vegetables and fruits (with healthy omega 3 rich fish and a selection of nuts) is the best route to great looking skin and in fact is excellent for your general health too.
Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, M.D. is a great proponent of caring for your skin from the inside out. Supplying your body (and in turn your skin) with the correct nutrients will help to ensure it’s health, vitality and longevity.
Your diet should be rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E. Antioxidants have the potential to overwhelm destructive molecules called “free radicals,” which live in every cell of the body and can destroy the skin tissue. Maintaining a good supply of antioxidant vitamins will keep your skin looking healthy, fresh and alive.
Nicholas Perricone, M.D. renowned skin doctor has given some great insights into specific foods that are perfect for the skin with a few explanations as to why these as so great.
Here he looks at the main groupings and then at specific fruits and vegetables that Perricone recommends and why.
Berries – ‘packed with an antitoxin system called polyphenols, which look as though they are capable of preventing diseases such as cancer and heart disease.’
‘Blueberries have some amazing qualities including the fact that are one of the greatest sources of antioxidants. They also have great anti-inflammatory properties—remember inflammation is not just linked to disease—it is a major cause of wrinkling and sagging in the skin. Blueberries also increase brain power, restore balance and improve memory. Anything that is good for the brain is also excellent for the skin because of the brain/beauty connection. In embryology there are three layers of tissue that develop into every organ system in our bodies. The same layer of tissue that is responsible for the production of the brain also produces skin. As a medical student I recognized that when something is therapeutic for the brain the skin improved.’
‘Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C—key for collagen production and also very high in ellegic acid which is superior in reducing the damage caused to cells from free radicals—like blueberries they are super anti-ageing foods in just about every category. All berries are superb for all organ systems including skin—remember to look for the deeply colored rainbow foods—your indication that these are superior sources of anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants.’
Green Tea – ‘green tea offers real anti-diabetes potential. Tea is the second most consumed beverage and the good news is that it is packed with antioxidants and can be used along with or instead of water to fulfill your fluid requirements for the day’
‘Turmeric is a cancer-fighter and organ protector—all critical tools for outwitting our genetic blueprint. We are all familiar with this delicious spice, the hallmark of fragrant, flavourful golden curries. The curcuminiod pigments in turmeric are safe, highly effective antioxidants. Turmeric turmerin is a unique peptide that acts as a free radical scavenger and offers 80% protection against oxidative injury to membranes and DNA. The curcuminoids may enhance the secretion of anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and boost their anti-inflammatory power.
The curcuminiods are safer anti-inflammatory agents than asprin and ibuprofen.’
Avocado – ‘We need good fats, such as those found in avocado to help us absorb nutrients from our vegetables and fruits, keep our cells supple, our skin glowing and wrinkle-free, our brains sharp and our mood upbeat. We also need dietary fat to burn fat.’
Oily Fish – ‘will make your skin glow and give you the healthiest skin and hair ever. The flesh of fish – especially salmon contains DMAE, a powerful antioxidant. This chemical stimulates nerve function and the muscles to contact and tighten under the skin.’
‘Of all the foods that can keep you young, fish tops the list. In all fish is an outstanding source of high quality and easily digested protein with low saturated fat. What makes fish stand out from other excellent protein sources is its type of fat and fatty acid content, both of which have powerful anti inflammatory effects.’
‘Chia seeds are an outstanding new source of the omega 3 ‘s and are unsurpassed for increasing energy, endurance and much more. The seeds of the Chia plant are a concentrated source of high quality macro-nutrients required by the body. Omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, high quality complete protein without gluten and low glycemic carbohydrates.’
TIP: Dr Perricone suggests sprinkling Chia seeds on salad, veggies, fruit, cottage cheese, yoghurt, main dishes, cereal, soups etc. They are basically without taste and add crunch when used in this way. They absorb fluid, so if you mix with water they will form a gel which adds body to a salad or dressing.
‘Watercress contains a storehouse of nutrients and has been used as a tonic since ancient times to cleanse the blood and liver of toxins and promote an overall feeling of good health. It has been used in a variety of ways, including enhancing stamina, get rid of excess fluids in the body and as a great antioxidant.
Watercress has significant anti-inflammatory properties and we know that inflammation is at the basis of many diseases and degenerate conditions including wrinkled, dull, dry and sagging skin.’
‘Not only a delicious spice but cinnamon has a variety of health benefits, starting with one of the keys to staying Forever Young and wrinkle free – the regulation of blood sugar. The anti-oxidants in cinnamon boost the stabilizing effect of insulin on blood sugar, making the cells more sensitive to insulin, increasing insulin’s ability to lower blood sugar. Cinnamon acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory whilst functioning as a strong anti-oxidant. Its strong fragrant aroma boosts cognitive processing in the brain, improving memory and attention span.
Cinnamon lowers blood sugar and we know that elevated blood sugar and insulin cause us to store body fat, and make us susceptible to obesity, diabetes and even wrinkles.’
‘When you eat these Superfoods daily you see results fastest in your skin. These foods contain unique phytonutrients like polyphenols, anthocyanins and carotinoids, which have an anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory effect reducing the oxidative stress that leads to ageing.’