Eat These Plants and Vegetables For Healthy, Glowing Skin The secret to healthy, beautiful, glowing skin starts with the essential vitamins and nutrients found in nature. BY R. SARAVANAN, BHMS
Eating a plant-based diet will load your body with the vitamins and nutrients your skin need.
“ Although many people think sun exposure is not good, our skin needs sunshine for Vitamin D.”
To have healthy and glowing skin it is crucial to pay attention to what we eat every day. Foods that are high in trans fatty acids, such as meat, dairy products, processed, and fast foods can dehydrate the skin. This is because trans fats in animal-based foods increase the free radical load (charged chemical particles of oxygen that enter into destructive chemical bonds with proteins) and lead to premature aging of the skin.
Whole plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, greens, legumes, nuts, and seeds are storehouses of the vital nutrients needed for healthy skin.
Vitamin A, biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, silica, and omega 3 fatty acids are some of the important nutrients required for healthy and glowing skin. Here's a quick breakdown of what each provides:
Vitamin A helps in maintaining and repairing skin cells. Carotenoids, the precursors of vitamin A, may help prevent ultraviolet induced skin damage and wrinkling. Vitamin A deficiency may result in dry and flaky skin. This vitamin is present in dark greens and yellow colored vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins. Papaya and mango are good fruit sources of Vitamin A.
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin and is needed for the formation of skin, nail, and hair cells. Biotin is found in whole grain cereals, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, cauliflowers, and onions.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin against free radical damage. Factors such as exposure to environmental pollutants, smoking, and an unhealthy diet could lead to the production of these free radicals. Free radical damage is thought to be the basis of the aging process. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grape fruits, lemons, and limes, as well as apples, papayas, watermelon, and leafy vegetables, such as spinach and cilantro are rich in Vitamin C.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is essential for healthy and youthful skin. Vitamin E is found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
Selenium is a trace mineral and a potent antioxidant, which also helps protect the skin from the damage caused by free radicals. Selenium has anti-aging effects and is found in whole grains, soya beans, mushroom, apple, tomato, onion, garlic, and walnut, and sunflower seeds.
Zinc, needed for repairing damaged tissues, has a role in cellular growth and wound healing. It is beneficial for people who suffer from acne, as it helps control excess oil production in the skin. Peanuts, sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, and pumpkin seeds, as well as whole grains and legumes, are rich in zinc.
Omega-3 fatty acids act like moisturizers for skin and improve suppleness. Flax seeds, salba/chia seeds, sesame seeds, and walnuts are natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Although many people think sun exposure is not good, our skin needs sunshine for Vitamin D. At least 15 – 20 minutes of sunlight exposure is needed for the skin to synthesize Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for healthy skin and immunity. If you have a Vitamin D deficiency, supplementations are advised.
Whole plant-based foods, adequate water intake, sunlight exposure, and exercise will keep the skin healthy, youthful and attractive!
With that, here are two simple, on-the-go smoothie recipes that can help you achieve beautiful and healthy glowing skin:
Morning Shine Fruit Smoothie Ingredients:
1/2 cup of apple slices
1/2 cup of mango slices
1/2 cup of papaya slices
1 cup of chilled almond milk
3-4 dates (deseeded) as natural sweetener.
1 teaspoon Salba or chia seeds
Direction: Blend all these ingredients in a blender to get a nutritious and delicious smoothie.
Super Nutrient Smoothie Ingredients:
1/2 cup of fresh greens (iceberg lettuce/kale or any other greens)
1 cup of tender coconut water 2 tablespoon of coconut meat
Directions: Blend all these ingredients thoroughly in a blender and a super nutrient smoothie is ready.