Television and internet pages are buzzing nowadays with the latest creams and lotions which are meant for anti ageing and other topical applications for achieving a radiant and glowing skin.

But in most cases these effects are only temporary and we need to find the root cause which causes skin dullness and damage. For starters, our lifestyle, eating habits and busy schedule has greatly hampered our health which is many times, left unnoticed.

Our skin just is a reflection to what we eat and how good we are treating ourselves in terms of nutrition. 

Alcoholism, stress, pollution, smoking, daily exposure to sun etc. can trigger free radicals which can break the collagen of our skin thereby giving a dull appearance to the skin and may also result in the formation of premature wrinkles.

Radiant skin can be obtained by flushing out toxins from our body and protecting the skin against UV damage. Although application of sunscreens can be very useful, it may not be a suitable option for many people as it can cause skin allergies in some people.

Foods to our rescue

Complete proteins are required in our diet for the proper build up of elastin and collagen along with other nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals such as selenium, folic acid, Vitamin A, C, E and K etc.

Eating fruits which are rich in carotene and anthocyanins can help in getting a better complexion, research says. This is mainly because that they are rich in antioxidants.

Lets discuss some of the foods which are rich in nutrients to ensure a healthy glowing skin.

Foods for Glowing Skin!

This is just a shortlist and there are many many more miracles of nature which can help your skin.

Asparagus

A well known member of the lily family, Asparagus contains an excellent array of nutrients which help in removing dead skin cells and promotes healthy, glowing skin.

It is comprised of Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin A, C and K. It is also loaded with fibre, zinc manganese, potassium, copper and protein. Vitamin B1, zinc and protein helps in collagen formation whereas copper aids in elastin formation.

It helps in stimulating detoxification enzymes in the liver and the antioxidant glutathione helps in scavenging free radicals, thereby protecting liver cells from damage and aids in detoxification.

It also contains inulin which is a prebiotic and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut thus aiding in effective digestion.

Vitamin C along with zinc and copper helps in proper development of elastin fibres.

Raw cacao beans

You can find everywhere on net telling you that your dark chocolate cravings can be good for your skin.

Dark chocolate contains 60-70% cocoa, although the net benefit exerted by a dark chocolate bar is much less than raw cocoa bean.

Dark chocolate contains milk as one of its constituents and several studies have suggested that milk in dark chocolate can interfere with the absorption of antioxidants in our body.

So it is better if we consume raw cocoa beans instead. Packed with a variety of antioxidants such as resveratrol and oligomeric procyanidins, it helps in gobbling up free radicals which are responsible for exerting pernicious effects on overall health of an individual.

It can be incorporated into the food in powdered form by sprinkling on milkshakes, desserts etc. It is also armed with several other nutrients which prevent skin disorders and promote healthy and radiant looking skin.

Some of them include polyphenols, magnesium, Vitamin C, amino acid tryptophan and omega 6 fatty acids.

Stress levels can be suppressed by the consumption of raw cocao beans. They contain serotonin, phenylethylamine and anandamide which impart aphrodisiac property to raw cacao beans.

Wines

Wines from grapes especially red wines contain polyphenols which help in scavenging free radicals and alleviating conditions arising from oxidative stress.

Flavanoids, stilbenes and phenolic acids are some of the polyphenols present in red wine. It also contains many other antioxidants such as quercitin, resveratrol and proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins.

Research has proved that chains of flavanoids are capable of reducing fine lines and wrinkles and promote healthy and glowing skin.

Resveratrol is an important component in wine which protects our skin against UV damage. After the age of 30 or so, the collagen formation in our body decelerates, which leads to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging of skin.

Resveratrol attenuates the effect of free radicals, promotes collagen formation, and provides adequate hydration to the skin giving you a fresh, supple and radiant looking skin. However, wine should be consumed in moderation as it toxicity is related to head ache related symptoms.

Avocado

Avocado contains antioxidants such as Vitamins A and C, glutathione,etc.

The bioavailability of antioxidants in avocado such as lutein and zeaxanthin is quite high which help in protecting skin from UV and visible radiation.

Avocados are rich in Vitamin E and are believed to be more effective when applied topically and this form of application is suitable for any skin type.

It works best when used in combination with honey in the form of face pack. The monounsaturated fatty acids present in avocado helps in replenishing skin’s protective barrier.

It promotes elastin and collagen formation which helps in maintaining skin’s elasticity and suppleness.

Spinach

Spinach is rich in carotenoids which help in protecting the skin against UV damage. It can also be used in the form of face pack in combination with mint to prevent all sorts of skin problems.

On the other hand, its consumption is also very important as it is a rich source of omega 3 fats which help in locking moisture inside the skin and makes it look more radiant. Vitamins A, C, E and B Vitamins together with lutein and zeaxanthin help in averting various types of skin issues.

It is also a rich source of minerals like magnesium, spinach and iron. Magnesium in combination with Vitamin C promotes collagen formation.

Vitamin A with zinc aids in repairing damaged skin tissues. Vitamin E help in reducing the appearances of wrinkles blemishes and nourishes skin from inside out.

Krill oil

Krill oil comprises of 3 major components: omega 3 fatty acids (mostly EPA & DHA) attached to phospholipids, omega 3 fatty acids attached to triglycerides and antioxidants such as astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, Vitamin A and Vitamin E.

It consists of 3 different types of phospholipids: phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidlyinositol, phosphatidylethanolamine.  DHA maintains membrane fluidity and promotes healthy skin and hair.

Phosphatidylcholine is the most abundant form of phospholipid available from krill oil. Due to the bipolar nature of phospholipids, it acts as building blocks of cell membrane and helps in better absorption of omega 3 fats in our body.

Krill oil is a rich reserve of antioxidants such as astaxanthin, Vitamin A, Vitamin E etc, which helps in quenching free radicals and preventing other types of oxidative reactions.

During peroxidation, free radicals combine with electrons from the cell membrane and may cause damage to the cell but the antioxidants present in krill oil act by sweeping off these free radicals, thus preventing cells and tissues from oxidative stress and damage.

Astaxanthin in combination with phospholipid can foster healthy and radiant looking skin.  Moreover, astaxanthin is 550 times stronger than Vitamin E and 6000 times powerful than Vitamin C in terms of antioxidant capacity.

Astaxanthin helps in promoting elasticity to the skin, reduces age spots and wrinkles and effectively protects the skin against skin damage.

Chia seed

Chia seeds contain complete proteins (Proteins which contain all essential amino acids). It contains 20% protein by weight. Proteins are very essential for skin repair.

It is rich in natural antioxidants such as chlorogenic acids, flavanols, caffeic acids which help in removing free radicals that are carcinogenic and help in protecting skin cells against UV damage.

Dried chia seeds contain approximately 25 – 40% oil, out of which 60% is comprised by omega-3 fats (helps in lowering high triglyceride levels and reducing obesity) and 20% by omega6 fats.

Omega 3 fats or the ‘beautifying fat’ as we call it, is necessary for maintain integrity of skin cells and enhances the suppleness and fresh look by maintaining proper hydration.

It is also beneficial in averting all kinds of skin infections. It is a rich source of Vitamin B1, B3, Vitamin E and also minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper etc. and trace elements. ,

Blueberries

These delicious but nutritionally packed small sized fruit can work wonders for your skin when consumed as a part of your diet or applied topically.

It can be included in your salads, smoothies or it can be cooked as well! It contains fibre in generous amounts which helps in flushing out toxins thereby preventing occurrence of those frequent acne flare-ups and blotchy patches on your skin.

Its unrivalled antioxidant property is due to the presence of phytonutrients such as anthocyanins, resveratrol and flavanols.  Being a good source of Vitamin C and K  it bolsters collagen formation and boosts your complexion.

As per a recent research conducted by USDA, blueberries exhibited maximum Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity as an extent to measure antioxidant property in blueberries.

Cranberries

Antioxidants are the key to get rid of blemishes and aid you to your way to glowing and healthier looking skin.

Cranberries contain a pool of antioxidants and several other phytonutrients which help in preventing roughness, wrinkling and sagging of skin and improves skin smoothness and radiance.

It contains substantial amounts of Vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene), C and E which acts as a great combination to promote collagen formation, reduces sun damage and replenishes the skin with necessary hydration.

Plus, it contains lutein and astaxanthin which have 6000 times more potential antioxidant activity than Vitamin C. It also contains trace amounts of minerals selenium and zinc which are involved in collagen formation and assist in maintaining elasticity of skin cells. , ,

Strawberries

Here is another reason to sprinkle strawberry pieces in your morning fruit salad. It helps you to get rid of pale skin and gives your complexion a rosy look!

Strawberries apart from being highly nutritious and delicious can also be applied topically on the skin to get that perfect glow.

The reason is that it contains a plethora of antioxidants and other phytonutrients such as CoEnzyme Q10 which retards the pace of skin aging process and protects skin against free radical damage.

Also, it contains alpha hydroxyl acid which replenishes the old and dead skin cells with the newer ones and helps in collagen formation.

It contains abundant amounts of Vitamin C which helps in improving skin elasticity and prevents it from sagging. Ellagic acid present in strawberries aid in protection of elastic fibers and gives your skin a smooth, firm, supple and radiant look.

Coconut

Studies have indicated that coconut contains saturated fats in the form of (MCTs) medium chain triglycerides (lauric acid) which help in improving blood circulation.

MCTs are easily available for energy consumption and do not increase sebum production to much extent. Coconut water is packed with electrolytes and minerals plus several bioactive compounds such as cytokinin and enzymes such as acid phosphatase, dehydrogenase, peroxidase, polymerases, etc.

These nutrients provide necessary hydration to the skin and keeps moisture intact. Coconut is a very good source of B complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and minerals such as zinc, iron and manganese etc., altogether providing coconut as an ideal source for obtaining healthy looking skin.

Carrot

Carrot contains Vitamin K, C, E, B1, B3, and B6, beta carotene, folate and niacin. It contains potassium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, selenium and protein.  Vitamin C, zinc and copper help in repairing of skin tissues.

Selenium helps in protecting skin against UV damage and zinc controls oil production on the skin.

Almonds

Almonds contain protein, selenium, magnesium, zinc, copper etc.  Zinc aids in stabilization of cell membrane structures, scavenges off superoxide free radicals and promotes skin cell division.

Apart from this, it also contains antioxidants such as Vitamin E and flavanoids which act as antioxidants and protect skin from UV damage and other free radical reactions which cause skin damage.

Vitamins A, B1 and B2 help are also present which are involved in repairing of skin tissues. Omega 3 fats in almonds help in maintaining and promoting smooth, firm and healthy looking skin.

Olives

Olives contain antioxidants and squalene in rich amounts which help in repairing connective tissue, improves blood circulation.

Packed with hydroxytyrosol, Vitamin A and E, it helps in maintaining elasticity of skin; prevents degeneration of cells and prevents premature aging of skin. Healthy monounsaturated fats in olive oil help in maintain appropriate moisture for the skin. Olive oil is also suitable for topical applications.

Pineapple

Pineapples are rich source of fibre, iron, and manganese, Vitamin B1, B2, C, B3 and B6. Fibre aids in effective digestion and helps in getting rid of constipation.  It aids in detoxification.

It contains an enzyme, bromelain which helps in loosening up mucus. It helps in curbing sugar cravings and the combination of Vitamin C and manganese helps in development of collagen.

Pineapple induces hydration, reduces inflammation and promotes healthier looking skin.

Summary

Apart from regular and adequate intake of above stated minerals, it is necessary that we cut back on alcohol and smoking and also indulge ourselves in exercises and yoga.

Breathing exercises can improve circulation of oxygen throughout our body and help in improving skin complexion.

Also, it is necessary that we keep ourselves hydrated as water and water containing foods can help in easier metabolism and aid in effective digestion.

These foods can soak up free radicals to much extent when consumed adequately, however the level of dosage and suitability differs from person to person.

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