Monday, November 3, 2008

Glowing soft skin – The Healthy Diet way

What do you first observe when you first see yourself in the mirror… black spot near your beautiful eyes or a new born bump turning into acne on your forehead? There is so much emphasis given to physical appearance in today’s times and why not? .After all “Looking good” is equal to “Feeling good” “Being more confident”.Every woman dream is to have a glowing and soft skin. A fortune is spent on cosmetics to have the desired effect.

So why not look out for a way to enhance our looks without getting bankrupt. Yes! There are some very simple natural and cheap ways to the destination of beauty. Lets understand the causes of acne followed with some dos and don’t.

What Causes Acne?
The exact cause of acne is unknown, but dermatologists believe it results from several related factors.
• One important factor is an increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). These increase in both boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills can also cause acne.
• Another factor is heredity or genetics. For example, studies have shown that many school-age boys with acne have a family history of the disorder.
• Certain drugs, including androgens and lithium are known to cause acne.
• Greasy cosmetics may block the pores and unable them to breathe oxygen .Lack of oxygen may lead to acne.
• However, there are some researches blaming the diet of a person — eating refined carbohydrates and sugar leads to a surge in insulin. This in turn leads to an excess of male hormones, which encourage the skin to excrete large amounts of sebum. This grease-like substance encourages the growth of bacteria responsible for acne. Therefore the scientists believe the modern Western diet is one of the major causes. The simple formula is:
refined carbs/sugar = more insulin = more hormones = more sebum (oil) = more bacteria = more acne

The conclusion is our body needs complete nutrition to promote healthy skin and to prevent acne. The fact is, people with imbalanced diet are deficient in vitamins, minerals and herbs due to fast food diet. The nutrients are powerful antioxidants that flush out free radicals and toxins from our body. It helps to detox the body. Some even have antibacterial effects and promote immunity. Vitamins are important in keeping the pores clean and in healing the damaged skin tissue.

Excess consumption of REFINED AND SUGARY FOODSExcess consumption of sugary foods like chocolate, sweets etc is one of the main cause of acne. Refined and tinned foods are huge skin sinners. A diet that is high in sugar may make your system even more susceptible to bacterial infections, which may further aggravate spots and other skin conditions. Instead have wheat bread, oats and other grains instead. Substitute white rice with brown rice, chickpeas and lentils. Alternate white sugar with honey or brown sugar.
Excess consumption of fatty foods can cause sluggish digestion, cloudy thinking and stimulate the sebaceous glands to secrete more oil leading to an oily skin. While eating spicy foods can also lead to acidity .A diet high in fried foods, butter, cheese, pickles, fried papad etc are also low in fibre thus making it tougher for the body to clear wastes. One should substitute spice with some ginger and herbs which may stimulate digestion and help to subside acidity.
Excess of TEA AND COFFEEWomen who drink a lot of tea, coffee, cola, hot chocolate and any kind of aerated drinks are more likely to have tired-looking skin and suffer from conditions such as greasy skin and spots. This is because these drinks contain caffeine, which increases the excretion of vitamins and minerals from the body. Try to drink not more than two cups of coffee, tea or other caffeine containing drinks a day.
Excess ALCOHOL INTAKE Excessive alcohol intakes may lead to skin problems such as split veins. Alcoholic beverages are diuretic and increase the water loss from the body leading to a very dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin can develop wrinkles very easily. In fact many women are allergic to hard drinks and may develop rash. Avoid having alcohol as much as possible.
Excess/Chain SMOKINGNicotine does not help to keep a healthy skin. It attacks the blood vessels that feed the skin with nutrients and oxygen, as well as those that drain away the waste products from the skin. At the same time your skin also suffers from lack of oxygen. Result - aging effect to the skin.
Drink plenty of WATERDrink at least 2 litres of mineral water daily. Drinking plenty of water helps reduce acne by flushing toxins out of your system and keeping your kidneys, liver and bowel functioning effectively. A sluggish digestive system is often linked to acne. Drinking plenty of water will keep your insides healthy. Water will also help keep your skin supple and hydrated. Dehydrated skin can become dry and flaky, the skin's natural exfoliation slows down and pores become blocked which in turn can cause spots.
Feed yourself with plenty of ANTIOXIDANTS Include loads of yellow and orange colour foods eg Carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow and orange bell peppers, oranges, tangerines, mangoes, papayas and apricots. These foods are rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A .Vitamin C is highly beneficial to skin and responsible for an efficient immune system. Vitamin C promotes and protects collagen and helps us fighting back any kind of infections. Collagen provides support and elasticity to your skin thus delaying the onset of wrinkles. It acts as cement in our skin.
 Eat atleast 50gms of Greens per day. One can have veggies like Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, green bell peppers, kale, kiwi and spinach. These greens are rich in iron. It’s said that ladies having iron deficient diet mainly have dark circles.
 Berries like Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, beets, plums, and red grapes are a great source of polyphenols, antioxidants that are known for their anti-aging capabilities and for providing pink glow to the skin.
 Include herbal teas. Green tea is one of the delicious ways to include antioxidants in any diet. Having 2 cups of this green tea can do wonders to the skin. Its polyphenols may be 100 times more effective than Vitamin C and 25 times more effective than Vitamin E. Infact you can also include lemon (Vitamin C rich)and ginger tea (improves digestion)in your diet for its varied health benefits.
Women having flaky and dry skin require good fats to have a desired soft texture. One should use oils rich in poly and monounsaturated fats like sesame, mustard and olive oil for cooking to overcome dryness. These oils are at the same time very heart friendly as they contain good amount of omega 3 fatty acids.
Eat loads of FIBRE CONTAINING FOODSFibre helps to promote the digestive process and remove toxins from the body leading to a clear spot free skin. Daily intake of fibre should be atleast 25 – 35gms per day. You can include foods like oats, barley, ragi, bajra, whole wheat grains, different variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. These cereals are also rich in B vitamins, which aid new skin-cell growth.
Binge on VITAMIN E RICH FOODSDaily dose of Vitamin E is a basic requirement to have a glowing smooth skin. Vitamin E, an antioxidant helps to prevent cellular damage by preventing the formation of free radicals. Vitamin E also enhances healing and tissue repair process .It slows down the cellular aging thus prevent wrinkle formation. Vitamin E is found naturally in almonds, asparagus, avocados, fishes, Brazil nuts, broccoli, canola oil, corn, cottonseed oil, fortified cereals, hazelnuts, soy bean oil, spinach, sunflower seeds, walnuts, wheat germ and wheat germ oil. The flesh of a ripe avocado soothes sunburn skin. Just cut the fruit in half and rub it gently over the affected areas. Infact avocado paste can easily be applied on a rough and dry skin to make it smooth.
Adopt a regular exercise routine. Exercise benefits skin as it boosts circulation and encourages blood flow. Regular exercise will nourish and cleanse your skin from within. However, it is always better to check with your doctor before you start any kind of exercise program. Regular change in your activity schedule helps to avoid boredom. Jog for couple of days, play squash, hit the gym or go for a swim the other day. Always keep looking out for new activities.
Adequate RESTOne should sleep for atleast 6 – 7 hours. Getting sufficient sleep is very important as the skin's cellular repair activity works at its optimum during this resting period. Irregular sleep and stress can also cause dark circles.

Try to make these few modifications a part of your daily routine and enhance your natural beauty.

Pamper your skin without spending a bomb and get an inner and outer makeover.