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How to get healthy skin – part one

7 Aug

How to get healthy skin – part one 

Have you ever walked past a person, male or female, who had absolutely beautiful, radiant, perfect skin and thought to yourself, “wouldn’t it be nice to know his or her secret!” 

The truth is – there is no secret. 

The so called “secret to healthy skin” has long since mystified women and men in epic proportions. Fortunes have been made by savvy “experts” who appeal to our desire to retain the skin of our youth. Conversely, fortunes have been spent by women and men just like you and I in our quest for beauty…how many products do you have in your skin care collection? 

This series of short articles will provide a basic understanding of some of the fundamentals of skin care. Though no single solution for healthy skin should be considered the ultimate solution, certainly there are some things that all of us can do to achieve that healthy glow of beautiful skin. 

Part one of this series focuses on on eating healthy. Eat a healthy, well balanced diet rich with leafy green and colorful vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Drink 8-10 glass of water everyday, really??…more on that to follow.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) women between the ages of 31-50 should have at least 2.5 cups of vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit daily. It is important to note that 2 cups of leafy greens is a 1 cup equivalent according to the USDA. The daily recommendation for men within the same age group is 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit. Daily recommendations for protein is 5 ounces for women 31-50 and 6 ounces for men in the same age group, though some individuals may require slightly more or less based on activity levels and overall health. 

Fruit: If you are looking for healthy fruit options I would focus my efforts on those rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, strawberries blackberries and plumbs. Antioxidants are important to the body as they help to eradicate those pesky free radicals that scavenge electrons from other molecules in our bodies, all the while causing genetic alteration and cell damage. From a skin care perspective the consumption of antioxidant rich fruit is a necessary support process that provides a solid foundation for the external benefits of healthy and radiant skin. Experts in the skin care industry believe so strongly in the benefits of antioxidants that supplements have been developed to compliment healthy skin care regimens. Dr. Brandt’s Antioxidant Water Booster is an example of this trend (the pomegranate tastes the best, but they are still pretty bland!)    

Veggies: Choose veggies rich in vitamins and minerals to help boost your skins health. Choices such as spinach, broccoli, squash, arugula, watercress, and onions (to name a few) are great options. Adding veggies to your diet is generally a good thing! Most nutritionists would recommend a balanced approach that includes green, yellow, red and orange vegetables. There are some possible dietary restrictions for individuals who may have health concerns, so use common sense and select veggies (and fruit) that are appropriate for you.  

Protein: Most people think of protein as a big juicy slab of steak perfectly grilled on the BBQ…well, there is more to protein than just meat! Sources of protein include eggs, nuts, seeds, and beans…and yes meat, fish and poultry. Red meat should be consumed in moderation, choosing alternative options such as beans may be a way of not only getting your protein, but saving on your daily intake of fat and calories. A lean healthy serving of protein can be as simple as a 1 cup serving of lentils which has less than a gram of fat, 17.9g of protein and 230 calories. When you compare a 6oz. porter house steak at 15g of fat, 45.7g of protein and 330 calories, the fat content alone makes the lentils a much healthier choice. 

Finally, let’s chat a moment about the benefits of water. Water helps to dilute toxins while they are being flushed out of our system as we excrete waste through the urine. Water helps to carry nutrients through our body and our body relies on water for it basic functions. Here is my take on water; a very small amount of water you consume is used by the skin alone. Fact: our body is made up of 60-70% water so the idea that water is critical to your overall health certainly holds water – pun intended! Here is a common sense factor – consume enough water to replace the water that you use each day in order to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can do a number on your body and your skin! When you sweat, urinate, or even breath you are losing water…have you ever fogged a mirror or your eye glasses to clean them…well, that “fog” is water! The thought behind 8-10 glasses of water is to keep your natural systems functioning properly, thus the benefits of water consumption will reflect in the radiance of your skin based on your over all health and properly working irrigation system. Make sense? If you drink soda, replace with water or a tea with high antioxidant content, you will see a difference in your skin. 

It is important to note that there are other factors that can influence your water intake requirements. This is an educational article that I found be the Mayo Clinic http://snipurl.com/pcp26.       

 There is more on how to get healthy skin…stay tuned for “how to get healthy skin – part two”.

 Source: USDA / Mayo Clinic.

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