Beauty from the Inside – Volume 3 – (Article 3 of 6)Magalies Citrus
by Dr Marli Botha
Human skin is the largest organ of the body, and it is responsible for many functions, including acting as the first line of defines from external pathogens, protecting against water loss and regulating body temperature. It also functions as an “aesthetic” interface—a collection of physical attributes that form the basis of first impressions by which people measure their ideas of beauty.
ere are 5 more Interesting Facts about your skin:
- Environmental factors play a big part in premature aging of the skin. The most well-known being exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun which contributes to photo-aging characterized by changes in pigmentation (i.e., dark spots and freckles) and degradation of collagen, leading to fine lines and wrinkles.
- Antioxidants are essential for the skin, especially since overexposure to UV light can cause a reduction in the antioxidant supply, thereby increasing oxidative stress. A class of compounds that function as potent antioxidants are carotenoids. These compounds are plant-derived and can be obtained from your diet. The most notable of the carotenoid family are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Tomatoes are good for helping reduce sun damage, they are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which helps fight free radicals. The antioxidant is most easily absorbed when the tomatoes have been cooked, which releases it from the plant cells. It’s also easier for your body to absorb it if you eat the tomatoes along with some healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil. The amount of lycopene varies depending on the type of tomato and its ripeness. In general, the more red the tomato, the more lycopene it has.
- Picking green and yellow vegetables works similarly: The darker and brighter the colour, the more nutrients. If you’re picking greens for a salad, choose darker green greens like kale or spinach. Better yet, choose arugula or dandelion greens. These vegetables fight the free radicals that break down collagen over time, so they can help support the delicate, thin skin around your eyes.
- For vitamin E, fatty fish is your go-to source for beautiful skin. However, you can also load up on almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and other nuts and seeds, or enjoy fruits like mango, kiwi, blackberries and veggies like squash, peppers, chard, collards and turnip greens. How about a blackberry, apricot, peanut butter and almond milk smoothie? The yum-factor alone may make your skin glow!
It is important to mention that no food is meant to be a cure-all for any condition, though there are certainly health and skin benefits contained within them. The one thing you should always do before using a new skincare product is to do a patch test to look for allergies and sensitivities.