Nutrition for Beautiful Skin

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These days, everyone wants to look as great on the outside as they feel on the inside. What you eat affects every organ in your body, and your skin being the largest organ in the human body, is no exception. Foods, supplements, and nutrient-infused topical products have become the new initiative of the cosmeceutical companies, attracting those looking for natural ways to improve their youthful radiance and overall skin health.

Natural Beauty Practices and Modern Science

As we think about natural beauty remedies, we are reminded of the many ancient cultures that used foods and plants for health and beauty purposes. For example, Cleopatra was famous for her camel’s milk and honey baths and holistic health practices which originated in

The Role of Nutrition and Beauty

For decades we have known how important nutrition is for maintaining healthy skin, but little research has been done about the effects of diet on skin’s aging appearance. Some studies have linked dietary patterns with less wrinkling, discovering that higher intakes of vitamin C and linoleic acid and lower intakes of fat and carbohydrate were associated with better skin-aging appearance. Other scientific studies have suggested that a higher intake of vegetables, olive oil, monounsaturated fat and legumes and a lower intake of milk/dairy products, butter, margarine and sugar products may reduce wrinkling in skin.

As more research emerges, it is becoming increasingly clear that our food choices are empowering and we can increase our vitality and improve health from inside out through sound nutrition. Nutrients in foods that benefit skin also tend to benefit other body systems and overall health. An anti-aging diet rich in variety of antioxidant-rich, nutrient-dense foods such as; fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, cold water fishes, lean protein, legumes, traditional soy foods, nuts, and seeds is the easiest and most gratifying way to protect your skin from the inside out.

To Look Good and Feel Good, follow these Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Consume a diet high in fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables can provide a wide variety of antioxidants and fiber. Especially blueberries and strawberries, which are packed with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and antioxidants.

Choose whole grain, high-fiber foods: Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which has been proven to reduce inflammation. Adequate intake of fiber can be achieved by eating foods such as whole wheat, flax seed, rye, brown rice, quinoa, and beans.

Reduce saturated fat: Saturated fat increases inflammation which is why it is important to limit the amount of saturated fat you consume by choosing very lean meats, such as chicken breasts, turkey breast, fish and lean cuts of beef, as well as fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty essential fatty acids are very powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Consuming about 3 o 4 oz of fish, such as salmon or trout, twice per week will help you attain all the Omega -3 you need. Omega-3 is also found in flax seeds, walnuts and soy beans.

Consume antioxidant rich foods: Because there are many different types of antioxidants that can protect your tissues from different types of damage, it is best to eat a wide range of antioxidant rich foods. Consume spices such as oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger, as well as whole soy products, green tea, dark chocolate (70% cocoa), and red wine.

Eliminate highly processed foods: Avoid processed foods containing high fructose corn syrup and trans-fatty acids.

Photo Credit: Jun Belen

About The Author

Manuel Villacorta is a registered dietitian (RD) and certified specialist is sports dietetics (CSSD) with more than 16 years of experience. He was recently appointed national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, which identifies him as one of the United States’ leading weight loss and nutrition experts. Villacorta is the owner of San Francisco-based private practice MV Nutrition, the recipient of two consecutive “Best Bay Area Dietitian” awards (2009 and 2010) from the San Francisco Chronicle and Citysearch, and the creator of the Eating Free™ weight management program. Villacorta also developed MV Professional Nutrition (a software suite designed to assist RDs with their own private practices) and created www.eatingfree.com (an international, Internet-based weight loss and weight management program). Villacorta is a compelling, charismatic communicator—a public speaker, who is often praised for making audiences feel, heard, motivated, and engaged. His warm, approachable style, alongside his strong bilingual proficiency in both English and Spanish, have made him an in-demand health and nutrition expert on both local and national television and radio, and in articles in print publications and online. Villacorta worked closely with Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman, chief medical editor of NBC News, to provide expert nutrition advice on a number of topics for the BeWell network. He is often invited to speak at annual state and national conventions such as The Oregon Dietetic Association (where he was the keynote speaker), and The American Dietetic Association (where he spoke to other dietitian professionals about his successful private practice). Villacorta has acted as a media representative for food companies such as Foster Farms (one of the largest chicken producers on the West Coast) as well as for such California statewide health campaigns as the “California Latino 5-A-Day Program” and “Got Milk.” Prior to setting up his private practice, Villacorta worked as a public health dietitian for California Children Services and the Prenatal to Three Initiative, where he offered prenatal, infant, and childhood nutrition consulting. He has worked as a clinical dietitian for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and has held a faculty position with the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco. Villacorta received his bachelor of science in nutrition and physiology metabolism from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master of science in nutrition and food science from San Jose State University. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his research, including the Outstanding Master of Science Degree Award from San Jose State University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science.

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