Beauty is Skin Deep

The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart: Saint Jerome (church father & saint). 

Indeed… Not only is the mirror of the mind, but the face is a mirror of our nutritional status also. Our skin, hair, nails show the correct picture of our internal body. So to keep this picture beautiful, it is important to take good overall care of ourselves. This care includes taking a well-balanced diet (for beauty from within) with regular skin and hair care regime.

Certain nutrients can be rightly termed beauty nutrients and are essential for healthy skin, hair and nails.

Vitamin A: Helps in preventing acne and maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin A when taken with adequate proteins helps keep the hair healthy. Look for yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (carrot, papaya, tomato, bell peppers, mango, apricots, etc.), dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, fenugreek), liver, eggs, dairy products and fish liver oil for food sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin C: Fights wrinkles and helps the body produce and maintain collagen which in turn maintains the elasticity of the skin and prevents sagging. Vitamin C is present in citrus fruits (lemon, orange), guava, grapefruit, melons, cherries, kiwi, strawberries, gooseberries (amla), red and green peppers, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. to name a few.

Zinc: Works with vitamin C to make collagen and supports the action of vitamin A. Also, nails and hair contain zinc. Zinc is found in pumpkin and sunflower seeds, whole-wheat flour, rye flour, oat flour, oysters (shellfish), lean red meat, brewer’s yeast, Eggs, Legumes, Mushrooms, Spinach.

Vitamin E: Helps the body in retaining moisture and can prevent damage due to the sun and thus prevents premature aging. Sources: Cold-pressed wheat germ oil and safflower oil, Whole grains, Wheat germ, Milk, Asparagus, Broccoli, Egg yolk, Leafy greens, Liver, Olives, Soybeans, Sunflower seeds, Nuts, Vegetable oils.

Selenium: This mineral helps with dry skin of the scalp (which we commonly know as dandruff) and enhances vitamin E absorption. Selenium is present in garlic, onions, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, Asparagus, Bran, Broccoli, Chicken, Egg yolk, Milk, Seafood, Tomato, Whole grains.

Proteins: Basic structure of hair, nails and skin is composed of protein. If you have brittle nails, poor skin and hair that breaks easily, it may be because you do not include enough protein in your diet. Protein-rich foods are an excellent source of biotin, which is a B-complex vitamin and is essential for healthy nails. Some other dietary sources of biotin include egg yolk, soybean flour, milk and peanut butter. Sources of protein: fish, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, nuts, oilseeds, pulses, legumes and wheat germ.

Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help to keep the skin hydrated, nails glossier and more flexible, and help hair retain moisture. Flaxseeds, salmon are the best sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

B-Complex Vitamins: A deficiency of these vitamins can result in various skin problems and hair loss. B complex vitamins are present in a wide variety of foods like whole grain cereals, pulses, fruits like bananas, green vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and meats including turkey and liver.

Water: Drinking plenty of water transports nutrients to skin cells and keeps them nourished. Having lime water, coconut water, fresh fruit juices, soups, buttermilk or green tea also provides necessary liquid content to the body. Avoid consuming caffeine, alcohol and other fizzy drinks as a fluid source.

Include all these beauty nutrients in your daily diet and observe the transformation unfold before your eyes.

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