You are what you eat. The condition of your skin and hair are an outside sign of inside health. Skin care products today are all about antioxidants, increasing collagen production, skin firming, vitamin and mineral addition, etc… all with the aim of countering the aging process. So what if we took these matters into our mouths and decided to add all these components into our day-to-day routines? By eating some specific nutrient rich foods, we can have a healthy glowing flawless skin from the inside out.
Research now shows that it is possible to influence your looks simply by choosing specific foods. Skin collagen production, hair growth (and fallout), hormone balance and more are all tied to what you choose to eat.
To shed some light: Collagen is a type of protein, and works with keratin to provide the skin with strength, smoothness, elasticity and resilience. It is produced by the skin and other parts of the body. When we are younger, we have an abundance of collagen in our bodies, which is why young children have such lovely shiny hair and smooth skin. However, as we grow older, the production of collagen reduces and we end up having looser skin with sagging lines and discolouration. The question is, can we boost collagen production by what we eat? YES!!!
1. Beans: In Uganda, every primary and secondary school child in boarding school has ingested a good amount of beans! Well, beans actually help your body produce a vital anti-ageing substance called hyaluronic acid. A large spoon of beans daily is a good addition to your diet. To shed some light: Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide (carbohydrate) in the human body. It’s present in large amounts in the spaces between skin cells, where it provides moisture, plumpness, firmness and suppleness to the skin.
2. Spinach: Do not underestimate the power of this leafy vegetable. Spinach is rich in nutrients and antioxidants which are vital for healthy skin and hair. It is loaded with lutein, which keeps your eyes healthy and sparkling. Spinach is also a good source of vitamins B, C, and E, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. So, as you enjoy your lettuce, supplement it with spinach every so often. Check arcsfl.com/.
3. Tomatoes: These fleshy fruits are good for skin burns and inflammation when applied directly on the skin. For the inside, tomatoes are one of the best sources of the anti-aging antioxidant lycopene. Research has it that lycopene in tomatoes is more easily absorbed by your body when it is cooked or processed, so make sure to stock up on tomato juice and ketchup on your journey to healthy skin and hair.
4. Chicken and Turkey: NOT Chicken in Turkey!!!! These 2 foods contain a vital protein called carnosine that slows down a process in the skin called cross-linking. During skin-linking, fibres grow into the collagen of the skin making it stiff and inelastic. This then stops it snapping back when you do things like smile, laugh or frown – and this is what causes smile lines or crow’s feet. Carnosine is vital for slowing down this process so enjoy chicken or turkey at least twice a week for healthy skin and hair.
5. Sweet Potatoes: This super food is great for hair and skin! If your hair is dry and has lost its shine – sweet potatoes! If your skin dry and has lost its glow – sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are filled with a great antioxidant called beta carotene. Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin A. That helps protect against dry, dull hair and skin. It also encourages the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid called sebum, hence the resultant shine. The Bakiga of Uganda are well known for enjoying sweet potatoes! Try having them roasted and enjoy with a cup of tea in the evening. Sweet potatoes for healthy skin and hair!
6. Garlic: This root has stood the test of time and is truly one of nature’s best medicines. Garlic also helps prevent breakouts and maintain clear skin. To make the most of its naturally antibiotic compounds, it’s best to crush or chop garlic and leave it on the cutting board for a few minutes before cooking and adding it to the food when it is almost ready. Better still, chew it or swallow it. Did I mention that garlic is great for healthy hair and a healthy body too?
7. Eggs: Last I checked, there are more than 10 ways of preparing eggs. Whether you enjoy them fried for breakfast or boiled and sliced cold over a green salad, eggs are serious healthy-skin-and-hair helpers. One of their key ingredients is sulphur, an essential nutrient that helps with everything from vitamin B absorption to liver function (your body’s detox organ). Naturally, sulphur is also necessary for the production of collagen and keratin, which help create and maintain shiny locks, strong nails and glowing skin. Ever wondered why we egg treatments for hair or egg masks for the skin? Now you know!
8. Pineapple: Very sweet and high in vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain. Bromelain is known to be an effective skin softener. Drinking pineapple juice and munching on the fruit help the body synthesize collagen, which supports skin structure, while vitamin C and amino acids help with cell and tissue repair, giving you a youthful appearance. It is a delicious dessert too!
9. Dark Chocolate: There’s an on-going myth that chocolate makes people fat and that it causes pimples. Be not deceived! Dark chocolate, specifically, is really is good for your skin. In studies in Germany, it was found that after drinking a cocoa-packed drink, blood flow to the skin was boosted (meaning it gets higher levels of nutrients and moisture). It also seemed to be more protected against UV damage – the number-one skin ager. Only dark chocolate contains enough antioxidants to have effects, though.
10. Water: My list would be incomplete without this vital component of our nutrition and diet. “It is possible for a person to survive for many days and weeks without solid food, it is not that easy without water. Water is the most essential requirement of a functioning body. Water forms about 50-70% of the human body.” Water is good for your skin. Water is good for your hair. Water is good for your body. Water is life!
“One of the key points to keep in mind is that it is possible to provide everything your body needs to produce collagen by eating a balanced diet.” The quality of your skin and hair and the overall health of your body shall testify to the addition of these foods in your diet. You will see the difference. Use Livara for the outside, eat healthy and your healthy glowing flawless skin from the inside out is but a step away.