Friday, February 22, 2008

Skin care from inside out -- use botanical sources to improve your look and feeling

Botanicals to rescue the look of your skin


Skin care from the inside

By Lenore S. Greenstein

Is it possible to eat your way to smoother, healthier skin? According to the latest research, changing your diet can help you look younger. New studies have shown that two nutrients, namely vitamin C and a fat called omega-6 linoleic acid, helped to prevent those inevitable wrinkles and thinning of the skin that comes with age.
A recent study of more than 4,000 women between the ages of 40 and 74, reported in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," showed that women who ate more foods rich in vitamin C were less likely to have wrinkles, as well as higher intakes of omega-6 linoleic acid were associated with less dryness and atrophy of the skin.

On the minus side, an increase in certain kinds of fats and carbohydrates also increased the likelihood of aging skin.

Skin aging was defined as a wrinkled appearance or dryness as a result of aging and skin thinning or atrophy.

Researchers claimed that this is the first skin-aging study to concentrate on daily intake of nutrients from food, rather than supplements. Dermatologists even did clinical examinations of the skin to gauge the appearance of the women's skin.

Women who reported lower intakes of vitamin C in their diets were found to have the highest incidences of wrinkled and dry skin.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can boost your immune system and has also been shown to play a role in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that helps retain the skin's elasticity.

Some of the best sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, strawberries, red bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, papaya, guava and kiwi.

Eating more linoleic acid, the omega-6 fatty acid found in abundance in nuts, whole grains, vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower corn and soybean, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, eggs, and poultry, also proved to be associated with more youthful skin.
And finally, do not forget Omega 5 oil from the seeds of pomegranates which for centuries has been known to have health benefits.

This type of fat is very common in the American diet, especially since corn oil is found in a wide variety of foods, so it may not be necessary to increase the amount you are consuming unless you are on a low-fat dietary regimen.

The biggest offenders of unhealthy skin are foods high in saturated fats such as red meat, full-fat dairy products, butter, lard, dark-meat poultry and oils that are used in fried foods, fast food, desserts and creamy sauces.

Excessive fat and trans-fats are not healthy for your heart so substituting olive oil and omega-3 rich fats in fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseed will achieve an all-around improvement in your nutrition lifestyle.

While a diet high in carbohydrates was shown to increase the aging of the skin, all carbohydrates are not bad for you. It is beneficial to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat every day, while reducing the amount of processed carbs such as white breads, pastas, rice and sugar-filled foods like cookies, cakes and candy.

You may also find a benefit from the use of certain foods in skin products such as masques, moisturizers, scrubs and cleansers. Oatmeal, avocado and yogurt are just a few of the ingredients that are popular in commercial as well as homemade scrubs and masques.

OMEGA 5 oil in a bottle -- the older version of the POMEGA5 brand

Recommendations for a healthier-looking skin would not be complete without a final word to:
A) Stay hydrated (especially in the warm weather in Southwest Florida) by drinking enough water;
B) Moisturize your skin to keep it smooth and avoid dryness;
C) Wear sunscreen to avoid the damaging ultraviolet rays that can hurt your skin and cause pre-mature aging.

- Lenore S. Greenstein is an award-winning journalist who has written on nutrition, health and wellness for publications in Florida, Massachusetts and Ohio. She holds a master's degree in nutrition education and has been an adjunct professor of nutrition at colleges and universities, and a consultant to health spas, physicians and health-care facilities. Read her Sun Times columns on the Web at, click Lifestyles.
Ethel and Rose -- the O'maelevy sisters


1 comment:

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