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General – August 10, 2011

Skin & Food

By Neka Pasquale, Founder of Urban Remedy

Acupuncture views nutrition in a complex light, through the application of Oriental medicine to dietary habits. In short, certain foods are considered too yang, or hot, to eat in excess during the warmer months, while others are prized for their yin ability to cool the body. Overall, the goal is balance between the internal yin and yang of the body.

A healthy meal plan full of nutrition, and getting good quality sleep and moderate exercise can keep your skin and physical form at their best. Be sure to integrate the following items into your diet to keep you looking your best!

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes – Healthy skin is directly dependent on nutrition, including the amount of vitamin A in our diet. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful elements in our skin, helping to prevent wrinkles, resist infection, and maintain the skin’s elasticity. One of the best places to get vitamin A is raw vegetables that are deep orange in color.

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Plums – In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food. Antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect cells from damage and disintegration, thus guarding against premature aging.

Salmon, Walnuts, Olive Oil, and Flax Seed – Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility, but because the body cannot produce its own EFAs, they must be obtained through the nutrition of your meal plan. Fish, walnuts, and flaxseed oil are among the best sources for omega-3 fatty acid. Eating good-quality olive oil helps keep skin lubricated, so it looks and feels healthier overall. Which olive oil is the best for your skin? Those labeled “cold pressed”, “expeller processed”, or “extra virgin” are the least processed forms. As a result, they contain the highest levels of antioxidants.

Whole Wheat Bread, Brown Rice, Turkey, Tuna, and Brazil Nuts – Selenium is an antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity and healthy skin. It may play an important role in preventing skin cancer, as some recent studies are showing that skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.

Green Tea – Green tea’s ability to slow down the development of some signs of aging is attributed to its high level of polyphenols, which have been well-documented for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea may help prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer according to a study published recently in the Archives of Dermatology, which shows that whether taken orally or applied to the skin, green tea can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Water – Hydration plays a key role in keeping skin cells healthy. It is essential to maintaining your skin’s elasticity and suppleness. Keeping cells hydrated helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out, which helps keep skin clean and clear.

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