Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips for Beautiful Skin

Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips for Beautiful Skin. There's truth to the saying, "Beauty starts on the inside." Proper hydration and nutrition are key components of a healthy lifestyle and beauty regimen. Explore the importance of hydration, whole foods, antioxidants, healthy fats, and more. A few easy (and delicious) changes can make all the difference.

You Are What You Eat
It doesn't really matter what you're putting on your body if you're not paying attention towhat your put in it. Nothing substitutes for good nutrition and healthy exercise.

Sometimes it's hard to make the connection between what's on our plates and what's on our faces but there's no denying there's a connection. The building blocks of your skin come directly from the nutrition you provide yourself at mealtime.

Finding quality foods is easier now than ever. Get to know your local natural foods market or health food co-op. Feeling really adventurous? Purchase a share in a local organic farm. You'll have fresh, organic veggies in season.

Once you've found a market that works for you try to fill your cart without filling up on sugar, refined flour, hydrogenated fats, and acid-forming foods like coffee, alcohol, processed foods, dairy, and meat. Instead, look for fresh fruits and veggies high in phytonutrients and antioxidants; foods high in essential fatty acids (EFA) like wild, fresh fish or flax-seed oil; and fiber from whole grains like steel cut oats and whole wheat breads.

Feeling overwhelmed? Try these simple daily adjustments that will help you make sure you're getting your beauty foods. This list tells you what to eat to get sufficient amounts of the following skin-boosting nutrients:
  1. Lycopene helps the body cope with free radicals that age the skin. Pack a container of strawberries, raspberries, or grapes to snack on at work. Enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner. 
  2. Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene protect the skin from UV free radical and DNA damage. Nibble on raw carrots throughout the day or dip carrots or pepper slices in hummus for a high-protein lunch.
  3. Beta crypotothanxin vitalizes skin on a cellular level: Eat a banana once a day. 
  4. Vitamin E, carotenoids, and flavonoids help renew and refresh skin. Eat lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and red or orange peppers. Drink several cups of green tea daily. 
  5. Anthocyanins, which are found in red/purplish fruits and vegetables such as purple cabbage, beets, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and purple grapes, help delay cellular aging. Spread plum preserves on your toast at breakfast and snack on baba ghanoush (Middle Eastern roasted eggplant spread) on fresh veggies or crackers. And of course, drink water! Water washes you from the inside out and helps keep skin hydrated, fresh and clear.
Protecting Your Skin from the Elements
Next to dietary changes, the best things you can do for your skin are to protect it from the sun and make sure you get enough sleep. These simple changes go by the wayside all too often in today's busy lifestyle -- but they're of paramount importance!

You need exposure to the sun to be healthy. Without some sunlight, your mood can sink into a blue funk and your body can find itself unable to process some of the vitamins it needs to function well. That said, you simply must protect your skin from the sun. UVA and UVB radiation, which occur naturally when your skin is exposed to the sun, are key players in the development of big problems, like skin cancer, as well as beauty problems like sunburn, tightness, dryness, and eventually a leathery skin consistency.

Diane Trieste, director of Spa and Product Development at Canyon Ranch, offered this advice in a recent article on skin care: "The way we view sun protection today is similar to how we used to think about seatbelts in cars. Decades ago they were a terrible inconvenience, too, but we all use them now, because they protect us." She adds this word of caution to the beauty conscious: "If you constantly use products to exfoliate, you are exposing new layers of skin. It may make your skin look fresher, but you are reducing the thickness of your outer skin layers, which weakens your natural barriers to sun damage,"

To have the naturally beautiful skin you desire you simply must protect it from the sun. Cover up when possible and make a hat, sunglasses and a sunscreen fortified with zinc oxide part of your daily routine. Make sure you read your sunscreen's application directions carefully and keep it freshly applied so it can give you the protection you deserve.

Self-care doesn't end when the sun goes down. Night time is the right time to treat your well cleansed, beautifully toned, completely moisturized, well-fed, and sun-shielded skin to a restful night of beauty sleep.
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