Does water improve skin appearance? Although, research is limited, it probably does. Consider the appearance of a fresh piece of fruit compared to a dehydrated one.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a higher intake of oily fish may lower the incidence of certain skin cancers. Oily fish is also an excellent source of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory agent which may also reduce acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Oily fish include halibut, salmon, mackerel, and tuna.
A study by the Center of Experimental and Cutaneous Physiology (CCP), Berlin, Germany, revealed that a high level of antioxidant intake reduced incidence of wrinkles and deep lines compared to individuals who had a low level of antioxidants.
In addition, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, antioxidants were found to offer protection against the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays from the sun. These rays potentially lead to skin damage and premature aging, an increased production of free radicals, and cancer.
Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, chocolate, and tea. There are many kinds of antioxidants. Vitamin A, one type of antioxidant, helps with skin regeneration, elasticity, and helps skin appear more revitalized. Because antioxidants, in general, cannot be produced by the body, thus nutrition is important. Sources of vitamin A include spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C promotes the growth of collagen, the proteins that keep the skin young and vibrant. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that women who had higher intakes of vitamin C and Omega 6s, in addition to a lower fat and carbohydrate diet had better skin-aging appearance. Foods high in vitamin C and antioxidants include blackberries, oranges, kiwis, pomegranates, and strawberries.
One study published by the American Journal of Clinical nutrition found that a diet high in meats and fat was associated with a higher risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma tumors (skin cancer), especially in people with an existing history of skin cancer. A high intake of fruits and vegetables showed a 54% reduction in the rate of squamous cell carcinoma.
Bottom line; healthy nutrition is a health and beauty treatment, so eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat fish and nuts and seeds in moderation and consume plenty of fluids.
Nada Jawahery is the Registered Dietician at Royal Bahrain Hospital and is a member of, and licensed by, the American Dietetics Association. For more information call 17246832 or email: Nada.Jawahery@royalbhrn.com