Northside SF
Health Matters
Vibrant Skin Starts From The Inside Out
When it comes to whole grains it’s all about fiber, fiber, fiber photo:
What you feed your body today turns up on your skin tomorrow. We’ve all experienced under-eye puffiness after a salty meal or dehydrated, tired skin after a night of too many margaritas. But when we eat healthfully, does it really make a difference for our skin? Although it can sometimes be difficult to measure the more subtle effects of good health on the skin, rest assured there are many. Skin cell formation begins deep in the layers of the skin in the dermis, where capillaries feed nutrients and oxygen. If the nutrition is in abundance, a stronger, healthier cell can grow; if the nutrients are low, the cell will inevitably suffer. A healthful diet significantly delays the rate of aging, brings more firmness, and creates skin radiance free of breakouts.

Water is the essence of life and the first key to healthy skin. It flushes out waste and allows skin cells to work optimally. It is also plumps cells, creating a dewy, youthful complexion. Think of a skin cell as a grape. When a grape is healthy, it is full of water, firm, smooth, and even in color. When it is dehydrated like a raisin, it loses structure, shrivels, wrinkles, and turns brown in color. The same goes for the skin. Make sure you’re getting six to eight glasses of water a day, but equally important is eating watery fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, melons and bell peppers.

No matter what your current skin condition, antioxidants can help. As our cells create energy, clear out toxins, and fight off invaders, they make a toxic by-product called free radicals. Unhealthful food choices and daily environmental exposure to smoke, pollution and UVA/UVB rays also contribute to this toxic overload, creating even more free radicals that can run rampant in the body. Antioxidants in the form of vitamins A, C, E, and the mineral zinc are powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radical damage. Without proper defense tools like antioxidants, you not only age faster, but free radical damage is now widely accepted as a factor in a number of chronic diseases. The best way to get antioxidants is from a diet rich in color and variety from whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to whole grains it’s all about fiber, fiber, fiber. If you want a healthy digestive system, you need something to scrape it clean, and this is exactly what fiber does. The tough hulls of whole grains work like Brillo pads on the small intestines keeping them clean and allowing for maximum absorption of nutrients. Choose breads, pastas and tortillas that include the words “whole wheat” or “whole grain” at the top of the ingredient list.

Fruits and vegetables should be eaten raw or prepared lightly steamed because overcooking quickly destroys delicate enzymes structures. Try to eat at least one raw salad a day, even if it’s a side dish. Whenever possible buy organic, or better yet, shop at your local farmers’ market. Not only will the produce be more nutrient dense, it will last longer and taste better because it is fresher. Healthy, vibrant skin starts from the inside out. Professional skin-care treatments and products only enhance what you’ve already been feeding your skin on a daily basis. Nutritionally balanced skin also means you’ll see the effect of a professional treatment longer, and that you’ll need to apply less home-care products in general, which helps to save you money in the end. Good health always pays off in more ways than one.

Jenny Tamayo is a holistic licensed esthetician at Senspa.

March 2012
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