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Eating Your Way To Healthy Skin
The health and appearance of our skin tells a lot about our general health. Many will spend a small fortune on anti-aging creams, and lament the loss of youthful tone, but the secret to naturally beautiful skin for a large part relies on our diet. It is easy to forget in our vain society that the skin is an organ, our largest organ at that, responsible for heat regulation, toxin elimination, warding off external toxins and viruses, and providing telling clues to diseases.
Practitioners of Chinese and Aryuvedic medicine have utilized for centuries face mapping to determine underlying conditions. Clients with a ruddy or red complexion are thought to harbor too much “heat,” while a wan complexion may indicate blood or other deficiencies. Blemishes or redness that appear on certain parts of the face may indicate an imbalance in that organ system.
If ones digestive system is overburdened with too many processed and/or fried foods, not enough water and perhaps too much caffeine or alcohol; and an inadequate intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, the skin will eventually show this neglect. When the digestive organs are overburdened with toxins, it utilizes the eliminative process of the skin to rid itself of the excess. By choosing foods daily which counteract the aging process however, the skin will be fed from the inside out and glow naturally from the underlying nutrients.
Anti-oxidant rich foods decrease inflammation, which can lead to redness, blemishes, and patchy dryness. It is easy to choose foods with abundant anti-oxidant power think color. Blueberries, and most other berries, plums and prunes, red and yellow peppers, citrus fruits including lemons, black and red beans, all greens, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and brussell sprouts are all rich in anti-oxidants which decrease the aging process and reflect upon the health of the skin. Culinary herbs such as rosemary, basil, mint, and thyme also contain anti-oxidants, which accounts for their judicious use in preserving foods in countries that do not have refrigeration. Green tea, and to a lesser degree, black tea, are rich in poly-phenols compounds that are particularly potent anti-oxidants, besides having a host of other benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, walnuts, and the common weed purslane, are excellent for cardiovascular health and will quickly yield improvements in many inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Mono-saturated fats such as olive and avocado have a soothing effect as well, and will decrease wrinkles.
Replacing oils such as corn, soybean, and generic vegetable oils with olive, avocado, and walnut oils and consuming small amounts of butter instead of margarine, are some of the most important things anyone can do to decrease inflammation throughout the body, and thus prevent many common diseases. The reward is a more radiant complexion, reflecting an improvement in overall health.
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