Eating and Hydrating for Optimum Skin Health

water1Your skin is the largest organ of your body and contains 3 layers of a semi-permeable covering that protects your other organs and manages the passage of substances in & out of your blood. Even though the skin seems durable it is surprisingly susceptible to damage both from the environment in which we live & from within our own bodies. The body uses nutrients from the foods and beverages it consumes in order to repair skin cells, replace damaged cells and maintain cell integrity. Certain foods can provide particular health benefits that can protect your skin and even maximize its elasticity. The old saying that “you are what you eat” holds true in this case since that what you eat directly affects the condition of your skin and how well it ages. Eating a good diet rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals is essential to optimum skin health and the look and feel of your skin.

Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants such as vitamin C, which draw free-radicals out of your body, decreasing or preventing their damaging effects. Ingestion of vitamin C can help increase fruitsveggiescollagen production which can slow or in some cases reverse the signs of aging. Certain ones are particularly high in antioxidants that can protect your skin, including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, green leafy vegetables, artichoke hearts, and yellow or orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, citrus fruits and cantaloupe. Sorbitol is very good for your skin also and is found in grapes and berries, plums and pears and seaweeds and algae which help the skin retain moisture and so acts as a natural moisturizer. One particular seaweed is found around the coast of Japan called phytessence wakame and has been consumed by the Japanese culture for centuries both fresh & dried and is very a very good food for skin elasticity.

A diet rich in B Complex is essential for skin health. Biotin is integral in the production of skin, nail and hair cells. In fact, a deficiency of biotin can manifest in hair loss. Niacin, another B vitamin, assists skin with moisture retention. Niacin has also proven effective at increasing skin plumpness and youthful appearance. It is also useful in reducing inflammation in dry skin and evening skin tone. Foods high in these vitamins include turkey, tuna, lentils, bananas, wheat bran, potatoes, tempeh, barley and oats.

Nuts, Beans and Legumes

Nuts, beans and legumes are plant sources of proteins that your body uses to replace dead skin cells. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts also contain vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that protects your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.  There are however concerns about its toxicity, so the maximum recommended dosage is limited to 400 IU per day. Nuts also provide biotin, a B vitamin that is responsible for the production of your skin cells. Beans, peas and legumes contain minerals such as copper, which improve the elasticity of your skin by supporting its structure. Vitamin E can be found in foods such as olive oil, nuts, pumpkin seeds and almonds.

Fatty Fish

Omega-3 and omega-6 (linoleic acid) are considered “good fats”.  Foods such as salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds and walnuts are sources of essential fatty acids, including the omega-3 fatty acids. These fats, which cannot be manufactured by your body, are necessary for the production of the oils that keep your skin lubricated, soft and pliable. These help provide structure for cell membranes and help maintain the flexibility of your skin. A deficiency of essential fatty acids can lead to scaly, dry, inflamed skin that has impaired elasticity. One of the good fats that help improve your skin health is omega 3. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your health generally and it is also very good for your skin but it is quite difficult to ensure adequate levels of omega 3 in your diet unless you regularly eat large quantities of oily fish or take a supplement.

Water

As much as 65 percent of your body is made of water, which isn’t considered a food, but is an essential nutrient. Water also helps maintain the elasticity of your skin. Whether it be still, sparkling, bottled or tap water, drinking an average of eight glasses a day will guarantee a good level of skin hydration supporting the overall elasticity.

water2Fact: The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. A rule of thumb, 2/3 of body is consists of water, and it is the main component of human body.

Body tissues and organs are mainly made up of water

  • Muscle consists of 75% water
  • Brain consists of 90% of water
  • Bone consists of 22% of water
  • Blood consists of 83% water 

Common functions of water in human body:

  • Look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity
  • Better Productivity at work since your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated.
  • Better exercise since drinking water regulates your body temperature. That means you’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water also helps fuel your muscles.
  • Suppresses the appetite naturally helps the body metabolize stored fat.
  • Helps in digestion and constipation because drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement.
  • Less cramps and sprains since proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you’ll less likely get cramps and sprains.
  • Less likely to become ill and feel healthy as drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack. Water adds with lemon is used for ailments like respiratory disease, intestinal problems, rheumatism and arthritis etc. In another words one of the benefits of drinking water is that it can improve your immune system
  • Relieves fatigue because water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body. If your body lacks water, your heart, for instance, needs to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, so are the rest of the vital organs, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.
  • Good mood since when your body feels good, you feel happy.
  • Reduces the risk of cancer according to some studies. They suggest that drinking a healthy amount of water also reduces the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water destroys the cancer-causing agents and reduces the risk of different types of cancer.
  • Solves Bad Breath and bad breath is a clear sign that your body needs more water. Your saliva helps your teeth free from bacteria and keeps our tongue hydrated. So, whenever you suffer from bad breath, the first thing that you need to do is drink plenty of water. Also you can use water to rinse your mouth properly to get rid of food particles and bacteria that may be stuck in between your teeth and gum line.
  • Helps reduce fluid retention. When the body gets less water, it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is stored in extracellular spaces (outside the cell). This shows up as swollen feet, legs and hands.
  • A new research has revealed how drinking water helps lose weight. However, have you ever thought why water consumption and weight loss make such a great combination? Here is the answer for you.
  • Aids with weight loss.
    • Drinking water helps kidneys to remove toxins. However, if the body does not have enough water, liver has to perform this function. As a result, liver loses its power to burn excess fat in the body.
    • As we all know, water helps in digestion. If you are thinking how it helps in losing weight, then you must know that nutrients remain unabsorbed due to the lack of enough water. Moreover, the kidney also fails to excrete waste from the body thus causing irregular bowel movement.
    • The benefits of water for weight loss are myriad. Water also acts as an appetite suppressant when you drink water between meals.
    • Body weight doesn’t only include fats or pounds, but some excess water weight as well. So, to get rid of that, what you need to do is drink more water to ensure proper functioning of kidney and removal of unwanted liquids from your body.

Every cell in your body needs water from head to toe. That is why it is so important to drink enough fluid. Take for example, brain consists of 90% of water, if you do not supply enough water to your body, your brain cannot function well, and you will get headache or migraine. Hence, next time, if you feel fatigue and headache, it may be the sign of dehydration. 

Common signs of Dehydration:

  • Dark Urine: Dark Yellow or Orange in Color: Urine is generally pale yellow to clear when you have sufficient water intake. Dark color or strong smell indicates that you need to drink more water.
  • Lack of elasticity of your skin: If you skin doesn’t bounce back when gently pinched, you probably need to drink more water to plump up your skin cells.
  • Dry Skin: Skin is the largest body organ and requires its share of water.
  • Thirst: Thirst is the most obvious sign that you’re already dehydrated. It is always a good practice to drink more water when you are not thirsty, don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
  • Hunger: Most people mistake hunger for the indication to eat more, whereas in actual fact, they may be dehydrated. So before you have your meal, grab a glass of water.
  • Fatigue: Water is a source of energy and gives you a boost in energy.

The Harmful Effects Result from Dehydration:

  • Tiredness
  • Migraine
  • Constipation
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irregular blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Dry skin
  • 20% dehydrated – Risk of death

When Should You Drink Water?

  • Wake up and drink the water. Your body loses water while you sleep, so drink a glass before you go to sleep, and again when you wake up. Try drinking a cup before or after you brush your teeth in the morning and at night. Then, there are only six more cups to go!
  • Drink water throughout the day.
  • When it’s hot. Aim for cool water, which is absorbed much more quickly than warm fluids and may help to cool off an overheated body.
  • Drink as you exercise. When you exercise, carry a water bottle and drink water throughout the exercise period. One needs to drink two cups of water for each pound lost to perspiration.
  • Drink when you’re ill. Even though you don’t feel like it, you especially need water when you’re not eating because you’re under the weather. You’ll dehydrate and feel much worse. Common colds and the flu can also lead to dehydration. Inertia sets in, even with the water bottle next to you. 

Different Types of Water:

Distilled water is one of the purest forms of water which is obtained by the distillation process. Distillation process involves boiling water, followed by condensation. Distilled water does not contain any impurities, salts or minerals and is generally obtained by heating normal tap water to its boiling point so that it changes to vapor and then, the vapor is condensed and collected in the form of distilled water. The process is repeated several times. You can drink distilled water but it lacks important minerals essential for the body. Thus, distilled water providers add health minerals to distilled water in specific quantities. Distilled water does not contain even a single microscopic impurity. The health benefits of distilled water include detoxification which means it helps to cleanse the toxic materials from the body and is completely chlorine free as excessive exposure to chlorine can be poisonous. One of the benefits of distilled water is prevention from kidney stones as mineral or tap water contain calcium which sometimes lead to stones. But as distilled water is completely free from any mineral, there is no chance of having such stones.  Toothpaste and packaged drinking water lead to fluorosis of dental enamel. Distilled water does not have any such properties as it lacks fluorine.

Alkaline water is created when normal tap water passes through ionizers; it gets differentiated into acid and alkaline water. The presence of minerals in hard tap water may offer a chalky taste but on ionizing, the alkaline water produced has a sweet and refreshing taste. The alkaline water health benefits are attributable to the presence of mineral ions, such as calcium, magnesium, iron etc. which leads to the elimination of acidic toxic waste from the body. Alkaline water maintains optimum pH in the body and water improves cell performance, helps in flushing out toxins and acids which further increases oxygen consumption, its anti-oxidant property helps prevent aging and wrinkles, and further improves hydration and circulation of body fluid. Alkaline water helps in energizing your body which is quite good for your heart and drinking it lowers the blood pressure. One of the alkaline drinking water health benefits includes removal of toxic and harmful waste from human body as well as helps with the removal of cancerous cells present it the body. It has been noted to assist in weight loss and provides more stamina and enhances vision and improves concentration and focus.

Lemon water not only makes a refreshing, health drink which anyone could drink to stay in perfect shape, but you will be surprised to know about the benefits of water with lemon.  Lemon water benefits involve strengthening of immune system which further protects the body from flu and infections, aids in digestion as the lemon juice has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, and lemons are proven to have the anti-ageing properties, so they are very useful in treating wrinkles and facial spots. Lemon with water reduces appetite as it contains pectin which starves off hunger and helps with weight loss and acts as a diuretic which enhances the production of urine and thus, cleans the urinary tract. Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C and hence, act as antioxidants. They remove harmful toxins and radicals from body and improve immune system. Lemon juice also stops nosebleeds and also controls bleeding gums. Lemon water reduces fever as lemons have antiseptic and natural medical values. As lemons are acidic in nature, the benefits of lemon in water also include maintaining pH balance and restoring alkaline-acidic balance. Lemon boosts your immune system and prevents you from flu and viral infections and when used for cleaning teeth prevents bleeding gums and relieves tooth pain. Drinking warm lemon water helps in digestion and stimulates gastrointestinal tract and flushes out toxins from your body and improves metabolism

Coconut water is mainly the clear liquid found inside young coconuts and considered to be very beneficial for health. Some important benefits of drinking coconut water are attributable to its low content of fats, carbohydrate and calories. Other health benefits of drinking coconut water include the presence of antioxidants, high potassium and magnesium, which act as electrolytes and help in hydration. Coconut water is considered the best natural drink especially in summers as it hydrates and rehydrates your body and is 99% fat free.  Research shows that the cytokines present in the coconut water has anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic and anti-thrombotic effects and coconut water contains bioactive enzymes like acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. that collectively help in digestion and metabolism. Coconut water is a rich source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and foliates, which are essential for the body and contains a high amount of potassium, which acts as an electrolyte and helps during diarrhea. Coconut water is also a source of vitamin C, a natural anti-oxidant. It can even help cure a hangover as alcoholic drinks dehydrate and result in hangovers. To replenish and rehydrate the body, no other drink can work better than coconut water does!

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