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Super foods for super skin

8th April 2012  : 

When it comes to encouraging healthy skin, it's not just a case of which foods to eat, but when to eat them.

Acne affects the outer layer of skin, or epidermis, and is triggered by excessive production of sebum, a natural oily lubricant. Problems arise when sebum binds with keratin to block pores and cause inflammation.

Fluctuation in hormone levels is the commonest cause of an increase in sebum. Stress, certain types of cosmetics, and sunbathing, can also play a part. Eating regular meals will help balance hormone levels and reduce stress.

Acne treatments can diminish acne scarring and improve your complexion. To support this, you can give your skin a boost by nourishing it from within.

Start your day with a good breakfast - preferably containing whole grains, and nuts and seeds which are rich in magnesium. This will kick start your healthy skin regime and pack an impressive energy punch to see you through the day.

Try sprinkling your cereal with sunflower seeds, which are full of vitamin E. Not only is vitamin E a powerful antioxidant, it's also used in scar treatments to lessen the appearance of scars and blemishes.

Don't skip meals - and make sure you include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables with lunch and dinner. Green leafy vegetables are full of skin nutrients. Spinach, in particular, is a good source of iron and zinc.

Zinc is an efficient acne deterrent that can be found in eggs and mushrooms.

Carrots provide a vital source of vitamin A, which is essential for any healthy skin diet. Carrots also contain biotin, vitamins K, C and B6, potassium and thiamine, all of which help skin cells stay healthy.

Spice things up a bit - if all those vegetables sound rather bland, try adding some garlic and ginger. Both contain natural antibiotics which tackle bacterial infections.

Avoid foods with high levels of saturated fats as these are bad for your complexion, and your arteries.

Some fats are good - Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are rich in Omega 3 (an essential fatty acid) and contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Olive and sesame oil are both excellent sources of fatty acids, which help to nourish skin and keep it acne free.

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