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A Diet for a More Beautiful You By Nazia Afsoon

  in Wellness, Fitness and Diet | Published 2009-10-22 10:30:54 | 523 Reads | Unrated

Summary

A Diet for a More Beautiful You Vitamins and antioxidants in your diet may help make your skin glow and your smile bright.

Full Content

It’s true: You are what you eat, and consuming foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants may benefit you both inside and out. Antioxidants may help lower cholesterol, reduce your risk of certain cancers, promote good circulation, support healthy gums, and protect your skin. Many skin and beauty experts also believe that antioxidants are a key factor in maintaining a

spx">healthy and youthful appearance.

Vitamins and Antioxidants for Skin Health

Age, stress, sun exposure, pollution, and smoking can contribute to a reduction in the concentration of antioxidants in the skin, which may lead to visible signs of damage, such as wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. A few antioxidants that studies suggest may be particularly beneficial to the skin are vitamin E, flavonoids, and vitamin C.

Vitamin E, also called tocopherol, is an antioxidant that may benefit the cellular membranes and “oily” structures in the skin. Because skin is high in unsaturated fatty acids, which are especially susceptible to oxidation, it is speculated that this fat-soluble vitamin aids in skin protection. Sunflower seeds, almonds, and avocado are all good sources of vitamin E.

Flavonoids, a class of antioxidants, may also protect skin against free-radical damage, particularly damage that results from the sun’s UV rays. Green tea, grapes and grape juice (including wine), and blueberries all contain significant concentrations of flavonoids.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C may do more than neutralize cell-damaging free radical activity; it may also aid in the production of collagen. It is believed that vitamin C works synergistically with both vitamin E and flavonoids to improve the antioxidant capacity of each substance. Citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, are good sources of vitamin C.

The trace mineral selenium may also help prevent UV damage by working with other nutrients to prevent oxidative stress. Excellent sources of selenium include mushrooms, salmon, and Brazil nuts.

Vitamins and Antioxidants for Oral Health

For many, practicing good oral health may be limited to brushing, flossing, and an annual trip to the dentist’s office. But diet and nutrition are also important factors in maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Research suggests that total antioxidant levels may contribute to significant reductions in the incidents of periodontal disease, a condition that causes damage to gums and bones supporting the teeth. Vitamin C may also help to maintain healthy gums by aiding in the repair of the gum’s connective fibers and promoting growth in bones affected by the disease.

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