Many tend to rely on the external route to get clear, healthy skin. While rows of creams and lotions may work their magic, a holistic and natural diet should always be your primary choice to get there.
While we know that healthy eating is pivotal to fitness, we seem to forget this connection when it comes to healthy skin. We spoke to Dr. Aparna Santhanam, renowned dermatologist and author of ‘Skin Deep’ to figure out just how much of a difference the right diet can really make to our skin.
Modern life can wreak havoc on one’s diet choices
Between meetings and hectic work hours, we barely find the time to grab a bite at lunch. Even when we do, we tend to opt for quick , greasy, processed food that leaves us with hunger pangs an hour later. “Shortage of time, increased convenience and more affordability have made eating out a regular affair,” says Dr. Aparna. “People keep a track of their calorie intake but it’s actually the calorie density that matters more. Crash diets can help short-term goals but they prove to be deficient in nutrients in the long run”, she continues. Such deficiencies show on one’s skin sooner or later. Instead of ordering food, spare a few minutes the previous night to pack yourself a nutritious, home cooked lunch.
Misconceptions around healthy eating
If you’ve always thought eating right meant stodgy, boring food every day, you could be mistaken. “The right diet plan cuts out processed food, includes healthy fats and is balanced”, comments Dr. Santhanam. Health, she says, has always been equated with weight loss but it actually reflects in other parts of the body as well; prime among them being the hair and skin. “These two are the first indicators of a healthy diet.” She continues, “It’s important to include seasonal produce in your diet for variety, to cover the essential food groups and so that you eat well-rounded meals all year round.
Say no to bad choices
You know how they say the best things in life are fattening, immoral or addictive? Well, this holds true for food choices as well. While an extra spoon of sugar or Pad Thai takeaway might not seem like much, it doesn’t bode well for your skin. “Foods that are high in sugar, are processed or contain MSG are inflammatory in nature. This can affect one’s skin greatly and cause it to become oily, blotchy and pimple-ridden,” concludes Dr. Aparna.
Key ingredients in your food
“Opt for anti-oxidant rich foods which prevent free radicals from affecting your skin”, says Dr. Santhanam. “Also ensure that the food you choose has plenty of Vitamins A, C and E as well as Omega 3 to provide your skin with the right nutrition.” A healthy diet that is filled with such nutrients works from the inside out to make your skin taut and smooth.
Eat by colour
“Include bright coloured vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin, tomatoes, beetroot, capsicum and pomegranates in your diet. They’re anti-inflammatory in nature and help heal skin damage,” says Dr. Aparna. In addition to these, proteins and carbs are also dietary essentials. “Natural dietary protein and complex carbohydrates like jowar and bajra help rebuild the structure of the body so that your skin is healthy and firm.”
That’s all you need to eat your way to great skin!