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How to eat your way to happier, healthier skin

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By Lutho Pasiya Time of article publishedSep 16, 2021

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It seems like every day there’s a new magic skin-care product out there, promising to wash away all your wrinkles and make your skin glow like the sun.

While the cosmetics aisle is often the first place we turn to in search of healthier skin, there’s a natural (and usually cheaper) option to consider first: food.

Dr Sivuyile Madikana, of Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board Southern Africa, says good skin starts in the gut.

Madikana says the skin is the largest organ in the body, making up about 16% of total body mass. He says, when stretched out, it could fit about half the size of a tennis court.

“It is important that we take care of this organ, which plays a vital role in protecting the body from environmental stressors, like radiation, pollution, the sun, and microbial germs. It also helps regulate body temperature, which is important to one’s survival, and stores water, fat, vitamin D, etc. So, you can imagine, with such vital functions – there is a lot at stake. Another function of skin, that people spend lots of money working on, is appearance.

“A youthful and clear skin appearance at that. There are a number of things we can do, especially in eating correctly, that will add a lifetime of change in how we look. But more importantly, how we feel and perceive ourselves. There are also habits that we can let go of, in the pursuit of better skin, to ensure we grow in radiance. Here are my six habits and tips for good skin,” says Madikana.

Below are his six habits and tips for good skin.

Hydration

The body is made up of 60% water and it is essential for us to provide ourselves with the right amount of hydration.

We always hear that there is a set number of cups needed a day in order to keep hydrated – literature suggests that we need about 8-12 cups of water a day.

However, it’s important to remember there are many sources of water that we consume, such as high content water items like watermelons, oranges, strawberries, etc. And these should be counted in our daily water calculations.

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are seeds that are rich in an Omega-3 fatty acid called Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). They are good for the skin, as they reduce the harmful effects of Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation from the sun, smoking, and pollution.

They also help with dry skin and lessen the appearance of wrinkles. Tri-Blend Select, a great vegan option, is a good source of organic flaxseeds and fibre. When flaxseeds are pressed, they can produce what we call flaxseed oil, which is great for making the skin smoother and more supple.

Kiwis

Who would have thought that kiwis contained more vitamin C than oranges? Kiwis are a powerful source of Vitamin C.

They help the skin keep fresh and looking younger. This is because Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, that helps clean up free radicals that damage the skin. It also helps with the hydration of the skin and boosting collagen production. More kiwis for everyone!

Green tea

An oldie but a goodie. Green tea contains polyphenols – which are a family of naturally occurring organic compounds from plants.

Plant polyphenols, from green tea leaves, have antioxidant and other anti-inflammatory properties, which help prevent oxidative stress caused by environmental damage. They reduce signs of ageing and fine lines as well.

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