Age, genetics, sun exposure … Various factors influence and determine the state of the skin. Food is one of them and, to know how to enhance their care from within, CuídatePlus has contacted some nutrition experts.
Hydration is essential for the health of the skin, so “water contained in food and water as a drink is one of the most important livelihoods to consider,” says Luis Hidalgo Abenza, dean of the Official College of Dieticians- Nutritionists of the Region of Murcia (Codinmur). Regarding the oxidation of the skin, “we have antioxidants, which help protect us from the sun, in addition to other functions of interest”.
“Whether there is a nutritional deficit, a lack of hydration or an excess of toxins, the skin will be affected. This organ acts as a reflection of the general state of the organism and indicates if there are alterations, “says Eva Rodríguez, registered dietitian-nutritionist of a consultation with the same name in Santander. The most generous amounts of those nutrients needed to maintain healthy skin “are found in green leafy vegetables, which delay the appearance of wrinkles.”
Collagen influences, to a large extent, the healing capacity of the skin. This protein helps to heal wounds, fractures, contusions and hemorrhages; and in its formation “certain types of nutrients participate”. The proteins of high biological value “are essential for the formation of collagen and elastin, responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin respectively”.
Natural yogurt, exemplifies the nutritionist, “contains this type of protein.” On the other hand, “water-soluble vitamins such as riboflavin, pyridoxine and thiamin”, also influence the formation of collagen, although to a lesser extent.
Regarding vitamins, Hidalgo emphasizes C, “because it favors resistance to leukocyte infections”; K, “because it participates in the process of blood coagulation”; and A, “which is an antioxidant that contributes to the maintenance, growth and repair of skin tissue, among others”. As for the minerals that intervene in the skin, the dean emphasizes the importance of zinc, which “helps the body to synthesize proteins and develop collagen.”
Tips for cooking
Unfortunately, all the mentioned nutrients “can easily be lost during cooking”, warns Rodríguez. To avoid this, he makes some recommendations: “You should cook the vegetables in little water, at high temperature and for a short time”. It is also advisable to add a splash of lemon to the cooking water, which “will make the pH more acidic, thus avoiding the loss of some vitamins sensitive to alkaline pH”.
On the other hand, “it is better to cut fruits and vegetables just before consuming them and, in the case of fruit, better if it is raw.” A part, as you might think, “the vegetables should remain in a cool place and protected from sunlight, so to prolong its shelf life.”
When we subject foods to high temperatures, “they affect them directly by modifying their nutritional composition,” warns the dean. For this reason, he assures that the most successful cooking method in this sense is steam. There are multiple methods for steaming, but lekué avoids the need to add water to vegetables.
Consuming seasonal foods has a great advantage: “They conserve their nutrients better because they suffer less temperature aggression during the trip from the field to the table.” Among all the variety of winter season foods, to take care of our skin, Hidalgo recommends lettuce “for its water content”; citrus fruits and strawberries “for their water content and vitamin C”; and tomatoes “because of their considerable amount of antioxidants.”