Skin is the most outer covering of the body. It has multiple layers of ectodermal tissues which guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Skin plays a very important function as it protects the body against pathogens and excessive water loss. Some other functions of skin are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, synthesis of vitamin D, and the protection of vitamin B folates.
Skin is composed of three primary layers:
- Epidermis this layer provides waterproofing and act as a barrier to infection
- Dermis this layer serves as a location for the appendages of skin
- Hypodermis this layer consist of subcutaneous adipose tissues
Skin is the most outer part of the body, so it has its own ecosystem in which number of micro-organisms breed depending on the type of skin i.e. oily, dry or normal. Sunlight, water and air play an important role in keeping the skin healthy. There are number of nutrients which protect skin from micro-organisms, de-pigmentation, repair and aging. Some of them are:
- Essential fatty acids
Foods that help in maintaining healthy skin
Milk and milk products:
The protein we get from dairy products makes skin firmer and smoother. So we should have at least one serving of milk and its products daily to make your complexion smoother, and we can also apply them to calm irritated, dry, or sensitive skin.
Soya protein and minerals present in soya products such as soya nuts, tofu, soya flour, soya milk reduces hyper-pigmentation and prevents from sun burns.
Oats are rich in fibre and help in detoxifying the body as well as maintain the blood sugar level due to which they help in repairing or healing of the skin as well as it secretes some hormones which delays the aging process.
It is rich in antioxidants as well as flavonoids which reduces redness or inflammation and even helps in detoxifying skin.
Nuts and Oil seeds:
Nuts like walnuts and almonds and oil seeds like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin-E which improves skin elasticity as well as protects parched body parts, such as lips and heels. They are also rich in minerals like copper which improve complexion, texture, and toughs the skin.
Fresh fruits and vegetables:
Fresh fruits and vegetables like guava, apple, papaya, kiwi, strawberries, carrots, cucumber or broccoli are rich in vitamin-C, beta carotene as well as phytochemicals which act as antioxidants and helps in defending your skin against damaging free radicals. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is naturally found in the skin, so eating fresh fruits and other vitamin C–rich foods can replenish your skin's stores. Vitamin C also helps your body to produce collagen, a protein that helps keep your skin firm and elastic. It also helps repair skin tissue and protects against the sun's harsh rays.
They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as good source of protein which protects skin cell membranes, protect skin against sun damage, and also reduce the risk of certain forms of skin cancer. These healthy fats allow water and nutrients into the skin while keeping toxins out, and may also fight inflammation in the skin.
Water also play crucial role when it comes to skin health because it flushes toxins out of your body. It also delivers nutrients to your cells, and keeps your organs functioning. It also helps keep your cells plump and full, which makes your skin look firmer and clearer. So we should have at least 10-12 glasses of water daily to keep our skin healthy.
Diet equation for calculation of calories intake
(66.47) + (13.75 * weight in kg) + (5.0 * height in cm) – (6.78 * Age in years)
(655.10) + (9.56 * weight in kg) + (1.85 * height in cm) – (4.68 * Age in years)
Sample menu according to Indian diet
Approx total calories:
Energy 1800 Kcal, Protein 67 gm, Carbohydrates 290 gm, Fats 38gm
Energy 150 Kcal, Protein 5.5gm, Fat 6.5gm, CHO 40gm
- Plain Water- 1-2 glasses or Green tea/ Lemon tea/tea=1 cup with soaked almonds/walnuts (5 to 6/1piece) and Flaxseeds/pumpkin seeds- ½ tsp
Breakfast: (with a gap of 1 hr)
Energy 300 Kcal, Protein 12gm, Fat 7gm, CHO 48gm
- Milk one cup (200 ml) with (1-2) Veg sandwich (with egg or paneer or tofu) or Oats poha/ nutri poha/ rice poha/oats idli (one quarter plate) or Milk with oats/ daliya/ wheat flakes with fruits (kiwi/ papaya/berries) one bowl
Mid Morning: (with a gap of 2 hrs)
Energy 110 Kcal, Protein 2gm, Fat 0.5gm, CHO 15gm
- Fruit/ mix fruit chaat (including berries/kiwi/grapes/guava/apple) one bowl or fresh Mix fruit juice/ fruit punch with green tea- 1 glass or fresh veg juice/ veg crush (with cucumber, tomato and capsicum) - 1 glass
Lunch: (with a gap of 2 hrs)
Energy 470 Kcal, Protein 18gm, Fat 10gm, CHO 75gm
- Salad- one bowl
- Brown rice/ red rice- one quarter plate
- Chappati- 1-2 in quantity
- Cooked Vegetable- one bowl
- Curd/ Veg raita/ cooked dal/ nutri veg/ fish curry (with coriander or parsley chopped) - one bowl
Evening: (with a gap of 2 to 2 ½ hr)
Energy 180 Kcal, Protein 7.5gm, Fat 3.5gm, CHO 40gm
- Tea/ green tea/ lemon tea-1 cup
- With biscuits- 1-2 or Veg/fruit sandwich- 1 or wheat /rice puff veg chat- 1 small bowl or sprouted chat (with paneer or tofu) - 1 bowl
Pre dinner: (1 to 1 ½ hr before dinner)
Energy 85 Kcal, Protein 2gm, Fat 0.5gm, CHO 14gm
- Coconut water/Buttermilk- 1 glass or fruit/ veg salad- 1 bowl or Fruit/ veg crush- 1 glass or Soups – 1 bowl
Dinner: (3 hr before bedtime)
Energy 390 Kcal, Protein 15gm, Fat 10gm, CHO 45gm
- Salad- 1 bowl
- Chappati- 1-2
- Cooked vegetable- 1 bowl
- Cooked dal/veg raita/ Grilled fish/ Nutri Kabab / Paneer tikka- 1 bowl
- Mint or coriander relish
Post dinner: (1 hr before bedtime)
Energy 130 Kcal, Protein 5.5gm, Fat 5.25gm, CHO 15gm
- Skimmed milk (with dates/ anjeer /prunes) -1cup