Mary O’Donnell: No One Ever Grows Old At The Table

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GEORGE Bernard Shaw once wrote there is no sincerer love than the love of food, and by eating the right glorious food we can improve our skin.

I’m so with Georgie.

Dull and lack lustre skin, often follows from poor diet, with poor digestive health.

Acne, especially in young teenagers, can be caused by hormonal shifts during puberty. This also can be negatively influenced by a poor diet.

Fluctuating levels of testosterone, in both young males and females, is thought to influence the over production of sebum (the skin oils) and keratin, (the outer layer of the skin). With this over production comes blocked pores, which can then become infected. Zinc, Essential fats and good digestive health is vital to clear acne.

Food allergy, poor digestive health and excess of toxins, can lead to eczema.

Cellulite appears on the skin’s surface as areas of mattress-like puckering. Poor elimination of toxins especially in the lymphatic system tends to increase the cellulite. This can be the result of low water intake and a poor diet, with constipation. High fibre foods like fresh fruit and vegetables help eliminate cellulite. Also reduce sugar and saturated fats.

General skin itchiness can be due to a struggling liver, and a build of toxins in the blood stream. These toxins then eventually try to be eliminated by the skin. Improving liver function can help. This can be done, by improving overall diet, eliminating fast food etc.

A poor diet, with little fresh fish, meat or fresh vegetables can lead to a decrease in Zinc levels. Zinc demands on a teenagers growing body is high, and as a result zinc levels can be low. Zinc is very important for reducing inflammation, healing, vitamin A production, and tissue regrowth.

All these functions are vital for healthy clear skin. Zinc is found in fresh meat, especially red meat. Also found in fresh fish , egg yolks, whole grains like wheat, and oats. Some found in nuts and seeds also, brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds.

Silica, being essential for healthy skin, is found in abundance in many fresh fruits and vegetables, it promotes firmness and strength in the tissues and helps maintain the elasticity, so it is important in anti-aging.

Aim to eat the colours of the rainbow every day, think peppers, blueberries and strawberries as they provide our bodies with antioxidants, which are essential for clearing and healing the skin and antioxidants are important for preventing damage causing ageing wrinkling skin. Sugar and foods that are rapidly converted to sugar are potent inflammatory agents and, consequently, among our skin’s greatest enemies.

Protein is essential for cell repair and a good protein choice for skin is fish especially salmon. The glycemic index is one of the keys to looking and feeling younger, the index rates food on a scale of 1-100, with 100 indicating the increase in blood sugar levels, so a French baguette comes in at 95, while a plain yogurt comes in at 14.

Foods to avoid are white bread, hamburger buns, instant rice, rice cakes, cornflakes, rice krispies and waffles.

Foods to enjoy are apples, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, chicken, salmon, cod, egg whites, feta cheese, nuts and tomatoes.

Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water and green tea every day, think beautiful skin, cut down on the coffee. It has been shown that drinking two cups of coffee can increase levels of stress hormone cortical and this hormone can have adverse effects on your immune system.

Celebs who are food fanatics about their skin are Gwyneth Paltrow and Gisele Bundchen.

Special thanks to nutritional therapist Susie Cox for her help with this column.

Susie believes if you are good 80% of the time you’re doing pretty well. So enjoy good food and as Erma Bombeck said seize the moment, and remember all those women on the titanic who passed on dessert.

Facebook: Mary O’Donnell Beauty,  Twitter: @maryodonnellbc Website:

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