Top Five Foods Good For The Skin

The food that you eat not only reflects on your waistline, but also on your skin. There is a growing body of research which suggests that your diet can make a vast difference to your complexion, this is because foods can affect hormone balance, trigger inflammation associated with skin aging and even cause breakouts. Beauty comes from within, and in terms of your skin this couldn’t be truer.

These are the top five foods which have been proven to have beneficial effects on the skin;

  1. Dark Chocolate

This sweet treat has antioxidant properties which can help to hydrate the skin and improve blood circulation giving you a healthy pink glow. One study demonstrated in women who consumed cocoa powder drinks, rich in cocoa flavanol – a compound found in dark chocolate, had less scaliness and roughness on their skin as opposed to the control group (1). However, if you’re not a fan of dark chocolate and want to avoid the extra calories, applying it topically can temporarily reduce puffiness in the skin due to the caffeine found in the chocolate (2).

2. Fish

Most fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. This can help fight and prevent acne, as inflammation is understood to be the root cause of acne and unsightly breakouts (3).

3. Eggs

Eggs have been found to control excess melanin synthesis in human skin, which means they can act to control hyperpigmentation (4). High fat diets are associated with premature aging skin (5) whereas eggs contain vitamin A, which is involved in promoting the development of new skin cells and wound healing. The essential factor vitamin A, was discovered in 1909 in egg yolk, and since then research has found that vitamin A improves skin texture and appearance, and can even increase the thickness of the epidermis (6).

4. Green Tea

Green tea has been cited for countless benefits for our overall health and wellbeing, however in terms of skin benefits, the high antioxidant levels in green tea are anti-inflammatory and even anti-carcinogenic as they boost blood circulation and oxygen towards the skin (7). One study even found that participants who drank green tea on a daily basis for three months had more elastic and smooth skin and approximately one-quarter less sun damage when their skin was exposed to UV lights (7)

5. All fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and vitamins which all have numerous benefits for the skin. Some of these antioxidants can protect the skin from cellular damage that is a result of external factors, such as smoking, pollution or direct sunlight. Vitamins are essential to promote normal and healthy skin cell development and skin tone (8).

Remember that along with these foods, water is absolutely essential for healthy, glowing skin. Your skin needs moisture to maintain elasticity and to avoid drying out and looking dull. It is recommended that you consume six to eight glasses of water day to maintain a healthy glow and for your body to stay hydrated.

For more information on foods which are good for your skin, see the nutrition and weight management course here; http://www.futurefit.co.uk/future-fit-training/courses/nutrition-and-weight-management/

[Sources]

  1. Heinrich, U., Neukam, K., Tronnier, H., Sies, H. and Stahl, W., 2006. Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.The Journal of nutrition136(6), pp.1565-1569.
  2. Kiefer, D. and Pantuso, T., 2012. Omega-3 fatty acids: An update emphasizing clinical use.Agro food industry hi-tech23(4), p.10.
  3. Katiyar, S.K., Ahmad, N. and Mukhtar, H., 2000. Green tea and skin.Archives of Derma-tology136(8), pp.989-994.
  4. Miranda, J.M., Anton, X., Redondo-Valbuena, C., Roca-Saavedra, P., Rodriguez, J.A., Lamas, A., Franco, C.M. and Cepeda, A., 2015. Egg and egg-derived foods: effects on human health and use as functional foods.Nutrients7(1), pp.706-729.
  5. Schagen, S.K., Zampeli, V.A., Makrantonaki, E. and Zouboulis, C.C., 2012. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.Dermato-endocrinology4(3), pp.298-307.
  6. Mukherjee, S., Date, A., Patravale, V., Korting, H.C., Roeder, A. and Weindl, G., 2006. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety.Clinical interventions in Aging1(4), p.327.
  7. Heinrich, U., Moore, C.E., De Spirt, S., Tronnier, H. and Stahl, W., 2011. Green tea polyphenols provide photoprotection, increase microcirculation, and modulate skin properties of women.The Journal of nutrition141(6), pp.1202-1208.
  8. Slavin, J.L. and Lloyd, B., 2012. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables.Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal3(4), pp.506-516

This article has been republished with the kind permission of Future Fit Training Academy, a UK based training academy with over twenty five years of experience in offering diplomas and courses in personal training, nutrition and pilates. 

The Best Foods For Muscle Gain

Increasing muscle mass is critical for improving athletic performance, physique and overall health. Exercises such as weight lifting, resistance training and cardio are excellent ways to increase muscle mass but nutrition also plays an important role in gaining muscle.

Muscles are highly specialised contractile cells which are made up of primarily water and one-fifth protein. Therefore to maintain muscle size and build muscle, it is important to regularly consume protein rich meals and plenty of water.

Nutritionists recommend that you consume the following foods along with an exercise routine to have optimal muscle gain;

  1. Eggs

Eggs are a reliable source of protein, fats and micronutrients which are all essential for basic nutrition. Consuming eggs during sports training can help give better training results as the proteins in eggs can improve skeletal muscle synthesis (1). They also contain the vitamin B12 which is important for breakdown of fat and for muscle contractions.

2. Almonds

These are an excellent source of vitamin E which acts as a potent antioxidant. This prevents free-radical damage following an intense workout session which subsequently helps muscles recover and promotes muscle growth. One study has found that you can safely consume two handfuls of almonds a day without gaining any weight. Almonds also contain magnesium which is known to be involved in energy metabolism and the synthesis of protein (2).

3. Yogurt

Yogurt contains protein and carbohydrates which can aid in muscle recovery and growth following a workout. Yogurt contains conjugated linoleic acid which is a special form of fat which has been proven to reduce body fat levels in some studies (3).

4. Cottage Cheese

A simple half a cup of cottage cheese contains fourteen grams of casein protein and less than two grams of fat. Casein protein is slow digesting which is ideal for maintaining muscle. Cottage cheese also contains vitamin B12, calcium and many other vital nutrients.

5. Oatmeal

An excellent source of carbohydrates, due to the low glycaemic index (GI) value of oatmeal as it is minimally processed. Consuming oatmeal can increase your satiety and decrease hunger levels which subsequently leads to fat loss. Low GI foods such as oatmeal can provide a constant source of carbohydrates for preserving existing muscles.

6. Beef

Beef is a rich source of protein, iron and zinc which are crucial for building muscle. It is also an ideal source of creatine, which can boost energy supplies for a weight lifting session. Beef also contains the mineral selenium, which is an important antioxidant that can help muscles to recover after a high intensity workout session. Deficiency in selenium is associated with muscle pain and weakness (4).

7. Chicken

A lean one hundred gram slab of chicken can provide thirty grams of protein and only four grams of fat. Not only does chicken taste great but it also has a huge versatility in its meal options which is why many athletes regularly include chicken in many of their meal-plans.

8. Salmon

Salmon is full of high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce the breakdown of muscle protein (5). To build muscle after a workout, new protein needs to be stored faster than old protein which is broken down. Salmon can also reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes; many studies show that omega-3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity (6).

9. Olive Oil

The monounsaturated fat which is found in olive oil has been shown to prevent muscle breakdown (7). Olive oil is also widely praised for its numerous health benefits such as lowered rates of heart disease and a reduced risk of osteoporosis (8).

For more information on the best foods for muscle gain, see our muscle building nutrition course here; http://www.futurefit.co.uk/future-fit-training/courses/eat-to-gain/

[Sources]

  1. Layman, D.K. and Rodriguez, N.R., 2009. Egg protein as a source of power, strength, and energy.Nutrition Today44(1), pp.43-48.
  2. Ros, E., 2010. Health benefits of nut consumption.Nutrients2(7), pp.652-682.
  3. Thom, E., Wadstein, J. and Gudmundsen, O., 2001. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat in healthy exercising humans.Journal of International Medical Research29(5), pp.392-396.
  4. Rederstorff, M., Krol, A. and Lescure, A., 2006. Understanding the importance of selenium and selenoproteins in muscle function.Cellular and molecular life sciences63(1), pp.52-59.
  5. Jeromson, S., Gallagher, I.J., Galloway, S.D. and Hamilton, D.L., 2015. Omega-3 fatty acids and skeletal muscle health.Marine drugs13(11), pp.6977-7004.
  6. Lalia, A.Z. and Lanza, I.R., 2016. Insulin-Sensitizing Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Lost in Translation?.Nutrients8(6), p.329.
  7. Lowery, L.M., 2004. Dietary fat and sports nutrition: a primer.Journal of sports science & medicine3(3), p.106.
  8. Covas, M.I., Konstantinidou, V. and Fitó, M., 2009. Olive oil and cardiovascular health.Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology54(6), pp.477-482.

This article has been republished with the kind permission of Future Fit Training Academy, a UK based training academy with over twenty five years of experience in offering diplomas and courses in personal training, nutrition and pilates.