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SkinWinter is rough on the skin and when you add layers of heavy makeup and continuous late nights courtesy of the shaadi season there is a good chance you will end up looking tired, dry and dull.

A good diet is the best way to nourish your skin and to keep it soft and fresh throughout winter and all year round.

Here’s how you can get the glow:

  • Antioxidants neutralise external forces (damage from the sun, pollution, wind and temperature) and internal factors (emotions and metabolism) and slow down the aging process. They help repair skin cells and strengthen blood vessels.
    Eat: Carrots, pomegranates, raisins, tomatoes and have green tea regularly.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids help hydrate skin and keep it supple, toned, fresh and young-looking.
    Eat: Corn oil, fish oil, flax seed oil, linseed oil and sunflower oil.
  • Vitamin C or ascorbic acid helps produce collagen which strengthens capillaries and increases blood supply to the skin; it also makes your skin soft and fresh.
    Eat: Blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guavas, kinoos, kiwis, oranges, papayas, sweet potatoes and strawberries.
  • Vitamin E protects skin from sun damage which causes dryness, patchy skin, discolouration and those dreaded wrinkles.
    Eat: Almonds, avocados, hazelnuts, peanut butter, pine nuts, tomatoes, wheat germ and vegetable oils.

Add the following nutrients to your diet and see the immediate difference in your skin:

  • Zinc keeps the skin’s oil producing glands in optimum condition and reverses skin damage. Eat liver, dark meat, oysters, pumpkin seeds and wheat germ.
  • Iron helps tone skin; apricots and sesame seeds are good sources.
  • Sulphur makes skin smooth; garlic and onion are rich sources.
  • Lecithin protects skin from the effects of aging, keeping it firm and wrinkle free. Egg yolks, liver, milk, peanuts, soybeans and whole grains are good sources.

Most importantly don’t forget to hydrate your body in winter; drink lots of liquids. Coffee, tea and fresh juices are great but plain old water is the best.

– Beenish Israr
The writer is a PhD scholar, studying Human Nutrition at the University of Reading, UK, and a lecturer of Food and Nutrition at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.

First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 23, 2012.