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Health dos and don't for a better looking you

Good looks come with good food and a healthy lifestyle. What you eat is what shows on your face, hair and figure.

Dos

Want to eat right but not sure how? Divide your plate. Half should be full of vegetables, and the rest should be divided between proteins – chicken, fish, tofu, egg white, sprouts – and cereals. Include two servings of fruit.

To keep your metabolism high: Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Ditch your three meals a day and eat five-six small meals instead. Leave a gap of three hours between each meal. Nutrients for good skin include proteins, essential fats, vitamins A, E, C, B complex, selenium, zinc and copper.

Get your proteins right: Essential fatty acids (linoleic and alphalinoleicacid) which are found in seed oils are important in maintaining lustrous skin. Fatty fish, alsi (flaxseeds) and evening primrose oil provide essential fatty acids for the skin.

Vitamin A: Best known as a vitamin for healthy skin, is found in fish liver oil, liver, carrot, berries, melons, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, papaya, mango, green leafy vegetables, tomato and yellow pumpkins.

Vitamin C: Also boosts collagen production, which helps keep the skin firm. Top up on citrus fruits (orange, lemon), guava, amla (gooseberry), papaya, broccoli, berries and green leafy vegetables. These have Vitamin C – vital to maintain good skin.

Vitamin E: Is an antioxidant that helps maintain good skin health, and protects from sun damage. You can get it from vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower, soybean), butter, nuts, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, eggs and green leafy vegetables.

Your body requires antioxidants to keep healthy and glowing. Herbs and spices such as cloves, turmeric, dalchini (cinnamon), ginger, pepper, oregano and peppermint, and tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, beans, peas, black pepper, sunflower and sesame seeds are rich sources.

Reach for THE yoghurt – the probiotics in it enhance absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients.

Avocados are high in calories, but they’re a brilliant source of healthy nutrients including good fats, vitamins A, E, C and B6.

Snack healthy with a handful of nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflowers seeds, alsi (flax seeds) and pistachios. Walnuts are a rich source of fatty acids and almonds contain more calcium than any other nut. All of them help you feel fuller for longer.

Don’ts

Trans fats are a by-product that are formed during the process of hydrogenation – adding hydrogen to liquid oils to make them solid. This way, cheap vegetable oils can be made more like animal fat. Vanaspati, Dalda, margarines, shortenings and butter substitutes fall into this category.

They increase the risk of degenerative chronic diseases. Almost all commercially prepared and pre-packed ready-to-eat foods, including commercially prepared biscuits, cakes, cake mixes, chocolates, doughnuts, cereals, fried namkeens and French fries, have trans fats.

Cigarettes are a smoking gun: With every puff producing millions of free radicals, depleting the skin of oxygen, leading to dryness and dry spots, premature lines and wrinkles, dull unhealthy-looking complexion, and loss of radiance.

Alcohol: Excessive alcohol is a dehydrator, which also damages your cells and leads to dull skin, enlarged pores, discolouration, wrinkles and sagging. An occasional glass of wine has antioxidants – “occasional” and “glass” are the key words.

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