We have heard the old adage “You are what you eat.” Our skin cells turnover every 14-40 days, so there is a new you almost every month. Changes from a diet typically take about 3 months to see but they can be quite dramatic both in the way patients feel and look.
The best skin care is both from an inside and outside approach. Dr. Shah can take care of the outside with lasers, skin care products, and other procedures. You can help take care of the inside by eating healthy. The “rainbow” diet has been described as one of the best ways of eating healthy. The goal is to eat a food of each color of the rainbow every day.
Dr. Shah’s secret to doing this is to use a high powered blender called a Vitamix. He mixes a new smoothie each morning. His rainbow smoothie consists of: Carrot, Spinach, Blueberries, Strawberries, Dark Grapes, Banana and Protein Mix. Please note that Skittles, Cap’n Crunch Berries cereal, and M&M’s don’t count.
Try a food from this color list to start your “rainbow diet.”
1. Red – The key to this group is lycopene. It is found in the red and purple vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and beets. Fruits such as cranberries, apples, cherries, and raspberries also are high in lycopene. It protects the skin from sun damage by acting as a natural sun block and as an antioxidant.
2. Yellow – Lemons, pineapples, and bananas are high in minerals and antioxidants as well as beta-carotene.
3. Dark green – Green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps stabilize collagen and also is an antioxidant. Green vegetables also contain lutein and zeaxanthin which have antioxidant properties and have been known to prevent cancer, stroke, cardiovasculardisease and to protect your eyes.
4. Orange – The orange vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potato, contain Vitamin A. Fruits such as oranges, peaches, and apricots also contain beta-carotene. This is the same Vitamin found in Retinol. Vitamin A can help repair damaged collagen.
5. Blue – Blueberries, blackberies, eggplant, and bilberries contain high amounts of antioxidants which help stabilize collagen and decrease stress to the skin. They also contain flavonoids, phytochemicals, and anthocyanin which have both antidiabetic as well as anti-carcinogenic properties.
6. Violet Indigo – Grapes, prunes, purple cabbage and black beans are high in Vitamin D and flavonoids.