Due to the wide-spreading novel coronavirus infection, citizens are recommended to wear masks when out of home for self-protection. However, wearing mask for long hours may lead to skin allergy, inflammation or other skin issues. Also, some people believe that masks can act as a physical sunlight shield, and therefore, ignore the importance of sun protection. Following a plant-based diet not only can help you boost immunity, but also enhance skin barrier and improve skin condition. What is the magic behind ?
Apart from commonly known vitamins and minerals found in plant foods, there are other chemicals produced by plants that can give us health benefits, named Phytonutrients.
One major cause of wrinkle formation is UV light. When UV light reaches our skin, it breaks down collagen and elastin fibers in cells, resulting in loss of skin elasticity and firmness. The strong antioxidizing property of anthocyanin can strengthen our skin barrier to reverse UV damage, thereby preventing wrinkles.
Anthocyanins is a water-soluble pigment and is vulnerable to heat-induced degradation. Avoid boiling and deep-frying these vegetables, as well as shorten cooking time can help prevent loss of anthocyanins.
As the largest organ of the body, our skin encounters both internal and external potential irritants every day. Similar to anthocyanins, catechins also possess excellent antioxidizing effect. It is able to neutralize free radicals in cells to prevent their damages in cell DNA and avoid undesirable inflammatory responses.
Catechins degrade gradually along with time and rapidly under heat treatment. Consume fresh catechin-containing foods and processed food products after opening the packaging as soon as possible.
Darkening of skin and formation of dark spots are due to overproduction of melanin by pigment cells when under UV stimulation. Lutein and zeaxanthin may absorb both UVA and UVB to pigmentation. Plus, lutein and zeaxanthin can be converted to vitamin A in our body, while vitamin A promotes cell regeneration and cell repair to achieve the skin whitening function.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are lipid-soluble pigments and are more tolerable to heat. Lightly cook the vegetables with oil or consume as salad with oil dressing can help their absorption.
Vitamin K1 is the form of vitamin K found in plant-based food. Many vegetables contain far more vitamin K than animal food sources. This vitamin is first found to be important in blood clotting process, but recently its role in promoting skin health has been discovered. It is able to enhance blood circulation and strengthen the skin barrier to withstand external irritants, thus removing dark eye circle and treating red, swollen skin.
Vitamin K is a lipid-soluble vitamin. Lightly cook the vegetables with oil or consume as salad with oil dressing can help the absorption.