What Is Nutricosmetics?
The discipline that studies how to improve beauty through food is known as nutricosmetics. It’s clear that diet determines how our bodies function on the inside, but it’s also capable of influencing its external appearance. Proper food selection can prevent the signs of premature aging.
However, it should be noted that when seeking good health, both internally and externally, we mustn’t only focus on food. It’s also essential to practice physical exercise frequently and rest correctly. Only by taking care of these 3 pillars will optimal results be obtained.
Nutricosmetics, promoting beauty through diet
This discipline has two fundamental objectives: to increase collagen synthesis and to neutralize the production of free radicals. Both situations lead to a better skin condition, and the health of the body in general. Both can be modulated by diet, and so making the right food choices is a priority.
It should be noted that collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s part of the lean tissue and is capable of giving elasticity to the muscles, favoring their contractile functions.
When there are problems in the endogenous synthesis of protein, then the muscle fibers experience problems, but so does the skin, as it loses elasticity and becomes less smooth.
Fortunately, there are ways to increase collagen production by including certain foods in your routines. Vitamin C, for example, has been shown to be effective in this regard, according to a publication in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine.
There is even evidence about the positive effects of combining the consumption of the vitamin with other products such as gelatin. In this way, the best results are achieved. Although this is a technique that focuses on muscle recovery, it also makes sense within nutricosmetics.
Another option is to opt for collagen supplements. These have shown some capacity to improve skin health. In fact, it’s a very common substance in the cosmetics world, as many skin products contain it.
Free radical production
Metabolic and physiological processes create a series of oxygen-related reactions. If these accumulate, then an increase in inflammation and mutations at a cellular level can occur, which damages the structure of tissues. This affects the functionality of the body and favors the signs of aging such as skin problems.
However, through diet, it’s possible to correct this situation. In nature, we find a series of compounds known as phytonutrients, which have a high antioxidant capacity. These are mostly found in foods of plant origin.
They’re able to combat the formation of reactive oxygen species, as shown in research published in the journal Critical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression.
In this way, it isn’t only possible to improve the state of health, but it’s also possible to reduce the signs of aging in the skin, improving the elasticity and firmness of the skin, and improving its appearance.
Within the field of nutricosmetics, there are certain antioxidant supplements that are used for this purpose. You have to be careful with this series of products, as in certain cases they can be counterproductive.
For example, in the context of sport, there’s evidence that indicates that they’re capable of inhibiting cell signaling pathways, thus preventing muscular adaptations.
Where to find these nutrients?
You already know how important it is to consume vitamin C and antioxidants. However, you also need to know which foods contain them, in order to emphasize their consumption.
Vitamin C is found mainly in bell peppers, kiwis, and citrus fruits. Tubers and exotic fruits also stand out for their content in this substance. It should be noted that it’s also a nutrient capable of increasing the absorption of iron at an intestinal level.
It even plays an important role within the immune system. It is advisable to maintain adequate levels of it in order to promote good health, beyond the whole area of nutricosmetics.
Antioxidants, meanwhile, are present in almost all foods of plant origin. They’re usually mostly pigments responsible for providing color, or substances that give an acid flavor. Among the latter, we could highlight the cocoa flavonoids, which have been shown to be capable of modulating blood pressure.
All vegetables that have bright colors provide a good amount of phytonutrients, and so their consumption is recommended on a regular basis. Spices also contain a good amount of these elements.
Among them, turmeric stands out above the rest, followed by ginger. Continued use of both is associated with better health.
Hydration in nutricosmetics
Another aspect to take into account within nutricosmetics is hydration. Water is a fundamental constituent of all body tissues, and skin was never going to be an exception.
Episodes of dehydration or maintaining a low fluid intake will negatively affect the skin’s appearance, as it will lose elasticity and firmness.
To avoid this situation, it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water daily. It’s very important that it should be mineral water, thus avoiding other liquids such as soft drinks, soda, and alcohol.
These have simple sugars and additives in their composition, which can increase inflammation in the body and negatively impact skin appearance.
In addition to this, maintaining electrolyte balance can be decisive. The minerals and electrolytes that enter the body modulate a host of physiological reactions that take place on a daily basis. Anyone lacking any of these can experience consequences both externally and internally.
Nutricosmetics and the expulsion of toxins
In addition to increasing the presence of foods beneficial to the skin in the diet, it’s also essential to ensure that toxins are eliminated from within the body. Sweat, along with urine, are the two in charge of this function.
In this way, all harmful substances that accumulate inside the body can be excreted. This includes certain waste products that can negatively influence skin appearance.
However, and in relation to what we’ve already mentioned, it’s important to guarantee fluid intake. If not, then the excretion could lead to dehydration, something that could be very dangerous.
Keeping these two concepts clear, and ensuring high water consumption and regular sports practice (which also helps you sweat), you’ll be able to maintain youthful skin for longer.
The miracle supplements of nutricosmetics
Beyond what has been discussed so far, it’s possible to find a series of dietary supplements on the market that promise to be able to improve skin appearance.
However, most of them don’t have the necessary evidence to guarantee their effectiveness, and so they’re not recommended by professionals in the sector.
If you have doubts about these, it’s always advisable to first consult a specialist before starting to consume them. Otherwise, counterproductive reactions could be experienced, such as those discussed with antioxidant products in a sports context.
Despite choosing a substance that has evidence to back up its benefits and safety, at the time of acquiring a supplement you’ll need to take a series of precautions. The first thing is to buy it in a specialized store.
You’ll need to review the product labels, and, if possible, insist on a certificate that guarantees their purity and quality. Sometimes they may have lower nutrient concentrations than what is declared.
Nutricosmetics has limits
Through nutricosmetics and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, aging can be delayed and health can be improved in the medium term. However, this discipline has a number of limitations. It must be complemented with the use of beauty products, as these products are also capable of offering good results.
On the other hand, it must be recognized that aging is a natural process. Trying to delay it is fine, but it’s inevitable. In this sense, you shouldn’t become obsessed, as compulsive behaviors in this regard could trigger counterproductive or manic habits.
Nutricosmetics, a booming discipline
More and more people worry about their external appearance. For this reason, there are many experts who are specializing in nutricosmetics, with the aim of offering solutions to the most frequent questions and concerns.
In this way, more and more successful guidelines are put into place to safeguard skin health, thus avoiding premature signs of aging.
Don’t forget that it’s important not to be overly influenced by the marketing claims of supplements related to nutricosmetics, as these may try to exaggerate effects that haven’t been scientifically proven. It’s always best to first consult a professional.
Finally, keep in mind that to improve health (both internal and external) it’s important to look after all our lifestyle habits. Diet is one of them, but physical activity and rest are just as important.
Only when we have healthy habits in all three areas can we obtain excellent results. And, don’t forget that you can complement these products with regular cosmetic beauty products in order to achieve your goals.
- DePhillipo NN, Aman ZS, Kennedy MI, Begley JP, Moatshe G, LaPrade RF. Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review. Orthop J Sports Med. 2018 Oct 25;6(10):2325967118804544.
- Lis DM, Baar K. Effects of Different Vitamin C-Enriched Collagen Derivatives on Collagen Synthesis. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2019 Sep 1;29(5):526-531
- Bolke L, Schlippe G, Gerß J, Voss W. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 17;11(10):2494.
- Sharma GN, Gupta G, Sharma P. A Comprehensive Review of Free Radicals, Antioxidants, and Their Relationship with Human Ailments. Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr. 2018;28(2):139-154.
- Merry TL, Ristow M. Do antioxidant supplements interfere with skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise training? J Physiol. 2016 Sep 15;594(18):5135-47.
- Ried K, Fakler P, Stocks NP. Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Apr 25