The beauty industry is worth billions of rand, often promising much more than it can actually deliver. However, looking after your beauty and health should be high on your list of priorities. Caring about your appearance often has indirect benefits for your health and is important for the emotional well-being of both men and women.
Beauty and health are also linked in other ways. By focusing on one, the other is often also achieved, as is explained by the following examples.
Eating a varied diet, rich in fruits and vegetables with moderate amounts of protein and carbohydrates and limiting sugar and fat, is beneficial to beauty and health. Following a balanced diet will not only keep your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure in check, which will make you healthier, but will also ensure clear and healthy skin, hair and nails, which will make you more beautiful.
Healthy food choices include at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, two portions of fish a week, lean protein, pulses and wholegrain foods.
Watch out for too much salt, which can raise your blood pressure and may lead to strokes or heart disease. Adults and children older than 11 should eat no more than 6 g of salt per day.
An active lifestyle
Exercising three or more times a week is essential for beauty and health. Exercise will not only help you to control your weight, but could also reduce the risk of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.
Being active, however, doesn’t necessarily mean slaving away at the gym. Incorporating more activity into your daily life, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from your destination, or even walking the dog, all add up to your daily activity tally.
The most important thing is to find some activity that you enjoy doing. Exercise with a friend, go for a hike in a beautiful area, dance along to an aerobics DVD, or swim in the ocean.
The beauty benefits of water
Health experts recommend a daily intake of about 1.2 litres of fluid a day to prevent dehydration. A person constantly loses water from skin evaporation (sweat), breathing, urine and stool and these losses must be replaced.
Drinking water not only helps to maintain the balance of body fluids – which aids digestion, circulation and maintains body temperature to name a few – but can also help you to lose weight as a diet higher in water-rich food is more filling. It is also crucial for a beautiful, hydrated skin.
Water, milk and herbal teas all count, but alcoholic drinks, sugary soft drinks and even fruit juice should be avoided.