Top 9 Nutrients for Gorgeous Skin
Having a translucent and healthy complexion is probably one of women’s all-time dreams. What we have failed to grasp is, beautiful skin derives from a wholesome diet. It is a reflection of our inner health. The fingerprint of what is going on inside our body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to ageing, are the manifestations of our body’s internal needs, including its nutritional needs. There is little point turning to chemical-laden topical cosmetics, including lotions, soaps, scrubs, toners, and creams to treat outer blemishes when a change may be seen by shifting our lifestyle and diet habits.
Recent research has shown that the skin reacts particularly well to certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that nourish the skin, making it appear youthful and healthy. So load up on these goodies for healthy, young-looking skin.
Highly effective at reducing free radical damage, such as that caused by overexposure to the sun or pollution. Free radicals consume collagen and elastin – the fibres that support skin structure – and can cause wrinkles and other signs of premature ageing. Vitamin C is especially effective at protecting the skin from overexposure to the sun when combined with vitamin E.
What to eat: Acerola (a cherry-like fruit), red and green bell peppers, guava, kale, parsley, collard greens, turnips, and broccoli. Try getting vitamin C from a whole food source, and not to confuse synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with the real thing from plants (which is full spectrum vitamin C that goes way beyond ascorbic acid).
A powerful antioxidant that reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin. When combined with vitamin A, vitamin E is especially effective at preventing certain skin cancers. Vitamin E also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and, when applied topically, soothes dry or rough skin. Avoid synthetic vitamin E supplements, as they have been shown to actually harm health.
What to eat: Wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, safflower and sunflower oils, almonds, spinach, peaches, prunes, tomatoes, cabbage, asparagus, and avocados.
Promotes proper repair and maintenance of the skin, and deficiencies can result in a dry, flaky complexion. Topical vitamin A treatments are often used to treat acne and other skin ailments.
What to eat: Liver, chili peppers, carrots, apricots, collard greens, kale, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cantaloupe.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Dry, inflamed skin or skin that suffers from the frequent appearance of whiteheads or blackheads can benefit from supplementing with essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially omega-3s. EFAs are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility, but because the body cannot produce its own EFAs, they must be obtained through the diet.
What to eat: Cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel, as well as flaxseeds and safflower oil. Simply balancing the intake of omega-3s with omega-6s can result in smoother, younger-looking skin.
The mineral zinc is an important component of healthy skin, especially for acne sufferers. In fact, acne itself may be a symptom of zinc deficiency. Zinc acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin, and may also help control some of the hormones that create acne. Zinc is also required for proper immune system function, as well as for the maintenance of vision, taste, and smell. Zinc consumption is also strongly linked to a reduction of prostate cancer.
What to eat: Fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts, oats, and eggs.
Silica is a trace mineral that strengthens the body’s connective tissues – muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bone – and is vital for healthy skin. Silica deficiency can result in reduced skin elasticity and can hamper the body’s ability to heal wounds.
What to eat: Leeks, green beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb.
Selenium is an antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity. It also acts to prevent cell damage by free radicals and is known to be correlated with a reduction of breast cancer risk. It may play an important role in preventing skin cancer, as it can protect the skin from damage from excessive ultraviolet light.
What to eat: Wheat germ, seafood such as tuna and salmon, garlic, Brazil nuts, eggs, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread. Brazil nuts are perhaps the best source, and eating just 3-4 Brazil nuts per day provides adequate selenium intake for most people.
Iron is the most essential element which is required for hemoglobin formation in the body. Hemoglobin plays a vital role in transferring oxygen to various parts of the body by being present in the red blood cells. Besides transport of oxygen, iron is required for normal body metabolism. Iron aids in synthesising DNA, brain chemical dopamine and white blood cells as well. Menopausal women, teenage girls and nursing and pregnant women must have adequate amounts of iron in their diet. Lack of iron can lead to anemia which can cause pale skin and loss of hair associated with anemia.
What to eat: Liver, kidneys, lean red meat, poultry, eggs, peas, legumes, dried fruits, dark, green leafy vegetables, pulses and carrots.
Vitamin B complex is a combination of 8 essential vitamins. Each vitamin is chemically distinct but the B-vitamins are found in many of the same foods and often work together to promote a healthy body. Together, vitamin B complex help boost the metabolism, maintain healthy skin, and promote cell growth and division. Vitamin B complex can also help the body fight stress, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
What to eat: Lean meat, fish, milk, wholemeal bread and cereals.