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Best Nutrients for Healthy Skin

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Aging, General Nutrition, Skin, Hair & Nails, Healthy Eating
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Healthy, glowing, blemish-free skin seems to be a goal for many people, considering Australians spent $6.99 billion on improving their personal appearance in 2011-20121.  But, no matter how many lotions and potions you apply ON your skin, did you know that healthy skin needs to start from the inside out? The right food and vitamins in your diet can actually do more to keep your skin healthy than many expensive beauty products.

 

An adequate intake of antioxidants, certain foods, and fish oil will help get you on the right track to beautiful skin.

Antioxidants: Vitamins C, E, A

Vitamins C, E, and A are the most important antioxidants for healthy skin.  They work against free radicals which damage healthy cells, leading to an aged appearance in the skin.

Vitamin C helps prevent damage that occurs when our skin is exposed to too much sun or pollution. When skin is damaged, the body will need additional vitamin C to help in the repair process. Vitamin C is found in strawberries, citrus fruits, and bell peppers2.

Vitamin E reduces the effect of sun damage and assists in wound healing. Vitamin E may help decrease inflammation (skin swelling, thickness, redness) caused by sun exposure. Vitamin E is also an excellent moisturizer which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin E is found in nuts, olives, and spinach3.

Vitamin A works to repair damaged skin. A vitamin A deficiency will result in flaky, dry skin. Retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A, can help promote skin turn over, keep skin looking smoother, and decrease the effects of aging.  Vitamin A is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and green, leafy vegetables4.


Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fats are also anti-inflammatory. Too much inflammation can damage skin, making it look dull, thick, or dry.  The Omega-3 called EPA is beneficial for skin because helps improve hydration, prevent acne, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. EPA can even help block the damage caused by enzymes that destroy collagen, the primary building block for skin5,6.  ALA, another omega-3 found in flax, has been shown to reduce improve skin’s moisture7. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish (such as salmon), walnuts, and flax.

 

A well-balanced diet containing a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, lean protein, and whole grains can help get your skin on the right path to health. Choose fruits and vegetables of all colors, tomatoes, kale, blueberries, to help ensure you are getting a large variety of antioxidants and vitamins. Eat salmon or other fatty fish at least twice a week for an extra anti-inflammatory dose of omega-3. A good multivitamin can help fill in some of the gaps when our diets are less than ideal, but are not a substitute for a poor diet.  Lifestyle factors can also help like not smoking, managing stress, sleeping 7-8 hours a night, and wearing sunscreen outside8.  A healthy, well-balanced diet full of antioxidants and a few simple life style changes will put you on the right path to healthy and glowing skin!

 


References

1.     http://www.ibisworld.com.au/about/media/pressrelease/release.aspx?id=276

2.     http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm

3.     http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/skin/vitaminE/index.html

4.     http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070521162324.htm

5.     http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm/

6.     http://www.jlr.org/content/47/5/921.short

7.     http://www.springerlink.com/content/l80178t60h604624/

8.     http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/skin-care/SN00003

 

Best Nutrients for Healthy Skin