Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of the body? Your skin does many beneficial things, such as covering your internal organs to protect us from injury and germs, helps control body temperature, protects from dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays, and helps your body make vitamin D, which comes from exposure to the sun. Therefore, we know how important our skin is, and without it, we would be in trouble. Since your skin plays such an important role in protecting your body, you should keep it as healthy as you can.
Your skin is a reflection of your inner being. Aside from lifestyle and genetics, what you eat plays a role in your skin health. Eating the right foods with proper nutrients will not only enhance your natural beauty, it will also help to prevent certain long-term (chronic) diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Most importantly, a healthy and nutritious diet will help minimize wrinkles, acne, inflammation and other skin-related conditions. Most people treat their skin with chemical-ridden products without addressing the root cause, which may lie within. Your best-kept beauty secrets are sitting right there in your grocery store. Be sure to eat foods that include important nutrients and vitamins often, and you will gain the benefits of having beautiful, glowing, healthy skin. Here is a guide to the nutrients essential for a beautiful complexion:
1. Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C helps to reduce oxidative stress to the body and may lower cancer risk. Vitamin C is also involved in the synthesis of collagen, an important protein for making your skin supple. Many fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamin C, so be sure to include them in your daily diet. Food sources high in vitamin C include: oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bell peppers, parsley, and many more. When your skin is exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light, photo-oxidative damage is induced by the formation of different types of reactive species of oxygen. Vitamin C and antioxidants protect the skin from damage (i.e. sunburn, sunspots).
2. Selenium: Selenium is a powerful antioxidant trace mineral responsible for maintaining firmness and elasticity of our skin. This mineral not only prevents acne but also aids in skin cancer prevention. It promotes absorption of vitamin E and enhances the antioxidant function of vitamin E, which is stored in the skin. This results in glowing skin and less deterioration to the skin's collagen. Food sources high in selenium include: Brazil nuts, walnuts, red snapper, tuna, liver, herring, onion, seafood, whole grains, brown rice and poultry.
3. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is one of the key vitamins for skin health. When combined with vitamin A, vitamin E is especially effective at preventing certain skin cancers. Due to vitamin E’s antioxidant properties, it helps fight the bad radicals caused by pollution, processed foods, and sun exposure. Free radicals are the catalyst for premature skin aging such as wrinkles. Food sources high in vitamin E include: almonds, eggs, walnuts, avocados, asparagus, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, spinach, oatmeal, and olives.
4. Omega-3s: These essential fatty acids offer healing benefits in various inflammatory conditions such as eczema. Omega-3s also manage overexposure of cortisol levels, which in turn helps keep skin soft and flexible, and guard against wrinkle formation. EFAs are also responsible for skin repair and moisture content. Since the body doesn't produce these fatty acids, they must be obtained through what you eat. Food sources high in omega-3s include: walnuts, salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, chia seeds, eggs and avocado. You can also take fish oil pill supplements, which have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene: Vitamin A is critical for skin repair and maintenance. If you suffer from flaky or dry skin, it could be a sign that you may have a vitamin A deficiency. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant found in brightly colored foods. This antioxidant helps to reduce damage caused by sun overexposure. Food sources high in vitamin A and beta-carotene include: liver, collard greens, asparagus, peaches, beet greens, kale, spinach, eggs, sweet potato, cantaloupe, and red peppers.
6. Zinc: Zinc is an important trace mineral that helps repair damaged tissue and heals wounds. Another important use for zinc includes protecting skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. If you suffer from acne, it may be as a result of a zinc deficiency. Zinc may help prevent acne and regulate the production of oil in the skin. Foods sources high in zinc include: oysters, pecans, poultry, pumpkin seeds, ginger, seafood, mushrooms and whole grains.
Eating healthy and choosing the right nutrients is crucial for maintaining a healthy complexion and will help your overall health. To learn more about what nutrients are best for your skin, call SynergenX Health at (281) 362-5580 to request an appointment.