#DidYouKnow? Your skin is the largest organ of the human body, and your first line of defense against environmental aggressors and invading pathogens. Hence, it’s vital to pay attention to the health of your skin.
Healthy skin starts from within, basically proving the point that you are what you eat. The nutrients from our food work at a cellular level to repair and rejuvenate our skin and keep it clear, glowing, smooth, and supple.
Here’s a look at the 7 skin-boosting nutrients you should include for a balanced diet.
The proteins from your diet are converted into amino acids in the body, which are further used to synthesize the structural proteins of your skin – collagen and keratin. Amino acids also help in the shedding of old skin cells. Some amino acids have an antioxidant action that protects skin cells from UV radiation and oxidization by harmful free radicals.
Your diet for healthy skin should comprise protein-rich foods like pulses and legumes, nuts and seeds, soy products, dairy, eggs, lean meat, poultry, and fatty fish.
- GOOD FATS
Healthy fats like mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are essential for keeping your skin soft, supple, moisturized and glowing from within. Too little fats in your diet can make your skin dry, rough, and prone to wrinkles and sagging. Omega-3 fatty acids nourish and build cell walls and fight inflammation.
For a radiant complexion, get your healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna.
- VITAMIN A
If your body isn’t getting enough Vitamin A, it may show up as dry, itchy or bumpy skin. Vitamin A plays a role in the optimal functioning of your sebaceous (oil) glands, reduces inflammation, and helps heal your skin. As an antioxidant, it can shield your skin against the effects of sun damage.
You can get your daily dose of Vitamin A from orange, yellow, and red fruits and vegetables, and dark, leafy greens.
- VITAMIN C
Inadequate intake of Vitamin C is responsible for slow-healing wounds as well as bleeding and bruised gums. Vitamin C promotes collagen and elastin production and cell renewal for smooth, firm, and plump skin. The powerful antioxidant protects the skin from free radical damage and can lower the risk of skin cancer.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, papayas, and cantaloupes, berries like strawberries, and vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale are some of the foods brimming with Vitamin C.
- VITAMIN E
This skin-friendly vitamin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E, together with Vitamin C, nourishes and hydrates cell walls. It can combat the effects of sun damage to prevent wrinkles, sagging, and skin cancer.
Nuts, seeds, plant oils, fatty fish, and cod liver oil are rich in Vitamin E.
Zinc deficiency may lead to itchy rashes on your skin. Zinc helps speed up your skin’s natural healing process after an injury. The trace mineral is needed in small amounts to maintain cell-wall stability, cell division, and cell growth. Zinc acts as an antioxidant and protects your skin against UV damage.
Nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy, eggs, meat, seafood, and whole grains like wheat, quinoa, rice, and oats contain zinc.
Low selenium levels have been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer. Selenium is a mineral that helps antioxidants shield your skin from damaging UV rays.
Selenium is found in whole grains, dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood.
You can consult your doctor about how you can incorporate these nutrients for your skin in your daily meals, either through a diet plan or supplements. Don’t start supplements without taking your family physician’s advice.