Every lotion under the sun promises to rejuvenate and soften your skin. A fortune can be spent on detoxes in the hopes of cleansing your system. However one of the most effective ways to perfect your skin is through your mouth.
The nutrients that play an important role in skin health include: Vitamins A, B, C and E. In addition you should be looking to consume zinc, iodine, omega oils and protein. So what foods should you eat?
Zinc has a myriad of functions in the body. While zinc itself helps to maintain good skin it is also needed to aid metabolism of other ‘skin-health’ nutrients: fatty acids and vitamin A. To get a dose of zinc try sprinkling a few pumpkin seeds on your salad. Alternatively you could mix a spoonful of pumpkin seed butter into morning oats. Nuts and seeds in general are also great places to find vitamin E. Vitamin E’s function as an antioxidant helps to prevent the radical damage that causes wrinkles.
Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid that can only be found from outside the body. However for it to be effective in maintaining good skin health it must be balanced with the correct ratio of omega-3. Omega oils help to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such vitamin A and E. Hemp seeds are not only a perfect source of the omega oils but also contain all the essential amino acids too, making it a complete protein. Protein isn’t just used by your body for muscle building. Your skin (and other organs) relies on protein for its structure too. Protein is needed for collagen to be created, which in turn prevents wrinkles.
Acne can be caused by hormone changes. Vitamin B6 (or Pyridoxine) acts as an effective hormone balancer. It can sourced in hemp seeds as well as other nuts, poultry and lentils. It works incredibly well with the omega-6 to maintain a good hormone balance as well as healthy skin. It also makes a great pairing with vitamin C because of vitamin C’s ability to aid absorption of B vitamins in your body.
Iodine and its purpose is often associated with thyroid function. However it also regulates moisture in the skin. Similar to B6 and omega oils it helps regulate acne-causing hormones. Iodine is found in seaplants such as kelp, seaweed as well as superfoods like spirulina and chlorella. These superfoods also have the added bonus of being rich in B vitamins and a source of protein.
Peanut butter, egg yolk, brown rice
Are you a peanut butter lover? Well I have good news for you. It is a great source of biotin which is another vitamin that helps to maintain normal skin. Deficiency signs can present themselves in the form of eczema or dermatitis. Other biotin sources include egg yolk and brown rice.
Oranges, Sweet peppers, Spinach
Red, yellow and orange fruits and green vegetables are abundant in vitamin A. While citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli and spinach contain vitamin C. Vitamin A plays a role in improving skin tone. Vitamin C helps to repair skin cells due to its role in the production of the protein, collagen. Collagen is heavily referred to in the marketing of skincare products because it prevents dull skin and wrinkles. Vitamin C works well together with B vitamins as it aids absorption.
Echinacea or Burdock Root tea
I know I said it was all about eating but what you drink can also be useful. For acne sufferers, there is also liquid hope. Burdock root and echinacea are herbs which can be found in teas. Echinacea’s claim to fame has been as an herbal cold-buster. While burdock root is rich in iodine, Vitamin A and C. Both of these herbs have anti-inflammatory action which can help to combat eczema and psoriasis.
And lastly… Water
As you probably already know water is essential to vibrant and glowing skin. Skin is the largest organ in the human body and to operate optimally its cells need to maintain hydration. In addition water is used to transport nutrients to your cells.
Since your body can only absorb a finite amount of water every hour, it not recommended that you down large quantities in one go. Aim to have 200-250 ml regularly, about 8-10 times per day but note you will need more water during hot weather or exercise.
To achieve great skin you should eat a varied diet of nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit. This is because there is no one nutrient that will get you perfect skin but a combination of oils, proteins, vitamins and minerals all working together and playing a different but key role.