Your skin is one of the most powerful indicators of your overall health. Inflammation, acne, oily skin, dry skin, or premature wrinkles are all signs of poor health, often brought on by consumption of unhealthy foods and skipping consumption of skin nourishing nutrients.
To treat some of these common skin problems, most people turn to mainstream topical skin care products, including creams, lotions, toners, scrubs, and soaps. However, treating outer skin issues with these topical products does very little to address the root causes—poor nutrition and exposure to toxins in personal care products and environmental hazards.
Dr. Georgiana Donadio, the founder of the National Institute of Whole Health, says, “Your skin is the fingerprint of what goes inside your body, and all skin conditions from acne to aging, are the manifestation of your body’s internal needs including its nutritional needs.”
His comments are supported by recent research which indicates that the human skin responds particularly well to certain antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins (1, 2, 3). They help nourish the skin, making it appear healthy, youthful, and supple. So, if you want glowing skin, the old adage - 'you are what you eat' - has been spot-on. Check out these to help you cultivate your skin from the inside out.
Vitamins are highly recommended for great skin. These three antioxidants are very effective in fighting free radicals, aiding in cell multiplication, and rejuvenating your skin to great heights. Vitamin A, in particular, promotes repair and maintenance of your skin—meaning its deficiency may lead to issues such as dryness and or a flaky complexion (4)! This is the reason you find vitamin A as an important ingredient in most skin care products that treat acne and skin dryness.
You can obtain vitamin A from foods such as cantaloupe, spinach, sweet potatoes, kale, collard greens, apricots, carrots, dandelions, chili peppers, and liver. Consumption of this vitamin direct from the natural sources is considered more effective.
Another powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is very effective in reducing the effect of excessive sun exposure on your skin. When combined with other vitamins such as vitamin A, it is shown to protect your skin from severe skin ailments such as skin cancer (5, 6). In addition, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles as well as soothes your skin to enable it to remain lively. You can obtain this essential vitamin from foods such as avocados, asparagus, cabbages, tomatoes, prunes, peaches, spinach, almonds, sunflower oil, safflower oil, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ oil.
Vitamin C is particularly extremely effective in reducing free radical damage that is caused by overexposure to pollution and the sun. Free radicals are responsible for consuming elastin and collagen—the significant fibers that support the structure of your skin—resulting in premature aging and wrinkles. Combined with vitamin E and D, vitamin C is also exceedingly efficient in protecting your skin from overexposure to ultraviolet rays (7). Foods rich in vitamin C include broccoli, turnips, collard greens, parsley, kale, avocado, acerola, and red and green bell peppers.
Perhaps, the second most important nutrient for your skin health is selenium. Obtained from whole-wheat bread, brown rice, eggs, Brazil nuts, garlic, and seafood such as salmon and tuna, selenium is responsible for tissue elasticity. Therefore, its deficiency means that you will have a dry skin, which is normally characterized by scaling. It is also great for preventing skin cell damage by the free radicals (8, 9). Our specialists believe that Brazil nuts are the best sources—so, why don’t you consume three to four of these delicious nuts daily to boost your skin health?
Are you one of those guys with dry skin? Inflamed skin? Skin that suffers from blackheads or whiteheads? Then omega-3s should be your friend from this moment on. All essential fatty acids are great for your skin, but omega-3 is exceptionally excellent when it comes to most skin problems. They are responsible for skin moisture content retention, repair of damaged cells, and overall skin elasticity (10)—and since your body cannot produce them on its own, you need to obtain this nutrient from natural sources or approved supplements.
Foods filled with omega-3 oils include flax seeds and chia seeds—non-vegetarians can obtain this nutrient from wild-harvested fish oils.
Zinc also made our list—especially so because of its effect on persistent acne problems. Professional nutritionists have always claimed that persistent acne can be a result of zinc deficiency. So, you are one of those people with embarrassing pimples that won’t go away, it is high time you tried consuming foods rich in zinc content. Besides, zinc is great for immune system functioning as well as maintenance of smell, vision, and taste senses (11, 12). Foods rich in this important nutrient include eggs, oats, Brazil nuts, pecans, ginger pumpkin seeds, and oysters.
Last, but definitely not least, we have silica. Silica is a mineral that is responsible for your body’s connective tissues—cartilage, bones, nails, ligaments, hair, tendons, and muscles—and is very important for the health of your skin. It is particularly very essential for your skin’s elasticity and ability to heal cuts and wounds (13). Sources of silica include rhubarb, asparagus, celery, mango, cucumber, strawberries, garbanzo beans, green beans, and leeks.