Eat Better and You WILL Have Healthier Skin! Substances in Food that Optimize Skin Health!
Sorry, No More Donuts!
As the old saying goes…."You are what you eat!" Though donuts, hamburgers and yes, even French fries are simply delicious and may comfort you…they most certainly won't comfort your skin. It is a fact that you not only nourish your body with the foods that you put into it…you are nourishing your skin as well (after all, your skin IS part of your body…it is the largest organ!). There are also certain foods that you can use to assist you when it comes to skin problems such as blemishes and under-eye puffiness…but we'll get to that later. When you combine good nutrition and high-quality skin care products such as Obagi and Meaningful Beauty (which is recommended by Cindy Crawford) you can't go wrong!
So what substances in food actually optimize your skin? I'm glad you asked! Below is a brief over-view.
Vitamin E and Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be found in foods such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit and tomatoes. Vitamin E can be found in sweet potatoes, olive oil, a variety of nuts, broccoli (who doesn't LOVE broccoli!), avocados and other leafy green vegetables. Both Vitamin C and Vitamin E contain antioxidants which in fact fight oxidation damage in your skin cells DNA. They are extremely important when it comes to the integrity of your blood vessels and hair follicles. Vitamin E can also be applied topically to the skin. It can actually help to heal skin wounds and minimize stretch marks (it allows the skin to stretch more easily!).
Vitamin A is extremely important as it can actually help to reverse any damage to your skin that has been caused by that big fire ball in the sky…the sun. Vitamin A reverses photo aging and stimulates collagen synthesis (by the way, photo aging is simply a term that refers to damage done to skin by the sun). This wonderful vitamin can also help if you suffer from acne or other skin conditions as it promotes the peeling of the skin which in turn…helps to clear up acne.
Vitamin P? I never even knew there was a Vitamin P…goes to show I have a lot to learn when it comes to nutrition and skin care…but hey, knowledge is power and I'm always willing to learn! In actuality, Vitamin P is a group of bioflavinoids (bioflavinoids help to maintain the resistance of cell and capillary walls). You can find vitamin P in grape seeds, ginkgo, biloba, and citrus derivatives.
Antioxidants and Zinc
Obviously, the best way to get antioxidants is through the foods that you put into your body (other words, your diet). The vitamins that are most potent (when it comes to antioxidants) are Vitamin A, C and E (which are all mentioned above). So what exactly do antioxidants do for your skin? Well, for one thing, they help to moisturize dry, flaky skin and also assist when it comes to cell repair (which helps new skin form).
Zinc can be found in foods such as turkey, almonds (and other nuts…Brazil anyone!), wheat germ, eggs, sardines (um, yuck), and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower. Zinc is an anti-inflammatory mineral which can calm irritated skin. It also can assist in the healing of acne and as a treatment for rosacea. Zinc has also been known to facilitate cell regeneration which again, is very important when it comes to fresh, beautiful skin! Zinc is a very important nutrient for the skin. It can also help to prevent scarring and keep oil-producing glands healthy.
Drink a LOT of water!!!
Ok, I know…water is not a food. However, I cannot stress enough the importance of drinking enough water each and every day! Water is WONDERFUL and necessary for the skin. In fact, as you probably already know, it is an ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT! Every single skin cell in your body NEEDS water in order to perform properly. Did you know that when you are dehydrated, your metabolic rate slows down? When this happens, your skin functions also slow down (healing rate of acne slows as does your cell turn-over rate). Dehydration can also cause fatigue (which means you probably won't go to the gym), and even swelling and puffiness. The bottom line…DRINK A LOT OF WATER….IT IS GREAT FOR THE SKIN!
If you feel that you are not getting enough of the essential nutrients that are needed in order to keep your skin beautiful and healthy…by all means, make an appointment with your doctor and talk to him or her about your concerns. Many doctors will prescribe vitamins (if you are, in fact, lacking in some areas). I recently went to the doctor and after a few tests, found that I needed a prescription for Vitamin D. For most people, an over-the-counter supplement is sufficient (you can ask your doctor which is best if you are not sure. Now is the time to take your health (and your skin) seriously! It is never too late to start eating right as beautiful skin CAN BE ACHIEVED…at any age! Good luck…now go eat an apple!