The power of food is often overlooked by women who want to achieve beautiful skin, and instead, the beauty industry wins our hard earned cash with their promises of the latest breakthrough in skin care. The problem is that we are so often disappointed with the results, that we simply end up with a stack of half empty products gathering dust in our beauty cabinets.
Perhaps the miracle cream we are looking for actually is just around the corner, but a more cost effective way to achieve beautiful skin is by ensuring that it is fully nourished from the inside.
We are constantly subjecting our skin to damage from our environment and from the toxins we put into our body. Choosing the right foods to ensure that our skin is provided with the nutrients it requires to protect itself from this damage, is essential in the battle for beautiful skin.
In order to choose the right foods, we need to have some understanding of what nutrients are vital for skin health, and which foods we can find them in…. (continue article below image)
Vitamin C is well known for its role in fighting infection. It also protects the structure of our skin through its involvement in the production of collagen, a protein that gives our skin strength and works alongside other proteins to give it elasticity. As a water soluble vitamin, it cannot be stored in the body so our levels need to be topped up daily. Bell peppers, broccoli and papayas are excellent sources of vitamin C.
They are all also good providers of vitamin A, which is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for healthy skin. This vitamin protects from oxidative damage caused by the harmful rays of the sun. The beta-carotene form of vitamin A found in abundance in these colourful fruit and vegetables has also been shown to improve the colouring of our skin when eaten in sufficient quantity, giving us a healthier, rosier complexion.
Our skin cells have a short life span and are constantly renewing themselves. Supporting this process is vital for fresh and youthful looking skin. Vitamin A supports the growth of new skin cells, and folate – a B vitamin, is vital for the creation of new cells. This can be found in asparagus, lentils and spinach.
There are various minerals that can be absorbed from foods that support the skin’s ability to protect itself from damage. Selenium works powerfully alongside vitamin E as an antioxidant, fighting against harm from free radicals – molecules that greedily try to steal their missing components from healthy molecules around them, causing a chain of damage. Large quantities of selenium can be found in salmon.
Another nutrient that should be included is copper, which not only protects collagen and elastin fibers that form the structure of the skin, but also protects skin from sun damage. Sunflower seeds and walnuts are a great source of copper.
The skin cells are surrounded by a layer of fat, and the composition of this layer is dependent on what we include in our diet. Including the poly-unsaturated fat, omega-3, and reducing your intake of saturated fats will ensure that this layer is more fluid, allowing nutrients to pass into the cell and toxins to pass out, keeping the cell healthy. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts and salmon.
This infographic includes ten skin-boosting foods that will provide your skin with plenty of the nutrients it needs for optimum health. Many of them are easy to combine to create delicious meals that give your skin a boost. In general, making sure that your diet includes a range of colourful vegetables and fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, lean meat and fish, plus getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water is key to ensuring your complexion is rosy, your skin is tight and your overall good health is reflected in your looks.