Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Food for Healthy Skin

Nutrition for Skin Health
Source: Photorack.net

Maybe you've been very diligently choosing the right skincare products, reading all the labels and fine prints of all the bottles, tubes, and tubs in the beauty aisle of the store. Having the best of these products in your beauty arsenal doesn't guarantee though that you'll have great skin. Aside from the products you apply topically, don't you know that one basic skin care is also eating the right kinds of food?

So what do you need to eat for a healthy looking skin? Here are some of the things you should look for:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Also known as the good fats, omega-3 promotes a healthy barrier for our cells, which is important to help keep the moisture into the skin. Aside from promoting healthy barriers for a soft and supple skin, Omega-3 also minimizes the body's level of inflammatory compounds, chemicals that are responsible for the development of wrinkles. Thus, eating omega-3 rich foods slows down the aging process.

Food Sources: salmon, mackerel, tuna, flax seeds, canola oil

Beta Carotene

A nutrient that gives some plants its red, yellow, or orange color, beta carotene contributes to skin health by protecting the skin from the damages of sun exposure. Beta carotene is also a source of Vitamin A or retinol, an essential nutrient for healthy skin. Vitamin A taken from supplements becomes dangerous when taken in excessive amounts. On the other hand, Vitamin A coming from beta carotene sources is a much safer way to acquire the nutrient, because the body only converts beta carotene to as much as what the body needs.

Food Sources: carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots


Zinc helps repair damaged skin tissues and reduces inflammation. It is especially helpful to acne sufferers, as zinc helps reduce sebum production and scarring. In fact, studies show that people with acne lacks zinc in their diet. In addition, zinc also helps protect the skin against sun damage.

Food Sources: turkey, nuts, whole grains, oysters, eggs, dairy products

Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid

Many skincare manufacturers nowadays add Vitamin C as the key ingredient to their products. Indeed, Vitamin C is an essential vitamin to keeping the skin healthy and beautiful. Not only can Vitamin C slow down the effects of free radicals (molecules that are produced by UV rays and unhealthy eating) that lead to premature aging, its derivative ascorbic C 2-phosphate can also reverse DNA damage. Vitamin C is also a key production to collagen, a protein that gives the skin firmness.

Food Sources: kiwis, oranges, bell peppers, tomatoes, limes, cauliflower, brocolli

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that protects the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. It can also reduce sunburn from UVB rays. Vitamin E is fat-soluble and is secreted to the skin in the form of sebum. It is not recommended to take Vitamin E supplements because too much of it increases the risk to cardiovascular disease.

Food Sources: sunflower seeds, nuts, olive oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil, sweet potato, mango, spinach

Pantothenic Acid or B5

Pantothenic acid is responsible for wound healing. It is an essential vitamin for skin cell regeneration and development. This water-soluble vitamin increases the levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that fights against the effects of free radicals.

Food Sources: egg yolk, brocolli, chicken, liver, kidney, fish, avocado


Selenium is a mineral responsible for the antioxidative property of glutathione. Gluthatione helps defend the skin against the harmful effects of free radicals that come from UV radiation, pollutants, and stress. Evidences show that selenium is also a key component to help reduce the risk of skin cancer. However, too much selenium, as a result of taking supplements, lead to harmful effects. 

Food Sources: shellfish, nuts, liver, shrimp, crab


Aside from the fact that tea is a good source of antioxidant flavonoids, one type of tea - green tea - is the best food source for catechins. Catechins are also antioxidants, which is far more powerful than Vitamin C and E in helping to fight against the damaging effects of free radicals. A study shows that drinking 3 cups of oolong tea reduces the symptoms of eczema by 54%.

Read about the different types of tea.

Final Words

While you may be tempted to take supplements right away, it is far more efficient to take these nutrients coming from whole foods. The body needs different components of nutrients in order to benefit your skin the most. A well-balanced diet is the key to good skin health. Remember, by having a nutritious diet, your skin will not be the only organ to benefit, but also your whole body.


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