Eating for Healthy Skin

March 29, 2012

Vitamins and minerals are irreplaceable ingredients for keeping healthy, youthful skin... in your diet as well as your skin cream! Researchers in the United Kingdom found that diets rich in vitamin C and omega-6 linoleic acid reduce the appearance of wrinkled, dry skin. The study examined the relationship between food-based nutrients and the appearance of aging skin using dietary and lifestyle information gathered between 1971 and 1974 on more than 30,000 Americans. The study found women with lower intakes of vitamin C in their diets were found to have the highest incidence of wrinkled appearance and dryness. Dietary intake of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in nuts, whole grains, most vegetable oils, eggs and poultry, was also associated with more youthful skin. The study also found that higher intakes of fat and carbohydrates had the opposite effect: A 17-gram increase in fat and a 50-gram increase in carbohydrate intakes increased the likelihood of a dry, wrinkled appearance. More information  on the effect of diet on skin has recently come into focus:
  • A study presented at the American Academy of Dermatology found that a combination Vitamins C and E can counter the negative effects of sun exposure!  Vitamin C prevents the effects of sun exposure that can lead to skin cancer, while vitamin e can actually reduce photo damage from the sun and improve skin texture. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C such as bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens, while vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach and asparagus are all rich in vitamin E. Great news, but don't forget your sunscreen!
  • The British Journal of Dermatology published a study where doctors found that foods high in beta-cartotene, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach appear to reduce the risk of psoriasis.
  • Vitamin A is necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue. Without it, you'll notice the difference. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin A.
  • Biotin, an important B vitamin forms the basis of skin, nail, and hair cells. Biotin is found in many foods,  including bananas, eggs, oatmeal, and rice..
  • Vitamin E protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation and comes with the bonus of improving weight loss because it improves metabolic function. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus.
A wide array of minerals also have a positive effect on skin health!
  • Selenium is believed to play a key role in skin cancer prevention. If you spend any time in the sun, selenium may help reduce your chance of burning and protect your skin from damage. The best dietary sources of selenium include whole-grain cereals, seafood, garlic, and eggs.
  • Copper is another important mineral and helps to develop elastin, the fibers that support skin structure from underneath.
  • Zinc is another important mineral for the skin.  It works with copper to promote elasticity and may be effective in controlling the formation of acne lesions or help heal lesions that are present. Food sources of zinc include oysters, lean meat, and poultry.
Finally, drink water! Water flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, you just have to look in the mirror to see the benefits!

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