The quality of your nutrition directly influences the health of your skin. The phrase “we are what we eat” perfectly describes the impact that nutrition has on the short, medium, and long-term health of our skin. Moreover, many diseases caused by a lack of certain nutrients or due to poor nutrition, like the blotchiness and lesions caused by a lack of vitamin B12, can manifest itself in our skin.
Essential Nutrients for Healthy Skin
These are the nutrients we must have in order to have smooth, radiant, and young-looking skin:
Vitamin E: is a powerful antioxidant that prevents the formation of wrinkles, slows aging and promotes skin regeneration. Its effects translate into youthful and healthy skin. Vitamin E is also photo protective, which means that it protects against ultraviolet radiation.
Food sources rich in vitamin E include seeds and unrefined oils, olive oil, dried fruits, avocado and blue fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna, bonito).
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): is involved in the synthesis of collagen in the skin, which is responsible for keeping the skin smooth and firm. Additionally, this antioxidant protects the skin from oxidative damage caused by metabolic waste, sunlight and stress and it also helps treat acne.
The foods richest in vitamin C include citrus (orange, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, lime), red and blue fruits (strawberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and blueberries), fresh parsley, spinach, cantaloupe, potato (with the peel), broccoli, pepper, kiwi and tomato. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat and by contact with oxygen, which is why these foods should preferably be consumed raw and if juiced, they should be drank immediately so that the nutrients aren’t lost.
Vitamin A and Beta carotenes: (precursors to vitamin A) act as antioxidants, keeping the skin healthy and safe from ultraviolet rays. Vitamin A promotes regeneration and repair of damaged skin and gives it elasticity.
Food sources rich in vitamin A are of animal origin: dairy, viscera (liver and kidney), fish and eggs. Beta carotenes are found in orange vegetables (pumpkin, carrot, peach, papaya, mango, sweet potato, apricot) and dark green vegetables (spinach, chard, broccoli, watercress, Brussels sprouts, arugula).
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce inflammation of the skin, prevent skin aging and help in the treatment of acne and psoriasis. In addition, they protect against sun damage and prevent skin cancer. The best food sources for Omega 3 are blue fish, nuts, soybeans, and flax and chia seeds.
Selenium: is an antioxidant mineral that delays the aging of the skin, offers protection against ultraviolet rays and reduces damage to the skin caused by stress. Selenium causes the skin to looks smoother and improved elasticity.
Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts, certain types of seafood (oysters, mussels, clams, squid, octopus, shrimp, tuna, mackerel), wheat germ, red and white meats, and sesame, chia, and pumpkin seeds.
Zinc: is a mineral that protects from oxidation, reduces inflammation and improves skin healing. A lack of zinc is related to rashes. Zinc slows the formation of wrinkles on the skin and regulates the production of sebum, so it’s also used to combat acne.
The food best food sources in which zinc can be found are nuts, fish, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, oysters, oatmeal, quinoa, legumes, meats and viscera (organs such as kidneys and liver).
Hydration for Health Skin: water is essential for keeping skin well hydrated and radiant. Water is a fundamental part of the blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin, but it also forms part of the skin’s structure. Without optimal hydration the skin dries out and it becomes more vulnerable to oxidative damage and wrinkles.
You should drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day in order to have smoother, more elastic and more luminous skin.