Foods for Your Skin:
The Best Nutrients to Promote Skin Health and Vitality
Your skin is your first line of defence against the outside world, protecting your body and the delicate organs inside against foreign invaders such as environmental pollutants and disease. But more than this, your skin is your most important beauty asset, helping to define your self-image and the way that others see you. Keeping your skin hydrated and nourished is the key to maintaining a healthy, youthful complexion; the foods that you eat play a huge role in the appearance of your skin.
You can keep your skin looking its best by getting the nutrients that help to maintain moisture and protect your body against harmful environmental elements. This article describes the vitamins and minerals that are vital for healthy skin.
Nutrients that Benefit Your Skin
Antioxidants are a group of nutrients that fight the effects of environmental damage caused by substances called free radicals. The antioxidants which benefit your skin the most include vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, green tea, coenzyme Q-10, and extract of grape seed oil. Foods containing these nutrients can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking smooth and vibrant; they also boost your body’s natural healing properties, helping your skin to repair itself more quickly.
Antioxidants are found in a wide variety of foods, including the following: liver; poultry; fish and shellfish; dark green, leafy vegetables; asparagus; peas; onions; citrus fruits; peaches; apricots; apples; grapes, pineapples; winter squash (including pumpkin); sweet potatoes; tomatoes; dairy products; soy products; whole grains; red wine; and many other fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
The vitamins B-3 (niacin) and B-5 (pantothenic acid) are necessary for maintaining moisture in your skin and providing a healthy glow. These nutrients are often added to skin care products such as moisturizers and cosmetics, and they should be included in any healthy diet.
Vitamin B-3 is most often found in protein-rich foods such as meats, fish, legumes, potatoes, peanuts, and eggs.
The best sources of pantothenic acid include meats, whole grains, and legumes.
Although not technically vitamins, bioflavonoids are often referred to collectively as vitamin P. These plant-based nutrients include quercitin, hesperin, eriodyctol, and others, and they are useful for enhancing the beneficial properties of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E.
Bioflavonoids are most often found in citrus fruits, green tea, peppers, pine bark, grapes, onions, garlic, red and blue berries, and buckwheat.
Water is essential for every bodily function, and maintaining healthy skin is no exception. Water keeps your skin hydrated, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and promoting a healthy glow. Water is also vital for transporting nutrients to the skin cells, as well as allowing your skin to heal itself from trauma and environmental damage.
Make sure you drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water every day. Drinking a glass of water before your skin care regimen can help you retain vital moisture, and a glass before each meal helps your body absorb the nutrients you need for healthy-looking skin.
Foods Possibly Bad for Skin Health
To keep your skin looking smooth and youthful, stay away from processed and packaged foods, which often contain chemical additives, such as food coloring and preservatives, which are unhealthy for your skin and can impair proper nutrient absorption.
Everyday Skin Care
In addition to including skin-nourishing foods in your diet, you will need to avoid habits such as smoking and frequent exposure to the sun, which can age your skin prematurely, leaving you with unattractive dark spots and wrinkles which add years to your appearance.
Cleanse your skin gently every day with all-natural soaps containing moisturizing ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E. Pat your skin dry, rather than rubbing with a towel, and apply a natural moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and supple. With the right care, your skin will remain beautiful and healthy-looking for years to come.
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