Published on February 16th, 2013 | by George Conte0
Avoid skin problems with foods that are good for your skin
Many people ask me if it is possible to improve our skin health through nutrition. The answer of course is yes, a healthy diet has a direct impact on skin health. It is important to only consume the best foods that are good for your skin especially if you already have skin problems. To keep the skin healthy and glowing it is necessary to ensure that we follow a balanced diet, rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Also it is important to consume sufficient amounts of water.
An unbalanced and low calorie diet weakens the body’s immune system defenses and increases the risk that infections of the skin like acne will happen.
Scientific studies indicate that increased sugar consumption leads to impairment of collagen (Substance which gives consistency and flexibility to the skin) of the skin causing the appearance of brown spots (Holick, 2007).
The chemical diets, which exclude entire food groups, do not help maintain a healthy skin and lack of nutrients causes symptoms like redness, itching, dryness and burning. The absence of vitamin A causes scleroderma, low levels of vitamin B complex cause redness, soreness, dryness or excessive oiliness. Very small bruises are visible in cases of lack
vitamin C, while the dry and dull skin indicates low consumption levels of folic acid and essential fatty acids. People who suffer from acne problems have zinc deficiency.
Adequate and proper nutrition starting from a young age is essential to avoid skin aging. As time passes the collagen and elastin fibers reduce, resulting in skin wrinkle creation. Antioxidants like vitamins A, E, C, selenium and flavonoids can slow the rate of normal aging, and partially neutralize the negative ultraviolet radiation and other factors that generate free radicals.
Studies have shown that eating foods rich in vitamin E and C while applying topical products that contain the same vitamins, offers significant protection from sun radiation (http://www.smartskincare.com)
As for water, you need to consume at least 8-10 glasses daily. The water carries nutrients to the skin and removes waste products. The skin is the last organ that water reaches and if you do not drink a sufficient quantity, your skin will be negatively affected.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in large amounts in fish and fish oils. The intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids helps in clinical improvement of patients with skin diseases and especially patients with psoriasis. Polyunsaturated fatty acids help in conditions like inflammatory skin diseases, and regulate the production of intermediate inflammatory mediators associated with the immune function of the skin.
Vitamins for skin
Vitamins and minerals play an important role in maintaining good skin health. The following is a description of each substance and the best sources to find it.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which helps to maintain skin elasticity. In situations where we lack vitamin A, irritability of the skin and dry skin are observed.
Rich sources: fish oil, margarine, liver, egg yolk.
Vitamin A can also be obtained from foods rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A. The quantity of 30mg daily can reduce the redness and inflammation caused by sunburn.
Rich sources of beta carotene: carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach.
Vitamin B complex
The B vitamins help to maintain the smooth function of the skin (including the operation of skin lubrication) (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/skinconditions).
Rich sources of vitamin B complex are: poultry, fish, green vegetables, eggs.
Vitamin C helps to maintain the collagen and promotes a faster healing of wounds. Deficiency leads to weakening blood vessels and in the breakage of the capillary located in the external skin layers.
Rich sources of vitamin C are: citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, and spinach.
Vitamin E has potent antioxidant activity. Mostly helps prevention of aging of the skin and enhances the resistance against the solar radiation (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/skinconditions).
Rich sources of vitamin E are: salmon, beans, almonds, leafy vegetables, olive oil, and sesame oil.
Reduces the destructive effect of ultraviolet radiation on the skin.
Studies have shown that low levels of selenium in the blood are associated with
increased risk of skin cancer (Http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/skinconditions).
Rich sources: wheat, sesame, whole grains
Helps to maintain collagen and elastin.
Rich sources: Shellfish, turkey, mushrooms.
|Vitamin A (retinol):||Fish, fish, eggs, dairy|
|Vitamin A (carotenoids)||Carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mangoes, oranges|
|Thiamine (vitamin B1)||Dry yeast, grains, pork, whole grains
grains, nuts, legumes, potatoes
|Riboflavin (vitamin B2)||Dairy, red meat, eggs, wholegrain cereals|
|Vitamin B6||Dry yeast, liver, whole grains, fish, legumes|
|Vitamin E||Vegetable oils, leafy vegetables, egg yolk, legumes|
|Niacin||Red meat, fish, legumes, wholegrain cereals|
|Biotin||Liver, egg yolk, yeast, cauliflower, nuts
|Vitamin C||Citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage,
|Iron||Red meat, beans, soy flour|
|Zinc||Red meat, liver, eggs, oysters, nuts, groundnuts, seeds|
|Copper||Oysters, nuts, wholegrain cereals|
|Fatty acids omega-3||Cod liver oil, fish oil, anchovies and fish such as mackerel and salmon|
|Fatty acids omega-6||vegetable oils|
The role of nutrition, as you can tell by now, is very important for a healthy skin. Processed foods containing low nutritional ingredients, negatively affect the physiology, and the aesthetic image of skin. A diet rich in fiber, low in fats (main sources from olive oil and vegetable oil) can contribute positively to good skin health. Also, adequate intake of all vitamins by a well balanced and healthy diet helps a lot. Finally all of the above, along with drinking enough water will have satisfactory results for your skin.