Our skin is the largest organ in the human body, and although we sometimes feel so frustrated when we have a bad skin day (especially if it is before a big event, because that is just how life is) our skin is much more than just the looks. Our skin acts as a protective layer against toxins like chemicals, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and other microorganisms that can cause havoc in the body. Evidence shows that nutrition has a great impact on the health and aging of our skin, and that the health of our skin starts from the inside. Here are some ways how you can ensure you are giving your skin the nutrients it needs.
Zinctify your Skin
About 6% of the total zinc concentration of the body is located in the skin, making it one of the most zinc abundant organs in the body. Research believes that there is a link between zinc deficiency and skin disorders, like acne, and was found to be a promising and cost-effective alternative to other treatments. Zinc plays an important role in the formation, repair and maintenance of your skin, keeping it soft and supple.
What To Eat for a Zinc Boost
Make sure you include enough zinc in your diet by eating foods like shellfish, fish, lean red meat, chicken, dairy products, whole-grains, nuts and seeds.
The big C
Vitamin C is also found in quite high concentrations in our skin, and is very important for a lot of reasons: Firstly, it helps with the stimulation of collagen, a structural protein that act as building blocks for our skin, helping to maintain the form and function of our skin. This vitamin has anti-oxidant properties, protecting us from damage caused by too much exposure to the sun. Vitamin C deficiency is also linked to poor wound healing, which can influence the healing of skin disorders such as acne.
What To Eat
Food that is high in vitamin C include strawberries, broccoli, pineapples, papaya, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts and of course your citrus fruits.
Antioxidants for Youthful Skin
Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals. These free radicals can cause oxidative stress to your cells, which is found to be a cause of the development of wrinkles.
What To Eat for Antioxidants
To ensure you are eating enough anti-oxidants, make sure you eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Olive oil is also rich in polyphenols, which has very powerful anti-oxidant properties.
Unrefined Carbohydrates for Refined Skin
When we eat refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, biscuits, muffins, sugar and sugary foods, it can cause a spike in our blood sugar resulting in high insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that assist glucose (a type of sugar) to enter our body’s cells to be used as energy. If our insulin levels are too high, it can cause hormonal changes in the body, which can result in acne.
What are the Best Carbs to Eat
Rather go for unrefined carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, oats, brown rice, corn, bran, whole wheat bread, barley and legumes. These types of carbohydrates will have a slower release of sugar into your bloodstream for optimal blood sugar control, and will not cause a spike in insulin.
Living a healthy lifestyle
An overall healthy lifestyle is also very important for optimal skin health. This includes being active, getting enough sleep, avoid smoking, drinking enough water (about 1.5 – 2 L per day), managing your stress levels and having a good skincare routine.
- Ogawa Y, Kinoshita M, Shimada S, Kawamura T. Zinc and Skin Disorders. Nutrients. 2018;10(2):199. Published 2018 Feb 11. doi:10.3390/nu10020199
- Vollmer DL, West VA, Lephart ED. Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural Compounds and Minerals with Implications to the Dermal Microbiome. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(10):3059. Published 2018 Oct 7. doi:10.3390/ijms19103059
- Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):866. Published 2017 Aug 12. doi:10.3390/nu9080866
- Pérez-Sánchez A, Barrajón-Catalán E, Herranz-López M, Micol V. Nutraceuticals for Skin Care: A Comprehensive Review of Human Clinical Studies. Nutrients. 2018;10(4):403. Published 2018 Mar 24. doi:10.3390/nu10040403