I must tell you, I tend to be pretty extreme when it comes to my skin and I know all the best nutrients for your skin if you’re the same way. I had acne something terrible in high school, mainly from my less-than-stellar diet. Sugar, bread, refined carbs, fast food, and junk food made up my list of go-to foods. If I was out to eat, it was cheese and chicken, or bread and ice cream. I’m not even kidding. I lived off milkshakes, honey buns, cookies, and ice cream in college, so it’s no wonder my skin looked terrible! So, when nutrition became my lifeblood at age 18 that saved me from everything from depression, weight gain, and yes, acne, I was hooked. My skin turned around in just one month, along with my sense of life, vitality, weight, and appreciation for real food and how it made me feel. So, I’d like to share with you the best nutrients for your skin if you’re in need of some help too.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a critical nutrient for your immune system as you know, but also one of the best nutrients for your skin. Vitamin C promotes healthy collagen growth in the skin, hair, and nails. Collagen helps your skin look supple, youthful, and wrinkle-free. Vitamin C also prevents harmful invaders like free radicals. This helps combat bacteria and toxicity in the body. It’s always best to get your VItamin C through whole foods, not synthetic supplements. The best sources are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, cherries, apples, oranges, leafy greens, broccoli, and superfoods like camu-camu berries.
2. Vitamin a
Vitamin A is the nutrient that helps keep your skin clear. It fights acne, combats uneven complexion, and can even help brighten up dull skin. You want to focus on plant-based sources of Vitamin A that are rich in beta-carotene. This is the form of Vitamin A that is easiest to absorb from your diet instead of synthetic sources. Your best sources of Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, seaweeds like spirulina and chlorella ( which are whole foods you can buy in powder or pill form), peaches, cantaloupe, goji berries, winter squash, and all the leafy greens you can get your hands on. Increasing your intake of Vitamin A is one of the quickest, most efficient ways to improve your skin, in just one week.
Biotin is a commonly known B vitamin that helps your hair grow, but it also helps your skin improve as well. Biotin is water soluble, which means your body can easily absorb it, but can also easily be excreted through too much caffeine intake and excess urination. To make sure your body gets the biotin you’re eating, be sure you eliminate as much caffeine from your diet as you can. Biotin acts as a co-enzyme factor which triggers proper fat metabolism, and it regulates your blood sugar. This helps prevent dips in the glycemic index that trigger insulin, which causes stress in the body, and it leads to breakouts quickly. A drop in your sugar levels is a sure-fire way to promote bad skin, so avoid it whenever possible. Biotin is also responsible for healthy fat production, and healthy fats are critical for maintaining an overall great appearance. To be sure you get enough biotin, eat enough healthy fats in your diet, and eat biotin rich foods. Foods high in biotin include wild fish (not farmed), chia seeds, oats, hemp seeds, spirulina, organic eggs, Swiss chard, romaine lettuce, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. Eat these foods weekly or daily whenever possible, and decrease the amount of sugar, caffeine, and refined foods from your diet.
Most of you probably know that protein is important for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Protein contains amino acid that trigger growth, maintenance, and repair of your collagen and keratin levels in your skin. To ensure you get the best sources, include wild fish like salmon, all nuts and seeds with a focus on hemp seeds, almonds, and pumpkin seeds, quinoa, oats, and all leafy greens, which are high in plant protein. Peas and legumes are also fantastic sources of plant protein, along with brown rice. If you eat animal protein, be sure to choose grass fed, wild, or organic sources whenever possible. Animal protein can age your skin, while plant proteins promote a strong, youthful appearance to your skin.
5. Omega 3 Fats
Omega 3 fats are absolutely vital to your skin health. Without them, you’ll have acne, rashes, dry skin, and skin that appears older than you wish. Omega 3 fats help plump up your skin, repair damaged skin cells, fight inflammation that leads to acne, and fills in fine lines from the inside out that causes wrinkles. Lucky for you, it’s quite easy to get enough omega 3s from your diet. Include plenty of wild fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, hemp oil, flax oil, and walnuts to your diet whenever possible.
Selenium is a lovely mineral for your hair, skin, nails, and especially your thyroid. Selenium is an important antioxidant that will help keep your skin healthy, your energy high, and your mood optimal. So what exactly does it do for your skin? By serving as an antioxidant, it fights free radicals, and inflammation. This means less acne, and fewer wrinkles, along with a more vibrant look to your skin.
Now for my favorite nutrient for your skin of all - chlorophyll! Want your skin clear, youthful, and vibrant? Eat your greens girls! Chlorophyll is the green pigment that gives green produce their beautiful, bright green and dark green colors. It is produced primarily through plants by sunlight and oxygen during growth. The highest source of chlorophyll are sea algae like spirulina, chlorella, and wheatgrass. Now, I know what you’re thinking - gross! However, you can easily take whole food chlorella and spirulina in tablet form, or use them as a powder in just 1 teaspoon amounts in your smoothies. They also help increase regularity and liver detoxification, along with fighting acidic inflammation from stress, poor diet, and exercise. You can also get plenty of chlorophyll through all leafy greens and green vegetables. Include something with chlorophyll at every meal for the best results. Your skin will be clear, radiate, look more youthful, and your energy will soar through the roof!
Consuming more of these nutrients in your diet will truly turn your skin around in no time The key is, you must get rid of sugar, processed food, fast food, and high starch foods. These are all detrimental to your skin, along with your overall health. They aren’t only acidic and promote acne and aging, but they also make you feel tired, lethargic, and depressed. Do your body and skin a favor, and consume healthy foods rich in the nutrients above. What healthy foods do you eat for your skin?