Everyone wants perfect glowing skin whether you're 20 or 50 it's one of the things that make you feel good about yourself! Your skin is the largest organ of your body and covers about 2 square metres. The health of your skin, hair and nails is a general reflection of your internal health so it's a good indicator of what is going on inside of you. Research has shown that the biggest contributors to ageing skin is UV exposure, smoking, pollution, lack of sleep and inadequate nutrition. Here I have listed some important key nutrients your skin LOVES.....
Vitamin C - your skin is made up of a protein called collagen (amongst many other things). Vitamin c is involved in the synthesis of collagen and assists in wound healing. It's also an antioxidant which means that it protects your skin from free radical damage. The best sources are fresh fruits and vegetables eaten raw or very lightly cooked as vitamin c is destroyed in freezing, heating and processing by up to 90%. Sources include strawberries, peppers, citrus fruit, kiwi, parsley
Vitamin E - antioxidant, helps to protect collagen and offers protection from the sun. All of which reduces ageing of the skin. Best sources are nuts, seeds, avocado, spinach. Wheat germ is a good source of vitamin E however the processing of flour removes up to 80% of the vitamin so don't depend on bread to get your daily intake!
Vitamin A - prevents collagen breakdown, antioxidant, maintenance of the skin, reduces skin wrinkling and protects from the sun. Best sources are anything orange or yellow! squash, carrots, sweet potato, egg yolk as well as green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach.
Vitamin D - antioxidant, protects skin from UV damage. Best sources are fish, egg yolk, sunlight!
Zinc - required for the normal functioning of the skin, wound healing, repair and protects against skin cell damage. Best sources are good quality meat, nuts, seeds
CoQ10 - potent antioxidant, helps to protect skin from damage. Best sources are meat/fish, nuts, broccolli
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) - these include the omega 3 and 6 fats. Production of these important oils in the body is limited and affected by many factors. In order to ensure adequate levels, they and should be consumed daily in equal amounts. Higher intake of omega 3 has been associated with reduced dryness, wrinkles and inflammation. Best sources are oily fish, nuts, seeds.
Resveratrol (polyphenol) - antioxidant, you may have seen expensive skin products on TV claiming it's anti-ageing effects. Best sources are blueberries, cranberries, grapes. So it's much cheaper to eat them!
Cosgrove, Maeve C., et al. "Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women–." The American journal of clinical nutrition 86.4 (2007): 1225-1231.
Schagen, Silke K., et al. "Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging." Dermato-endocrinology 4.3 (2012): 298-307.
The Nutrient Bible. 9th Edition. Osiecki, H.