Sunday, June 24, 2007

Best Nutrients for Healthy Skin

At my age, I have new concerns about my skin. I found the following information about maintaining healthy skin from Alert to be quite helpful!

Healthy, glowing skin has always been a hallmark of attractiveness in both men and women, and it is a powerful indicator of overall health. Likewise, skin that is dry, oily, or inflamed is an indicator of something amiss inside the body. “Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including it’s nutritional needs,” said Dr. Georgiana Donadio, founder of the National Institute of Whole Health.

Many people resort to commercial soaps, creams, lotions, and scrubs to treat skin problems, but none address the source of the problem: a combination of poor diet and toxins in both diet and personal care products.

Many recent studies show that the skin is nourished by certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which make it appear healthy and years younger. The following are the top five nutrients for healthier skin:

Omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) found in omega-3 oils help repair and maintain moisture and flexibility in the skin. Since the body can’t manufacture its own EFAs, they must come from the diet, including oily fish, shellfish, sunflower oil, walnuts and flax seeds. In addition to making the skin soft and supple, EFAs also treat many ailments, including heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

Zinc. An adequate amount of zinc is a requirement, and a lack of zinc may manifest itself as acne. Zinc controls the production of oil in the skin and may control some of the hormones responsible for acne. Zinc is also essential for the immune system as well as for keeping taste, smell, and vision in tip-top shape. An adequate amount of zinc is also thought important in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Zinc is found in oysters, pecans, oats, and eggs.

Silica. Silica is a trace mineral that keeps the body’s connective tissues (muscles, tendons, hair, nails, cartilage, and bone) strong. A deficiency can result in less efficient healing of wounds and a reduction in skin elasticity. Silica is found in green beans, leaks, strawberries, celery, asparagus, garbanzo beans, and in the herb horsetail.

Selenium. The antioxidant selenium is a mineral that prevents cell damage by free radicals, and also makes the skin elastic. Studies have associated it with a reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Selenium is found in brown rice, wheat germ, tuna, salmon, eggs, and Brazil nuts.

Vitamins C, E, and A. This triumvirate of vitamins is vital to healthy skin. Vitamin C reduces free-radical damage, and when combined with E, protects against sun damage. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus juices, peppers, berries, parsley, and kale. The antioxidant vitamin E reduces the appearance of wrinkles and soothes dry, rough skin. It’s found in wheat germ, almonds, safflower and sunflower oils, and is even more powerful at protecting the skin against sun damage and preventing skin cancers when combined with vitamin A. Adequate vitamin A helps repair and maintain the skin and is often used to treat skin conditions, including acne. Dry, flaky skin is often a tip-off to a deficiency. Carrots, liver, sweet potatoes, kale, apricots, collard greens, spinach, and cantaloupe are all high in vitamin A. Since vitamin A supplements can be dangerous in excess, beta carotene, which helps the body make its own vitamin A, is safer.

In addition to nourishing the skin from the inside, care must be taken to avoid skin-care products that will damage your skin from the outside. Many products, including those expensive brands sold in department stores, are chocked full of toxins that soak straight into the skin and enter the blood stream. Petroleum derivatives, for example, can damage the liver and cause cancer, and can damage your body’s DNA, affecting your entire body. Buy skin-care products that are free of petroleum products and parabens. A good rule of thumb is to buy only those that have pronounceable ingredients. Check out Pangea Organics and Lluvia products from the Amazon Herb Company.



Pam, that was just full of really good information. I thank you, some of that I really will benifit from knowing. Thank you for sharing it. connie from Texas

have a good week.

Rebecca said...

Good post Pam! That five a day rule really is true. At least 2 fruits and 3 veggies. And if you can't buy organic do be sure to wash your fruits and veggies well to rid them of pesticides and dirt.You're right about that skincare too. Most dermatologists will tell you that plain old soap and water is still the best way to wash your face.

Momma Roar said...

Informative post Pam - Thanks!!

By the way, my cruet arrived! :) I knew you'd be happy for me!

groovyoldlady said...

So what are you saying? Are you implying that my random applications of lard aren't going to help?

Baptist Girl said...

thank you pam. I am going to purchase some. I have not had much of a problem with my skin over the years but as of lately I am seeing a difference.


Julie Fink said...

Thanks for sharing this!

Lyndy said...

Good info here. My mother is 70 and she has really good skin and she has swore by Vit. E for years and she has no age spots but if she even runs out of her Vit. E just for one week the age spots will pop out and then once she gets it back into her system they fade again.

Penless Thoughts said...

Nothing ages skin more than smoking and too much sun.

Just Mom said...

Thanks for the tips. I'll have to check out that link.

Jodi said...

Pam - wonderful information. Thank you so much for putting this post together.

I must say - you tickled me with your rule of thumb: only those that have pronounceable ingredients. Sounds like a good idea for food, too! ;o)

Happymama said...

Very helpful! Thanky!