Did you know that United States is the biggest cosmetic market in the world with an estimated revenue of $55 billion in 2014. There is no question that we are a society obsessed with beauty. Though people generally depend on cosmetics to enhance their looks, I’d like to see something different.
I want to see promotions on how to maintain beauty with healthy eating! Yes, you heard it right, staying youthful and aging gracefully does not need to be expensive, nor does it require manufactured cosmetics. The fountain of Youth is right at your finger tips, it is right in your kitchen! In this blog, I will discuss four main vitamins important for healthy, radiant skin and where to find them in food.
Anti-aging Benefits: Remember when your parents tell you to eat carrots because they’re good for your eyes? As it turns out, vitamin A is not only important for eye sight, it is also important for proper wound healing and the formation of healthy scar tissue. It plays an important role in cell turnover and therefore is important for the regeneration and repair of skin tissue. Vitamin A deficiency can lead not only to night blindness, but also to dry and scaly skin and decreased immune function.
Food Sources: bright orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, eggs, meat, dairy, liver, and fish oil.
Recommended Dose: 3,000 IU/day for men and 2,310 IU/day for women
Anti-aging Benefits: Vitamin B is actually a complex of 8 different vitamins and is involved in many functions within the body including the nervous system, the immune system, and energy production. In terms of the skin, Vitamin B promotes healthy skin, hair and nails by counteracting free radicals, molecules that cause damage to healthy cells and contribute to premature aging. Vitamin B deficiency can lead to dry, dull looking skin, wrinkles, acne, hair loss, and splitting nails.
Food Source: wheat germ (an additive for smoothies, yogurt, muffins), nuts, vegetable oil, animal products (fish, poultry, meat), dairy, fortified breakfast cereals, enriched soy or rice milk.
Anti-aging Benefits: An important player in collagen and elastin production which helps to keep your skin firm and smooth. Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant that helps to protect against skin damage and supports the immune system. Deficiency in vitamin C can slow down wound healing and cause dry skin. In extreme cases, a lack of vitamin C will turn you into a scurvy pirate. Aaaarrr!!
Food Source: Citrus fruits, kiwi fruit (not to be confused with Kiwi which is how New Zealanders refer to themselves!), strawberries, mangoes, broccoli, tomato, sweet potato, winter squash.
Recommended Dose: 90 mg/day for men and 75 mg/day for women
Anti-aging Benefits: One of the most abundant antioxidants in the skin, especially the epidermis. Vitamin E in the outer layer of skin protects it from UV damage. According to an article published in “The Journal of Investigative Dermatology” in 2005, vitamin E taken with vitamin C for 3 months can protect skin against some of the DNA damage caused by sunburn. DNA damage from sunburn is one of the primary contributors to dangerous melanomas (read more from the source…).
Food Sources: Nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts), wheat germ (can add to yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal), avocado, spinach, asparagus, beet greens, and mustard greens
Recommended Dose: 15 mg/day for adults, 19 mg/day for lactating women
So there you have it, four important vitamins for healthy and youthful skin and the foods that provide them. Stay tuned for my next blog on minerals and their benefits on skin!