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If only we could just lie around like those lazy plants and have everything we need brought straight to us. When a houseplant isn’t looking so hot, you rush to bring it more water and adjust its location for optimal sunlight. We rarely give our personal health that sort of attention. Our skin requires a bunch of different nutrients to be healthy and radiant. Sadly, we have to do a little more than plants to get all the nutrients our bodies and skin need. But, we don’t have to work as hard as you may think.
Here’s a list of some key nutrients your skin craves and some common foods loaded with each of them.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E are powerful antioxidants and your best bet against free radicals. Free radicals are these pesky molecules typically created by reactions from overexposure to sunlight, pollution, chemicals or cigarette smoke in your body. They destroy collagen and elastin, which are fibers that support skin structure, causing skin to lose its strength and elasticity and wrinkle.
Citrus fruits like oranges and limes, leafy greens, bell peppers and broccoli are all very rich in vitamin C. Nuts, vegetable oils and olives all rank very high in vitamin E.
Vitamin A is necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue. Carrots, sweet potatoes, liver, apricots and milk are all packed with vitamin A. Recent studies have shown Beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, to reduce the risk of psoriasis.
Vitamin B7, or biotin, forms the basis of skin, nail and hair cells. Nuts, tuna, haddock, low-fat yogurt and bananas are all great sources of biotin. Most people get plenty of biotin because it’s found in so many foods, but a deficiency could lead toward dermatitis, brittle nails or hair loss.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are so important. EFAs are essential in the production of your skin’s natural oil barrier. Just so you know, not all oil on your skin is bad. You actually have a layer of oil on your skin that your body produces to keep the bad stuff, like bacteria, out and the good stuff, like moisture, in. Without EFAs, your skin will become dry and more prone to inflammation and acne breakouts.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are the key essential fatty acids. Poultry, grains and cooking oils are good sources of omega-6s; while salmon, mackerel and flax seed are very high in omega-3s.
By the way, a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is loaded with these essential fatty acids.
Zinc works to clear skin by regulating oil production. By controlling oil production, zinc may help clear up or prevent acne breakouts. Great sources of zinc include oysters, lean meat, and poultry.
Iron gives your skin a healthy, lively look and promotes blood flow. Red meat, eggs, chicken, shrimp and spinach are excellent sources of iron. Why do you think Popeye had such great skin?
Are you seeing a common theme here? Healthy skin simply needs a healthy, well-balanced diet. Fast food and deep fried cookies won’t make the cut. Go back to the old school lessons from when you were a kid — eat from all the main food groups each day. Also, do me a favor? Drink plenty of water each day, get some fresh air and go for a walk. Such simple things can vastly improve how you feel on a daily basis.
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