Nutrition plays an important part in the health and appearance of our skin. Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins, Phytochemicals and Minerals are all important and minimal daily requirements have been established. Of major importance are vitamins A, C and E, and the ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids.
Nutrition is important for maintaining normal and optimal skin functions and to prevent inflammation, photo-aging and other skin disorders. The effect of adequate amounts of nutrients in our diet for optimal skin health, appearance and function is widely accepted.
Skin Health Boosting Vitamins:
Vitamins are organic nutrients that are necessary in small amounts for normal metabolism. Most vitamins must be provided by diet or by supplements since only Vitamin D, K and B, along with biotin, can be made by the body. Vitamins are either fat soluble of water soluble. Fat soluble vitamins (A,D and E) are stored in the body and excessive consumption can lead to toxic levels. Water soluble vitamins are not stored and have to be taken on a regular basis to maintain normal levels in the body.
Vitamin A is critical for the normal life cycle of skin cells. Without it, skin becomes fragile and the onset of wrinkles occurs more rapidly. Vitamin A is a family of fat soluble vitamins: retinol, retinal and retinoic aced. Some plant foods contain pre-Vitamin A carotenoids that our bodies convert to Vitamin A. Some of the best sources of Vitamin A are fruits and vegetables, especially carrots, broccoli, spinach and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C (absorbic acid) is the active form of Vitamin C and cannot be synthesized by humans, therefore it must be taken in by diet or supplements. It is important for the synthesis of collagen and it also acts as an antioxidant to help prevent the formation of free radicals. Adequate amounts of Vitamin C are easily obtained in fruits and vegetables like oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli, peas and green peppers.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant with many beneficial effects on the skin. The most biologically active form is alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E also has an anti-inflammatory effect inhibiting the prostaglandin pathway. Major sources are from seed oils like almond, hazelnut and sunflower seeds.
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