We all want a healthy, glowing and youthful looking appearance. Many cosmetic products promise much and often deliver little. However, nature offers us some amazingly effective skin care treatments through various nutrients and vitamins in our food. Many of which are readily accessible and much more affordable than certain creams and lotions. So which vitamins are good for skin? The answer is surprisingly easy and by consuming the right amount of certain vitamins you can achieve significant results and see real improvements in the condition of your skin.
Vitamins - Easy As ABC...
Fruits and Vegtables contain antioxidants which are great at tackling free radicals - the molecules responsible for damaging skin cells and causing the signs of aging. Particular Vitamins rich in skin clearing properties include:
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in our vision, immune system, tissue and skin. Specifically Retinoic acid promotes skin health ensuring normal function. Excellent sources of Vitamin A include: Sweet Potato, Carrots, Spinach and Butternut Squash.
A blend of several Vitamin Bs are best for skin care including Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid). These provide oxygenation of your skin cells and perform stress reducing functions. Vitamin B is frequently found in cosmetic skin creams and hair products.
Foods rich in B5 Vitamins are mostly Liver i.e. Beef Liver, Chicken Liver, Lamb Liver and Pork Liver. For Vitamin B6, Tuna and Pork Loin are good sources. B9 (Folate) is found in Yeast Extract Spread and Edamame.
Vitamin C helps maintain healthy bones, teeth, gums and skin. A lack or difficiency of Vitamin C can lead to Scurvy so its link with skin and general health is well established. Foods rich in Vitamin C include: Bell Peppers (red are best), Kale, Kiwifruit, Broccoli and Strawberries.
...and Vitamin E
Last but by no means least, as one of the fat soluble Vitamins, this is a powerful antioxidant reported to last longer than Vitamin C and is effective at clearing skin particualry when it comes to acne. Rich dietary sources are limited to certain oils for Vitamin E, such as Wheat Germ Oil, Almond Oil, Vegetable Oil and Palm Oil, but can also be found in Almonds and also Avocado.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research has also promoted foods rich in Omega-3 as being linked to healthy skin due to its ability to reduce inflamation and maintain fluidity of cell membranes. The best sources for Omega-3 are Salmon, Sardines and Walnuts.
Drink 8 Glasses of Water
Don't forget to supplement your dietary intake by drinking 2 liters of water daily. Most people are aware the body is made made up of around 70% water and this advice is frequently quoted which people often tire of hearing. However, you may not be aware the skin is the largest organ of the body and therefore proper hydration is fundamental to it working efficiently and effectively.
Squash & Pepper Medley
|1 pound zucchini or yellow squash|
|1 red bell pepper|
|2 Tablespoons olive oil|
|2 Table spoons minced fresh chives|
|1/2 teaspoon salt|
|1/4 teapsoon black pepper|
|juice of 1 lemon|
|1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese|
Cut squash and pepper into julienne strips. Heat olive oil in skillet. Add chives and saute briefly. Add squash and pepper to skillet, with salt and pepper, and saute 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour over lemon juice and parmesan cheese and toss to coat well. Makes 4 servings. Prep time: 35 minutes.
Per serving: Calories: 115, Fat:9g, saturated Fat: 2.5g, Protein: 3g, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fiber: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 376mg
|16 ounce bag frozen chopped baby spinach|
|1/2 onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)|
|2 Tablespoon olive oil|
|1/4 teaspoon back pepper|
|1 1/2 teaspoon salt|
|1/2 teaspoon garlic powder|
|3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour|
|1 1/2 cups 2% milk|
|1/3 cup fat free half and half|
|1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese|
Wilt spinach on stovetop. Drain well and set aside. Cook onion in olive oil until tender. Add pepper, salt, garlic powder and flour, and cook unitl beginning to brown. Add milk and half and half and cook until thickened. Stir in cooked spinach and parmesan cheese. Coat a 9 inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. Spread spinach mixture in pie plate and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 7 (1/2 cup) servings. Prep time: 1 hour.
Per serving: Calories: 135, Fat: 7.5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Protein: 5g, Carbohydrates: 12g, Fiber: 1g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 695mg.
Look after yourself and please remember to stay within public health experts' recommended upper & lower limits for % Daily Values - assumes a 2,000 calorie daily diet.