By: Megan Vucinovich MS, RD, CD
A proper nutrition and exercise routine is vital for maintaining good health. A person’s outward appearance, including skin, hair and nails, is also reflected by having good nutrition.
Nourish your body from the inside out
Swap The Fat
Trade the bad fats in your diet (saturated and trans fat) with heart healthy Omega-3 fattyacids. A diet high in cold water fish, like salmon or fortified omega-3 fatty acid eggs,flax seed/oil, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts help prevent dry skin and inflammation. Linoleic acid, which is found in safflower, sunflower and olive oil, is also an important ingredient for keeping the skin and follicles hydrated.
Be Choosy About Carbs
Choose whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates. White breads, white pastas, baked goods and soft drinks provide a lot of sugar and too little fiber. Excessive sugar consumption may promote skin aging, whereas diets high in fiber help the absorption of other key nutrients, therefore promoting a healthy complexion.
Good Sources: whole grains, legumes, citrus fruits, vegetables and nuts
Stay Hydrated and Prevent the Bloat
Drinking plenty of water helps flush impurities from your skin cells to make the skin look clean and hydrated.
Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption which act as diuretics. Aim for 64 oz of water each day. Avoid salty foods. Large amounts of salt in the diet can cause a bloated appearance.
Remember Your Alphabet in Vitamin Form
A: Important for growth, vision and immune response. A deficiency can lead to skin disorders and cause nails to split and break.
Good Sources: carrots, yellow squash, tomatoes, spinach, leafy greens, apricots and peaches
C: Antioxidant that prevents rough, dry skin. Contributes to cell growth & regeneration of collagen when taken with iron and copper.
Good Sources: leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, oranges, melons, berries
D: Is naturally formed in the skin when exposed to sunlight. It is recommended to limit sun exposure to prevent skin damage. Therefore, a diet high in calcium and vitamin D is beneficial for calcium absorption, bone formation and skin healing.
Good Sources: egg yolks, herring, sardines, tuna, salmon and fortified milk
E: Antioxidant that inactivates free radicals and improves texture of skin. Helps prevent inflammation.
Good Sources: olive oil, nut butter, nuts, sunflower seeds, asparagus, broccoli, leafy greens, oats, brown rice
Selenium: Antioxidant and trace mineral. Helps prevent inflammation and retain skins elasticity.
Good Sources: walnuts, celery, onions, cucumbers, apples, scallops, shrimp, oats, brown rice
Zinc: Promotes vitamin A and selenium function. Helps prevent skin inflammation.
Good Sources: pumpkin seeds, soybeans, tuna eggs, chicken, whole grains