Our skin plays an important role in regulating body homeostasis (tendency to auto-regulate and maintain internal environment in a stable state) by keeping water loss to a minimum and by regulating body temperature. Human skin is continuously exposed to internal and external influences that may alter its condition and functioning.
Skin functioning and skin attractiveness are dependent on nutrition. This is evidenced by the development of skin lesions in response to nutritional deficiencies. Hence, dietary supplementation with essential vitamins, minerals, or fatty acids improves skin conditions. Some of the most important nutrients for skin health are:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant. It helps to reduce oxidative stress to the body and may lower cancer risk. Vitamin C is also involved in the synthesis of collagen, an important protein for making your skin supple. Many fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamin C, so be sure to include them in your diet. Food sources high in vitamin C include: Citrous fruits, broccoli, sprouts, kale, red and green bell peppers, guava, grapefruit, strawberries.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is one of the key vitamins for skin health. When combined with vitamin A, vitamin E is especially effective at preventing certain skin cancers. Because of vitamin E’s antioxidant properties, it helps fight free radicals caused by pollution, smoking, processed foods and sun exposure. Free radicals are the catalyst for premature skin aging such as wrinkles. Food sources high in vitamin E include: almonds, eggs, walnuts, avocados, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, spinach, oatmeal, and olives.
3. Vitamin A / Beta Carotene
Vitamin A, also known as beta carotene and retinol, is a widely acclaimed skin nutrient used by dermatologists to treat chronic acne and psoriasis.
Foods rich in Vitamin A are – sweet potato,kale, spinach, apricots, winter squash, and other dark leafy greens.
Selenium has many of the same skin benefits as vitamin E and together they safeguard cell membranes. Cell membranes are the protective coating around all cells. Selenium helps to slow the signs of aging, by protecting the cell membrane.
Actually Selenium is a triple treat, protecting against UV-induced cell damage, skin inflammation and pigmentation.
“It helps skin fight infection. Your immune system relies on selenium to function well. In fact, it’s selenium, along with other minerals, that bolsters your body’s army of white blood cells and strengthens your response to infections – including those on the skin – since skin is your body’s first line of defense.”
Foods rich in Selenium includes:-
Brazil nuts,Almonds,spinach,mushrooms,oats,wheat,soy beans,brown rice,whole grains,sunflower seeds.