Eczema, Skin Conditions | August 22, 2018 | Author: Naturopath
The skin is the body’s largest organ and reflects internal health. Both lifestyle and genetics play a very important role; however, nutrition is the biggest key to healthy skin. Eating the right foods will not only enhance natural beauty, but also help minimize wrinkles, acne, inflammation and other skin-related conditions.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant trace mineral that is responsible for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity. This mineral not only prevents acne but also aids in skin cancer prevention. It promotes absorption of vitamin E and enhances the antioxidant function of vitamin E, which is stored in the skin. This means less deterioration to the skin's collagen.
Food sources high in selenium include brazil nuts, walnuts, red snapper, tuna, liver, wheat germ, herring, seafood, whole grains, brown rice and poultry.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. It helps to reduce oxidative stress to the body and is involved in the synthesis of collagen, an important protein for making the skin supple. It has the ability to help reverse skin aging and can protect against skin damage and free radical formation caused by ultraviolet exposure. Vitamin C also benefits the skin by lightening hyperpigmentation.
Studies have shown that vitamin C helps suppress melanin production to prevent dark spots and patches.
Many fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamin C such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, capsicum, beet greens, grapefruit, strawberries, kale, parsley, collard greens and turnip greens.
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. Due to vitamin E’s antioxidant properties, it helps fight free radicals caused by pollution, smoking, processed foods and sun exposure.
Vitamin E also benefits the skin by strengthening the capillary walls and improving moisture and elasticity. Studies have shown that vitamin E reduces inflammation both within the body and on the skin, helping maintain healthy, youthful skin.
Taking vitamin E with vitamin C fights skin inflammation after exposure to UV radiation and can also be useful in decreasing signs of acne and eczema.
Vitamin E helps the healing process in the skin. It’s absorbed by the epidermis layer of the skin and can be used to treat sunburn, which is one of the leading causes of skin cancer, among other factors.
Because it speeds up cell regeneration, it can be used to treat scars, acne and wrinkles.
Food sources high in vitamin E include: almonds, eggs, walnuts, avocados, asparagus, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, spinach, oatmeal, and olives.
These essential fatty acids offer healing benefits in various inflammatory conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Omega-3 fatty acids also manage overexposure of cortisol levels, which in turn helps keep skin supple and guard against wrinkle formation. Omega 3 fatty-acids are also responsible for skin repair, moisture content and overall flexibility. Since the body doesn't produce these fatty acids, they must be obtained through the diet.
Food sources high in omega-3s include: walnuts, salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Fish oil supplements can also be taken on a daily basis.
Vitamin A is critical for skin repair and maintenance. Beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is an antioxidant found in brightly coloured foods. This antioxidant helps to reduce free radical damage that occurs due to skin damage caused by overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Foods sources high in vitamin A and beta-carotene include: liver, collard greens, asparagus, peaches, beet greens, kale, spinach, eggs, sweet potato, and red peppers.
Zinc is an important trace mineral that helps repair damaged tissue and heals wounds. Another important use for zinc includes protecting the skin from the sun.
Skin conditions such as acne can result from a deficiency in zinc and it can also help the production of oil in the skin.
Foods sources high in zinc include: oysters, pecans, poultry, pumpkin seeds, ginger, legumes, seafood, mushrooms and whole grains.
Evening primrose oil is high in essential fatty acids. It is naturally highly concentrated with Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), which is an omega 6 fatty-acid. It can be taken orally or used topically and is ideal for those struggling with sensitive skin conditions or hormonal imbalances. It has a high antioxidant content which can play a role in balancing hormones and soothing skin conditions when taken orally.
Grapeseed oil has many antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat acne breakouts. It also has the ability to make the skin softer and more elastic and helps both vitamin E and vitamin C in the skin to be more efficient and effective at preserving the skin.
Grapeseed oil contains a powerful antioxidant ingredient called proanthocyanidin. This antioxidant evens out skin tone. Taking grapeseed oil extract orally has been shown to improve the symptoms of melasma (also called chloasma), a hyper-pigmentation of the skin.
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Powerful antioxidants in Grapeseed oil prevent the skin absorbing damaging UV rays from the sun.
One of the most well-known benefits of collagen is its ability to promote glowing, vibrant skin.
This essential protein provides elasticity to the skin, helping it to appear more youthful and healthy.
As people get older and collagen production declines, fine lines begin to appear, as well as, loose skin.
A recent study randomly chose women aged 35-55 years, to take a collagen supplement. The results showed an improvement in skin elasticity within four weeks and a significant reduction of fine line and deeper wrinkles within eight weeks.
There are many collagen products on the market from drinks and powders to creams and serums containing collagen. Collagen is much more effective when taken orally and can be found in both animal sourced ingredients and vegan alternatives.
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Silica is the third most abundant trace element in the human body after iron and zinc. Silica has the ability to help with skin regeneration by creating bonds between protein molecules, which are responsible for the skin’s natural ability to retain water and are critical for cell repair and renewal.
Silica is required for rebuilding collagen. It does this by sitting inside collagen, acting as glue, providing strength, flexibility and resilience to connective tissues. This glue-like function means silica is imperative for helping to keep nails, teeth and hair robust and healthy. It is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps relieve skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Additionally, silica works to keep other minerals in balance, such as calcium and magnesium, which play an important role in keeping hormones balanced.
There are many foods containing ingredients that are essential for beautiful, healthy skin. Alternatively these nutrients can also be obtained in supplement form in the way of tablets, capsules, drinks or powders. All of which provide the body with building blocks to help skin conditions and infections, inflammation of the skin, fine line and wrinkles, skin elasticity and moisture content.