The ACE of Eating for Beauty
When it comes to nourishing our skin, many of us will prioritise expensive skincare products over the foods that we are eating every day. But if you want to experience radiant and beautiful skin, the first step is in fact feeding your inside with a healthy diet! Being the largest organ in your body, your skin deserves to be nourished with the right nutrients to have you glowing – inside and out. Research suggests that there are a few key nutrients that are essential for radiant skin and for preventing many of the signs of skin aging.
- A for Vit. A
Vitamin A, or retinol, is one of the most widely acknowledged nutrients for healthy skin. In much the same way as topical anti-aging and anti-acne remedies rich in retinol claim to force your body to shed the old (pore-clogging and dulling) cells on your skin’s surface in favor of a healthier, younger layer of skin, eating foods which are rich in vitamin A similarly encourage your body to turn over new cells from the inside out.
Rough, dry skin is a common sign of vitamin A deficiency, which often first appears as rough, raised bumps on the back of the arms.
A diet rich in vitamin A leads to a brighter complexion that is less prone to breakouts and age spots.
Beauty foods rich in Vitamin A: Choose sweet potatoes, carrots, papaya and butternut squash and egg yolks from organic pastured chickens. I also recommend using cod liver oil if you wish to supplement, as this provides a balance of vitamin A and vitamin D that will reduce the risk of overdosing on vitamin A.
- C for Vit. C
Vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen (which keeps skin firm) and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Increasing the amount of vitamin C in the diet can contribute to improved skin health and faster healing. Studies show that diets high in vitamin C are associated with better skin appearance and less skin wrinkling. Vitamin C may also help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced damage by acting as an antioxidant, and may improve dry skin.
Broken capillaries, dry and rough skin and white bumps on the upper arms (hyperkeratosis pillaris) can often be a sign of vitamin C deficiency.
Beauty foods rich in vitamin C include: Bell peppers (red, green, and yellow), guava, kiwi fruits, broccoli, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, all berries, mangoes, pineapple, snow peas, tomatoes, and watermelon. Certain fresh herbs such as cilantro, chives, thyme, basil and parsley are also high in vitamin C.
- E for Vit. E
Vitamin E is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant found in the skin. It is released onto the surface of the skin through the sebum, an oily substance that coats the outer layer of the skin. This happens for about seven days after consuming vitamin E-rich foods, and acts as an important protective factor on the skin’s surface. Vitamin E also guards your skin against damage from the sun’s UV radiation. It even suppresses the formation of arachidonic acid, which could help improve inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Our bodies store vitamin E in our fat cells, and we depend on dietary intake of foods rich in vitamin E to keep these levels optimal.
Signs of a lack of vitamin E include dry hair and skin, slow tissue healing, hair loss and poor circulation.
Beauty foods rich in Vitamin E include: Spinach, turnip greens, chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, bell peppers, asparagus, collards, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts and olive oil.