The summer sun, air, and heat can wreak havoc on your skin making it dry and chapped.
Your first instinct is to run to store and get some topical treatments to salvage you skin. Instead opt for some nutritional changes to keep your skin soft and moisturized this season.
Adding certain foods to your diet will help to give you that glow and hydration you need. So feed your body from the inside out and check out the eight nutrients you need for healthy skin.
- Vitamin A – a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to scaly dry skin. Pump up the foods rich in this nutrient by adding liver and cod liver to your diet. Incorporation of egg yolks and butter and cream from grass fed pasture raised cows will give you sufficient vitamin A.
- B Vitamins – these vitamins are integral to helping metabolic processes occur in the body. They repair and build collagen and elastin which keeps skin looking vibrant. These vitamins are water soluble and may need be replenished if you are not getting enough on a daily basis. B Vitamins will help your skin be soft and smooth. Dry, cracked skin is a sign of a B deficiency. Best food sources are whole grains like quinoa and millet along with animal proteins like pasture raised eggs and grass fed meats.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – These vitamins help to limit water loss in th skin cells. They also fight inflammation which can be seen in red inflamed skin. Omega three fatty acids are found in olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, fatty fishes (sardines, herring, tuna, anchovies), almonds, and avocados.
- Water – Water is essential to healthy skin. You need to be drinking at least 64 oz of water a day to keep your skin hydrated. Water is also important to get rid of toxins and body waste. It feeds your skin and can be found in many fruits and vegetables. You can also get it from drinking teas and eating soups.
- Vitamin D –A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to dry flaky skin. The best sources are the sun, pasture raised egg yolks, sardines, grass fed beef or calf liver or supplement it. I like Seasonal Health’s Vitamin D3 drops. I recommend getting a blood test to determine your vitamin D levels before starting a supplement.
- Fiber – Like water, fiber flushes out body wastes to help your skin look young and vibrant. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Women 50 and under should get 25 grams per day. Men 50 and under should get 38 grams per day. Men and women over 50 need 21 and 31 grams per day.
- Zinc – Zinc has many functions. It helps with immune health, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA production, and cell division. It creates membranes that support skin cells and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also protects against UV damage. Zinc supports vitamin A by carrying it in the blood. Zinc can be found in organ meats like kidney, liver, beef, and lamb. It is also in seafood such as oysters, shellfish, and scallops. Plant foods like pumpkins seeds and nuts also contain zinc.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps collagen to form. Collagen is like a sponge and retains water. It plumps up your skin to be moisturized and hydrated. Vitamin C can be found in vegetables like peppers and citrus fruits.
Want to find out more about how to incoporate these foods into your diet? Check out my nutrient rich recipes here.