Glowing, youthful skin is a combination of genetics, diet, and lifestyle. We all know the effects of lifestyle factors like smoking and sun damage on the skin; but what about dietary factors? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with a higher dietary intake of vitamin C had less wrinkled skin and their skin was less dry. Higher healthy fat intake was also associated with a healthier skin condition. In terms of a balanced diet, individuals who ate a higher carbohydrate intake and unhealthy fat intake were more likely to have older looking skin. Here are three key nutrients to incorporate into a balanced diet for a variety of protective and conditioning skin benefits:
Antioxidants can benefit the skin via topical application, in your daily cosmeceutical routine and through the diet. Antioxidants offer a synergistic effect which is why eating a variety of antioxidants in the diet is important for preventing premature ageing. Free radicals degrade collagen and elastin which maintains structural skin support.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) not only offer a protective and UV protective benefit, but initiate collagen synthesis. Antioxidants are measured by their ORAC values, and the highest rated include dark fruits such as berries, dark leafy vegetables and green tea. Antioxidants also offer anti-inflammatory benefits which could benefit certain skin conditions such as acne; an inflammatory skin condition. Vitamin C works well with vitamin E, abundant in nuts such as almonds.
Essential fatty acids
Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils have been widely studied for their roles in decreasing inflammation and allergies. As many skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne are often linked to allergies, a diet rich in omega 3 oils could benefit the skin. Essential fatty acids sources can be found in flax seed oil and avocado.
Selenium helps to preserve skin elasticity, and can protect the skin against sun damage. Selenium can be taken in the diet, or used topically. Selenium can be found in high quantities in brazil nuts and cashew nuts.