Glowing skin doesn’t just have to be in summer. Our skin quality really is a reflection of our internal health. Here are the top 5 nutrients you should focus on consuming to make sure you have glowing skin all year round.
Vitamin C is essential for glowing skin due to its role in collagen production. Collagen is a natural protein found in your body which keeps your skin smooth and firm. Vitamin C also is a potent antioxidant which means it helps to clean up any damage that chemicals and free radicals found in cosmetics, food and the environment can cause in your skin cells. Vitamin C is very important for anti ageing due to its role in collagen and elastin production, important for the ability of the skin to bounce back and resist fine lines and wrinkling.
Vitamin C is found very abundantly throughout both fruit and vegetables. It is heat sensitive so most of it present in vegetables won’t survive cooking unless. The best way to absorb vitamin C from your diet is by eating your vegetables raw, or very briefly steaming or blanching them to avoid prolonged heat exposure.
Foods high in vitamin C include: Citrus fruits, kale, strawberries, kiwi fruit, capsicum, fennel, spinach, berries, and cabbage.
Natural food supplements to boost your vitamin C intake even further: acerola cherry, baobab, kakadu plum, davidson plum, finger lime, acai berry.
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which can be obtained from some animal products, as well as plants. Vitamin A is essential for glowing skin as it supports the integrity of mucus membranes throughout your body. This includes your skin, but also your digestive system! Healthy digestion is very important for healthy skin so you absorb all the nutrients you are eating.
Vitamin A also assists with healing, so assists in speeding up the return of your glowing skin if you have any damage or breakouts. It specifically targets the integrity and function of the outer two layers of your skin, so this is how it can really boost the glow of your skin as this is the area it is key in maintaining.
Dietary intake of vitamin A comes in two forms; animal sources and plant sources. Animal sources provide you with retinol, where plant sources provide you with beta-carotene which becomes metabolised to retinol by your body. It is ideal to aim for intake of both types if your dietary beliefs support this.
Foods high in vitamin A include: salmon, carrots, liver, spinach, amaranth, orange sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mango, papaya, milk, eggs (yolk)
Food supplements to boost your vitamin A intake: cod liver oil
Please note! if you are pregnant or trying to conceive you mustn’t freely supplement with vitamin A. Always seek personalised advice in this instance.
Vitamin E, like vitamin A is also a fat soluble vitamin. There are both animal and plant sources of vitamin E. It is essential for glowing skin because of its role as an antioxidant. It has also been found to combat some damage that UV rays can pose on skin cells.
Vitamin E is important for glowing skin just like vitamin C, it is a powerful scavenger of free radicals which cause damage to skin cells and increase signs of ageing.
Food sources of vitamin E: avocado, wheat germ oil, spinach, rainbow trout, almonds, asparagus, red capsicum, sunflower seeds, Atlantic salmon, mango, eggs (yolk)
A zinc rich diet is absolutely essential for glowing skin. It is such an important nutrient for skin because it has anti-inflammatory effects as well as being a crucial component of healing.
The reason zinc is so important for healing is because it is involved in every step of the healing process. In fact it is the most abundant nutrient in the body, used in over 350 different enzyme reactions and processes.
Zinc also is important for healthy hormones, so it also plays a role in glowing skin from a hormonal perspective. You need zinc to support healthy production of both male and female hormones which can help keep hormonal acne in check.
Being a mineral, it is found in both plant and animal dietary sources.
Foods high in zinc include: oysters, mussels, pumpkin seeds, beef, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, cashews and beans
Essential Fatty Acids
The final nutrient essential for glowing skin is essential fatty acids. Like many other nutrients in this list, they are available from both animal and plant based dietary sources. Essential fatty acids are fats that consist of omega 3,6 and 7 to name a few!
Essential fatty acids are necessary for glowing skin. This is due to their anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body and skin.
Omega 3 is what fish oil is well known for. This type of omega is super anti-inflammatory, as well as containing essential components for brain health and development. These omega 3s usually take around 2-3 months to get to the skin barrier when taken daily as a supplement at a therapeutic level.
Omega 6 comes classically from plant sources, and is quite abundant in our diet today due to the present of a lot of plant oils in foods and food preparation. This is why there is so much emphasis on omega 3 in the diet as we need to keep intake ratios of 3 and 6 as even as possible. It is estimated that our typical western dietary intake of omega 6 to omega 3 is now 15:1!
Omega 7 fatty acids are not commonly spoke about, but are very important for glowing skin. They assist in balancing the sebum production of the skin, and when supplementing tend to show results in the skin within 2-4 weeks of consistent use at a therapeutic level.
Foods high in essential fatty acids: sardines, herring, mackerel, hemp seeds, walnuts, avocado, flaxseed, chia seeds, kale, olives.
Food supplements to boost your intake of essential fatty acids further: sea buckthorn oil, flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, cod liver oil
Can I use these nutrients topically for Glowing Skin?
Yes, all of these nutrients can be used topically as well! Here are some of my favourite products: