4 key nutrients for glowing healthy skin

Quite amazingly, your body is working 24/7 to continually fuel, hydrate and replenish your skin’s cells. That’s because your skin is considered an organ.

In fact, it’s the largest organ your body has!

If you’re currently relying on specialized lotions, serums and pharmaceuticals to keep your skin looking vibrant, you might be overlooking the simplest, safest and cheapest way to glowing healthy skin: nutrition!

In particular, there are four micronutrients your skin needs to look and feel great…

Vitamin A hydrates the skin and acts as an antioxidant that decreases your likelihood of developing skin cancer. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and assists in wound healing, both of which help prevent blemishes, acne and heal current breakouts.

Fruits and vegetables that contain high levels of vitamin A tend to be brightly colored — like carrots, sweet potatoes, mangos, kale, and sweet red peppers. You can also find vitamin A in some animal products like beef liver and tuna fish.

Vitamin E. Amazingly, vitamin E has the ability to absorb energy from ultraviolet (UV) light. This photo-protective property helps shield the skin from UV-induced free radicals that damage your skin.

Studies on rats have also shown that vitamin E deficiency is linked to skin ulcerations and a weakening of collagen. Weak collagen results in sagging, more rapidly aging skin.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to achieve a tighter, more radiant glow, get your daily dose of vitamin E from foods such as almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes and avocado. Read: Why you may need double the vitamin E.

Vitamin D. Every single day, skin cells go through a die off and are sloughed off when you scrub your face or exfoliate your body. Once active in the body, vitamin D directly contributes to the creation of new skin cells. Therefore, without adequate vitamin D (which is now increasingly common) you may lose your glowing complexion because your body is struggling to create new cells.

This means you really want to stock up on vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish (salmon, cod, and sardines) as well as eggs and mushrooms.

Another easy way to get vitamin D is to spend 15 minutes in the sun every day (without wearing sunscreen). Of course, exposing yourself to harsh UV light for long periods of time can damage your skin. But a little direct sunlight everyday helps your body synthesize vitamin D, which will boost your overall health and naturally feed your skin cells.

Vitamin C is a big player in the formation and maintenance of collagen — the connective tissue that keeps your skin perky and elastic. On top of this, it’s a powerful antioxidant that prevents the rapid aging effects of free radical damage. Antioxidants also play a large role in the prevention of many different kinds of cancer, including skin cancer.

As you age there is a natural drop in vitamin C levels present in your skin, so it’s especially important to consume vitamin C-rich foods to maintain your glowing complexion.

Sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, and lemons, as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens.

Editor’s note: You might like to also read: 4 ways to boost collagen and love the skin you’re in!

Source: Skin Health — Oregonstate.edu. (2016). Linus Pauling Institute. Retrieved 1 May, 2017
Jedha Dening

By Jedha Dening

Jedha Dening is a qualified nutritionist (MNutr), researcher, author, freelance writer, and founder of type 2 diabetic nutrition site Diabetes Meal Plans. Her masters thesis on nutrition and inflammation was published and then presented at a national scientific conference. She has millions of words published in the health industry across various print and online publications. Having been in the field for over 15 years, she’s incredibly passionate about delving into the latest research to share the myths and truths surrounding nutrition and health. She believes when armed with the right knowledge, we’re empowered to make informed choices that can truly make a difference.