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You Look Like What You Eat – Vitamins & Minerals for Beautiful Skin and Hair

January 10, 2012

Well, here we are. The Christmas holidays have flown by and all of a sudden we’re in 2012 and it’s back to normal, everyday life. For Lasse and me (and I have a feeling we’re not the only ones), New Years means a New Healthy Life. Or, well, at least New Healthy Month. We cutting out nasties for one month – that means no alcohol or coffee and an all vegan raw food diet. So far it’s all working well, you might even see a couple of green smoothie or raw lasagne recipes here some day.

But all this healthy eating has gotten me thinking about how this diet will affect my skin. So I did a bit of research about which nutrients are needed for health and beautiful skin and hair. Here are some of the most important ones.

1. Water Yeah, I know I’m a bore, but this need to be repeated; you need to drink water. Not coffee, not tea, not juice. Plain ol’ H20, nothing else. Water keeps the cells hydrated, and helps get the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. Result? Clear, radiant, smooth skin. Now there’s a miracle cure for you, and can you believe – it’s free!
Green tea is also a good choice due to it’s high amount of antioxidants (we’ll get to those) and other great nutrients. But remember that green tea, just like coffee and black tea, contains caffeine/teine, meaning it leaves your body dehydrated. So even though a cup of tea contains lots of water, you’ll need to drink another glass of water for each cup of tea, to keep you body from dehydrating.

2. Vitamin A aids the collagen production, which leads to smooth, clear and young-looking skin. It can also help against sun damaged skin.
Good sources of vitamin A include dairy products, egg, carrot, sweet potato, spinach, tomato and broccoli.   

3. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, which improves the skin’s elasticity.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which prevents damage from free radicals. It also protects the skin against UVA/UVB rays.
Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, sweet potato, spinach, tomato and strawberries. 

4. Vitamin E moisturizes the skin, leaving it clear and smooth and helps scars healing. Vitamin E is an antioxidant just as vitamin C.
Vitamin E can be found in nuts, whole grains and avocado. 

5. Zinc is a very important mineral for skin and hair. In fact, many cases of acne is actually caused by zinc deficiency! Zinc heals scars and prevents wrinkles.
Zinc can be found in oysters and red meat, especially lamb, beef and liver. Vegetarian zinc sources include seeds (especially sesame, pumpkin and sunflower), nuts, beans and blackcurrant. 

6. Omega–3 I’m sure you’ve heard by now of the importance of getting enough omega 3 in you diet, and have seen all the zillions of supplements you can take. There’s another fatty acid called omega 6 which is just as important as omega 3 (actually literally, as the two need to balance each other out for a healthy body), but most people get enough omega 6 in their diet already (and mostly too much), so no need to worry about not getting enough of that. Omega 3 are essential fatty acids that will reduce inflammation in the body, meaning fewer breakouts. Also, omega 3 provides a bit of sun protection. Good sources of omega 3 include fat fish such as salmon or anchovies, flax seed, walnuts and soybeans.

So, what did we learn from this? Well, mostly all vitamins are good for your skin. I know we all want to hear about the miraculous little exotic fruit that grows deep in the rainforest that will cure all your skin problems in one… But the extremely boring truth is, the best way to get beautiful skin and hair is to keep a well-balanced diet with many fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water.  Eat some fish a couple of times a week, and if you’re a vegetarian or other wise afraid you won’t get enough nutrients, you could consider taking some omega 3, zinc and iron supplement. It’s kind of a win-win situation – you will feel better, and look better at the same time!

Sources: Face value by Gregory Landsman, http://www.myhomemadebeauty.com

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2012 12:13

    oh yes, vitamins are really important for beautiful skin and hair 🙂

  2. stylebymeli permalink
    January 30, 2012 14:56

    Hi, this is great! I drink a ton of tea, but you’re right…I need to still be drinking water!

    Do you have any knowledge on the best time to take the zinc, fish oil, etc? I wonder if I should take it in the morning…at night…before a workout? I’m not quite sure, if you have any info, let me know! 🙂

    • February 1, 2012 16:24

      Hi! I’m sorry, but I’m not quite sure when the best time to take your supplements is. My guess is that it’s best to take them in combination with a meal, because most vitamins and minerals are better absorbed when combined with other nutrients. But when you buy some supplements, read on the package and it will most certainly say if there are any specific instructions. If not, it doesn’t matter when you take it! Sorry I can’t be of more help.

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