Maintaining Healthy Skin
Love the Skin You’re in!
Sometimes this may be hard to do. There are a lot of us with varying skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, that can make it difficult for us to appreciate the value of our skin. Our skin has many important functions that contribute to our overall health and wellness. First and foremost it provides us with a protective barrier. As an important part of our immune system it shields us from many viruses and bacteria that we come in contact with, and prevents unwanted visitors from entering our bodies. It also protects us from chemical or mechanical assault. The skin contains sensory organs which assist in its regulatory function. Our body temperature is regulated by the skin, and our skin protects us against excessive fluid and electrolyte loss. All of these important functions make it necessary to nourish our skin and promote its optimal function. So how do we do this? For starters, eating a diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and limited in refined foods and simple sugars, will help our skin look and feel good. Also, it is important to drink ample water throughout the day to help to maintain moisture in the skin.
The following is a list of nutrients that are beneficial to the skin along with their food sources.
Necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue.
Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, grains
Reduce effect of harmful free radicals produced by smoke, sunlight, and pollution. Essential for synthesis of collagen (a component of skin).
Citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens
Reduce effect of harmful free radicals produced by smoke, sunlight, and pollution.
Oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus
Supports healthy skin, hair, and nails through proper fat production.
Bananas, eggs, oatmeal, and rice
As an antioxidant, may protect skin from sun damage.
Whole-grains, seafood, garlic, and eggs
Encourages healing of skin. Reduces oil production and may be effective in controlling acne.
Oysters, lean meat, and poultry
Helps to develop elastin, the fibers that support skin skin structure from underneath.
Nuts, dried legumes, cereals, potatoes, vegetables, oysters. Deficiency is rare.
Essential Fatty Acids
Needed for the production of skin’s natural oil barrier.
Ocean going fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, grains
If you are suffering from a skin ailment, your diet may be lacking one of the above mentioned nutrients. Try to eat a variety of the foods from the recommended food sources to ensure a well balanced diet.
Other tips for keeping our skin healthy include:
• Wear SPF 15 and keep skin covered in sun (try natural sunscreens with protective botanicals)
• Shower after sweating to wash away eliminated toxins from surface and prevent accumulation of bacteria
• Exfoliate whole body each day to remove dead skin cells
• Use gentle products to cleanse you skin
Sometimes we may be doing everything right for our skin and still we are burdened by chronic skin conditions. Poor skin health may also be a reflection of another weakened body system, such as the digestive, immune, or nervous systems. Working on the health of the whole body and underlying contributing factors, may also help to alleviate chronic skin conditions.
Remember that our skin is meant to work for us, so start doing some work for your skin!
Have a great week,
The Vitality Team