5 Nutrients Your Meal Needs for Healthy Skin and Hair
5 Nutrients Your Meal Needs for Healthy Skin and Hair
BY Yvette La-Garde · March 31, 2016
Editor’s Note: We all know that youthful-looking skin ultimately boils down to how healthy our whole body is. But how do we know if we’re even getting the right nutrients? To answer this question, we asked the experts from VitaMedica to give us the inside scoop on their bestselling supplement Anti-Aging Formula. What nutrients does it have, and how do they work together to keep our skin and hair in tip-top shape? Read on.
You may think your anti-aging beauty routine is ticking all the right boxes, but what about the most important part of your anti-aging regimen: your overall health? Like bricks in a wall, the healthier your cells are, the better they’ll weather the aging process.
“The dermis is a complex, multifunction living tissue that is the interface between us and our environment,” says VitaMedica founder Dr. David H. Rahm. “As such, it is also the first line of defense against multiple forces and pressures brought to bear on our bodies. As a living tissue, the dermis requires maintenance, which includes nutrition, hydration, moisturization and protection.”
Aging may be inevitable, but the rate of aging is not. The most effective strategy for great-looking skin at any age is a bidirectional approach combining high-quality skin care products and professional treatments with optimal nutrition from foods and supplements. Here are the top 5 nutrient groups to consume on a regular basis to ensure a radiant complexion that will last a lifetime.
1. Vitamins A, C and E To build strong, healthy skin cells and repair cell damage, think of vitamins A, C and E as your “A-C-E bandage” for skin care. Vitamin A reduces wrinkles, fades discoloration and is vital for skin cell growth and repair. It also helps the scalp produce sebum for hair that looks and feels healthy and soft. Vitamin C has excellent antioxidant properties to stave off wrinkles and sagging. This vitamin is fundamental for collagen production and healing blemishes, working to fade dark spots and brighten your skin. Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that protects against the breakdown of collagen, helps your skin retain moisture, prevents sun damage and can even help grow hair.
Find these nutrients in berries, dark green and orange vegetables.
2. Vitamin B Complex Known as the “stress fighting” vitamins, the B complex supports energy and metabolism along with healthy skin, nerves, liver, hair, eyes and mouth. Biotin and pantothenic acid are particularly essential. If you have dermatitis, dry skin, thinning hair, loss of hair color or brittle nails, you may be short in biotin. Sometimes referred to as vitamin H (where the “H” is short for “Haar und Haut,” German for “hair and skin,”) biotin strengthens and keeps hair healthy, increases nail thickness and prevents split ends and thinning hair. Pantothenic acid is a component of coenzyme A (CoA), which is important for helping break down food into usable energy. Although a deficiency is rare, it can be characterized by fatigue, listlessness and a feeling of weakness.
Find these nutrients in lean meats, poultry, seafood, milk and eggs.
3. Minerals Zinc aids tissue growth and sebum production to prevent brittle hair and nails as well as dry skin. This mineral acts as an antioxidant and is essential for collagen formation. Copper is a further critical collagen component that works in balance with zinc and vitamin C to keep skin elastic and wrinkle-free. Selenium likewise protects skin elasticity, in addition to inhibiting the oxidation of fats and protecting vitamin E for soft, supple skin.
Find these nutrients in leafy green vegetables, lean meat, dairy foods, nuts and whole grains.
4. Phytonutrients The No. 1 cause of skin aging is sun damage. Phytonutrients give plants their vibrant colors and confer numerous benefits, not the least of which is sun protection. Lutein and zeaxanthin boost the skin’s natural resistance to harmful UV rays and lend skin a youthful, glowing appearance. Carotenoids like alpha/beta carotene and beta cryptoxanthin are a group of compounds that convert into vitamin A for use in the skin. Other carotenoids that do not convert into vitamin A instead exert potent antioxidant protective benefits.
Find these nutrients in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and herbs and spices.
5. Omega-3s Dryness is right behind sun damage in terms of aging you. Loss of skin moisture as we age is normal and a major factor in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Omega-3s, like ALA found in flaxseed oil, are healthy, essential fats that work in the deepest layers of the dermis to retain moisture and lubricate skin cells from within. EPA and DHA found in fish oil help regulate oil production and collagen breakdown, preventing the hair and scalp from drying out. Fish oil, a great natural anti-inflammatory, is important for cardiovascular and eye health, and new research† has discovered its role in providing UV protection to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Aside from flaxseeds and fatty fish like salmon and sardines, find these nutrients in walnuts, chia and hemp seeds and egg yolks.
Yvette La-Garde is the editor of the VitaMedica Wellness Blog. As VitaMedica’s director of education, Yvette travels across the country to train physicians and their staff regarding the beneficial role that nutrition plays in speeding recovery and ... Read More >