Your skin is your body’s largest organ. Therefore, taking care of it should be part of your beauty routine. Remember, that what you eat affects many aspects of your health, including your skin. Enhance your skin, by eating foods, high in these 6 vitamins.
After starting to incorporate more plant-based whole foods on my plate, I started seeing a difference. It helped keep my skin hydrated and youthful. Eating more plants, means you will be getting more vitamins, more minerals and more nutrients. Therefore, healthy, radiant skin.
If you a looking to incorporate more whole plant-based foods in your life and steer away from processed foods, I highly recommend the Academy of Culinary Nutrition Expert Program. It offers practical, everyday, natural cooking skills as well as a deeper exploration into the therapeutic properties of the foods we eat and how we prepare them.
Let’s dive in!
How Does Vitamin A Affect Skin?
Vitamin A is an important nutrient for the body both in terms of maintaining good health as well as for beauty purposes. Not only does this healthy nutrient boost many functions of the body internally, but also acts an important ingredient in everyone’s beauty regimen.
This healthful nutrient is available in two types. The first is retinoid that can be derived from animal products and the second is beta carotene which can be supplied from plants.
Getting an adequate dose of vitamin A in your diet ensures that many of the body’s regular functions are maintained.
One of these is the ability of vitamin A to act as a booster for the immune system. It is particularly active in keeping the skin and mucous membrane cells healthy. Vitamin A improves the rate of skin turn over and is effective in preventing the formation of comedones that cause acne.
On the flip side, lack of vitamin A can lead to scaly, dry and rough skin. One form of vitamin A known as retinol is particularly effective in decreasing the signs of aging on skin.
Regular application of skin care products containing retinol can improve skin texture by softening skin and reducing the look of wrinkles. Retinol also helps slow down collagen breakdown which ensures that skin remains resilient and firm longer.
To get a fair supply of vitamin A in your diet, consider including some of these rich sources like cod liver oil. Other foods with vitamin A include egg yolks, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and collards.
Not only is vitamin A essential for skin care as it prevents skin aging, but is equally important for improving the quality of hair, bones and teeth. Vitamin A strengthens weak hair, conditions the scalp and adequate doses are needed for normal bone and teeth health.
When cooked, the nutritional value of vitamin A is reduced by 20%. However, the second type known as beta carotene that is provided by plants can be included in your diet to reap maximum benefits.
While not all vegetables are easy to eat in an uncooked form, many fresh fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw. The beta carotene in fresh produce is abundantly found in orange yellow fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Other food sources containing good supplies of beta carotene are red peppers, carrots, dry apricots, raw spinach, fresh watermelon, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Another useful benefit gained from including vitamin A in skin care is that it can protect skin from sun damage by reflecting solar rays, improves skin immunity and decreases susceptibility to sunburn.
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How Does Vitamin B Help Skin?
The B vitamins are a group of nutrients that offer many health benefits. Vitamin B can help uplift mood, reduce anxiety and give energy a boost.
In addition, this important group of vitamins can also do wonders to take years off the appearance of your skin, leaving it looking young and healthy.
To get an idea of how well these vitamins can rejuvenate the skin, here is a look at their role in skin care.
It can help improve circulation in the body, giving the skin a distinct radiance. As an antioxidant, it also has the ability to fight free radical damage. Vitamin B1 can be easily included in your diet by eating wheatgrass, beans, peas, banana, and nuts.
Vitamin B2 is important for skin and good vision. This vitamin of the B group promotes healthy red blood cell production that is reflected in a healthy complexion, luscious hair and strong nails. Including a good dose of vitamin B2 can ensure that the skin does not suffer from rashes or other irritations. Vitamin B2 can be obtained from salmon, pistachios, and prunes.
Vitamin B3 yields significant skin care benefits and a deficiency can result in getting scaly and dry skin. It protects sensitive skin from the sun to prevent redness and swelling along with other skin concerns like fine lines, scars, and age spots.
Niacin also plays an important part in the prevention of acne. Foods that can provide this important vitamin include salmon, seeds, green leafy vegetables, trout, potatoes, lentils, rice, dates, and honey among many others.
Here is a delicious lentil salad recipe, you can try!
Vitamin B5-Pantothenic acid
Vitamin B5 is important in skin care as it can have the potential to help wounds (especially when applied topically), can help reduce the effects of sun damage, delay signs of aging and can help prevent wrinkles.
It is fairly easy to acquire vitamin B5 as it is found in many common foods like egg yolk and broccoli. Other foods include mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin B5 can also help reduce stress levels that can trigger various skin conditions as well.
To combat stress and the effects of eating too many processed foods, our body needs more vitamin E. Vitamin E foods include spinach, turnip greens, chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, bell peppers, asparagus, collards, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and olive oil. You can also consume plenty of leafy greens.
Vitamin B7 can help regulate skin moisture and prevent dry skin issues. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause hair loss and scaly, dry skin, red and inflamed skin, and excessive dandruff.
The best food sources are egg yolk, Swiss chard, romaine lettuce, almonds, and walnuts as eating these can help return moisture to dry skin. Other dietary sources include mushrooms, bananas, avocados, strawberries, and yogurt.
How Does Vitamin C Help Skin?
Vitamin C is probably among the best-known nutrients that can effectively help common cold symptoms. But its benefits do not stop there.
Vitamin C can be used for a variety of conditions ranging from common colds, skin issues and more.
Some Benefits that Vitamin C can Offer
As far as skin care is concerned, adding vitamin C into your diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Vitamin C can slow down damage caused by free radicals. Such free radicals damage collagen, the protein that assists in keeping skin firm and resilient. Damaged or compromised collagen production results in giving the skin a dull, dry and fatigued look.
The appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is also more noticeable on such skin. With vitamin C, such damage can be reversed and the effects of free radicals neutralized.
A high vitamin C content not only improves skin health. In case of cuts, scraps, or bruises applying vitamin C can aid in the process of skin repair.
Vitamin C may also be beneficial in reducing the effects of sun damage and long-term exposure to UV rays. Unprotected exposure to the sun over prolonged periods carries the risk of skin cancer.
Alongside with skin repair and rejuvenation, vitamin C can also promote healthy hair growth. A deficiency of this important vitamin can lead to rough, dry skin and affects hair growth.
Vitamin C is readily available in a variety of foods that can easily be included in your diet.
The best food sources are bell peppers, zucchini, dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. Among fruits, generous supplies of vitamin C can be found in guavas, tomatoes, kiwis, acerola cherries, camu camu berries, citrus fruits, and strawberries.
Fresh herbs like chives, cilantro, thyme, basil, and parsley can also provide good supplies of vitamin C and eating colorful plant foods on a regular basis will ensure that you get plenty of vitamin C into your diet.
When including foods that contain vitamin C on the menu, it is important to remember that Vitamin C is sensitive to heat. The best way to consume these foods is to eat them raw or steamed. This will allow the foods to provide the maximum benefits.
Vitamin C, when cooked loses up to 75% of nutrients, so should ideally be eaten raw!
How Does Vitamin D Affect Skin?
Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin is essential for the development of healthy bones and strong muscles. It helps the body absorb calcium for strong bones and muscles. As such it is good to know that every time you walk outdoors, UVB rays react with your skin to produce vitamin D.
However, like in many other situations, too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing as unprotected, extended exposure to UVB rays can also cause the skin to burn and redden while damaging the skin’s outer layers.
Being shortwave rays, UVB rays primarily affect the superficial layers of skin without penetrating deep under these layers, but if you are not wearing proper sun protection on your skin then this exposure can become dangerous and may contribute to serious health conditions like skin cancer and the appearance of early signs of aging on the skin.
On the other hand, UVA rays are present during sunlight hours everywhere, regardless of your location. In contrast to UVB rays, which only affect the outer layers of the skin, UVA rays are considered long wave as they can reach below the external layers of skin. As such, exposure to UVA rays has always been closely associated with skin aging, wrinkles and skin cancer.
A little sunlight can be good for you, and going out for 10 minutes a day with no sunscreen can be considered a safe bet.
Here is my go-to 5 step green smoothie to add more vitamins in my day.
But anything beyond that limit should be protected by wearing sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection. In addition, pay attention to your wardrobe choices while stepping out in the sun. Take care to put-on loose-fitting clothing that will be comfortable to wear in the sun. During peak hours of UV radiation, seek to stay in the shade outdoors and protect your face and neck by opting for some type of hat.
For people living in places where there isn’t enough sunlight exposure, they may need to supplement the vitamin through their diet.
However, there are not a lot of foods that contain vitamin D. Some of the foods that can be included in your diet to supplement vitamin D are salmon, mackerel, tuna, and cod liver oil. Egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver can also deliver small amounts of vitamin D.
Contact your medical doctor before you start taking any supplements.
How Does Vitamin E Help Skin?
Touted widely as an antioxidant, vitamin E offers many health benefits. This makes fighting free radicals its primary function. During the antioxidation process, vitamin E can protect cells from damage, slowing down the deterioration typically associated with the aging process.
Where disease prevention is concerned, vitamin E demonstrates its benefits by preventing a few and other conditions linked to aging.
And just as this nutrient is beneficial in warding off free radicals, it is also equally helpful in promoting younger looking skin. Vitamin E protects the skin and helps it repair itself. But since the body does not produce this vitamin itself, it needs to be supplemented through your diet.
Making sure that foods high in vitamin E are included in your diet can help delay and even prevent the appearance of early signs of aging of the skin.
People who may not have adequate doses of vitamin E in their system will often exhibit dry skin issues, a dull complexion marked by visible signs of fine lines and wrinkles.
Another major benefit of vitamin E is its ability to help with skin conditions like acne, scars and wrinkles because it is able to speed up the regeneration of cells. This process results in getting a fresh, younger looking complexion where the skin is able to retain moisture better and does not become flaky or dry.
Vitamin E is a potent powerhouse of trapping free radicals. As an antioxidant, it works with beta carotene and vitamin C to protect us from free radicals and give the many benefits of skin care.
Foods that are rich in vitamin E include almonds, nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, peas, avocados, spinach, leeks, tomatoes, broccoli, rye bread and extra virgin oils. Other sources are wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, peaches, prunes, cabbage, and asparagus.
Vitamin E content in foods can help include this nutrient in your diet. But for advanced skin care, vitamin E may also be applied topically by using various skin care products. It is available in the form of vitamin E oil, or in other skin care products such as creams or lotions that have been infused with vitamin E.
How Does Vitamin K Help Skin?
Lesser known of the vitamins, vitamin K’s role in offering health benefits is gradually becoming more obvious.
This nutrient, which had often been sidelined previously shows that it can offer some pretty amazing health benefits; including Vitamin K in your diet can help with healthy skin.
One of its extremely important functions in the body is to help redirect calcium to where it is needed, that is in the teeth and bones. This practice makes it a great supporter of fighting osteoporosis by making bones stronger.
Vitamin K is also needed for the proper functioning of vitamins A and D. Both are well known for the part they play in maintaining healthy skin and promoting bone health respectively. When vitamin K is added to the mix, it can help retain the skin’s elasticity better, smooth out lines and wrinkles as well as help with skin regeneration.
When there is adequate supply of vitamin K in your diet, you will also be better able to fight skin problems like acne.
Foods that are rich in vitamin K include kale, spinach, collard greens, beet greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and Swiss Chard.
By the way, check out this video, if you are looking for a delicious salad recipe including some of these wonderful foods.
As you can see the 6 best vitamins for your skin A, B, C, D, E and K are very important. Therefore, include more whole plant-based foods on your plate to enjoy their benefits.
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