Beauty is Skin Deep, and Deeper

By Barbara Christensen - 4:50 PM

Everyone wants beautiful, soft, radiant skin. But how do we get it? With lotions and potions? Sure, they help, but beautiful skin starts with healthy skin, and that begins on the inside.

In order to get healthy skin you have to improve your diet. What you eat makes a big difference in how your skin looks and feels. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is the key. Antioxidants help combat the free radicals that attack your body, both inside and outside, doing damage to the cells.

Many people simply do not eat a balanced diet. Getting enough fruits and vegetables into your diet to reap the benefits is important to skin health, and over-all health. You can do your best to include nutrient-dense foods in your diet, but another way to help boost nutrition is to take a multivitamin or other supplements.

Some powerful antioxidants to look for in your supplements are beta carotene, selenium, and vitamins C, D and E. Let’s go into a little more detail to explain how these nutrients  make your skin healthy from the inside out.

For starters our bodies turn beta carotene into vitamin A. This helps your skin look healthy by keeping the membranes pliable and resilient. It also keeps the cell structure that holds your skin up strong. Beta carotene also helps your body resist damage from external environmental stresses, including the sun's damaging UV rays.

Vitamin C is the building block for collagen, which is a protein that helps cells renew, resulting in firm, smooth, glowing, skin. When collagen is low, the skin cells don't turn over often enough, resulting in dry, dull, leathery skin, which is prone to wrinkles. Exfoliation of the skin with external vitamin C applications is one way to promote skin health. However, taking vitamin C internally, either with food or supplements, wakes up the skin cells from within.

One of the big boys is mango, who is rich in both Vitamin A and Vitamin C! Another one that is a favorite of mine is blueberries. A gorgeous blueberry and mango salsa could give you the entire day of recommended Vitamin C, and what a beautiful way to do it.

Beauty Is Skin Deep and Deeper I blueberry and mango salsa

Natural production of vitamin D in the body starts to slow around the age of twenty. A reasonable amount of sun exposure, about 15 minutes a day, is needed to produce vitamin D in the body when you live South of Atlanta.  Therefore, eating foods naturally rich in vitamin D, such as mushrooms and pastured eggs if you are ovo, will help boost your vitamin D. However, as we age, it's difficult to get all the vitamin D we need in just those foods. Adding vitamin D supplementation to your diet will help. But, at some point, many of us may need to take a vitamin D supplement to ensure we have enough in our body. Vitamin D supports your skin's elasticity, can help clear up acne, and lessens dark spots, sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles as we age. Both wheatgrass and broccoli have amazing amounts of Vitamin D in them, and so I love starting my day with a shot of super greens that contain wheatgrass, spirulina, kale, broccoli and matcha green tea. Such a great day for getting a lot of those antioxidants into your skin, which many people are missing out on.

For me one of the nutrients I really need is a powerful antioxidant that will help protect and repair your skin, Vitamin E. Your body can’t produce vitamin E on its own, so you have to be sure you get enough through food or supplements. However, when choosing a supplement, stay away from synthetic vitamin E. Studies have indicated that synthetic versions of vitamin E can actually do more harm than good. When you eat those Vitamin E rich leafy vegetables you help your body use vitamin K which can also help widen those blood vessels and keep blood from clotting inside them. Circulation is essential to both skin, and just wellness overall.

Your health is as plain as the skin on your face. When you see excessive or premature wrinkles, acne, oil, dryness, redness, sagging, discoloration, or other skin conditions, it could be a sign of poor health. Many people don’t realize this, and instead of curing the health problem within, they use all sorts of magic topical products to patch things up. And that's all they're doing – patching things up.  The skin problem will continue if the health issue  isn't addressed first. The bottom line is, adding the vitamins and minerals your body is lacking will help give your skin the beauty treatment it needs. I feel that my skin has just gotten better with age, and as such I am eating all of the good foods to help keep it that way for many decades to come.

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