Top 3 Nutrients for Better Skin

No doubt, you’ve spent some amount of time and effort to achieve healthy, glowing skin. And if you haven’t, it’s not too late to get started. From acne to fine lines, dry to oily skin, people of all ages have to deal with a variety of skin conditions. That said, many studies have shown that a more nutritious diet including an increased consumption of certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants may help improve skin health. Here are the top three nutrients that can help make and keep your skin looking good.

Vitamin A for Smooth Skin

Vitamin A, aka retinol, is known as the nutrient that boosts skin health. The synthetic form of retinol has been used since the 1980s as a form of treatment by dermatologist for things like reducing wrinkles and acne. Vitamin A plays an essential role during the process of skin cell regeneration. It also regulates the sebaceous gland, which produces sebum, or oil, in your skin. Too much sebum can lead to acne breakouts.

Look out for vitamin A in red and orange-hued veggies like carrots, tomatoes and pumpkins as well as dairy products like low-fat Greek yogurt or non-fat milk. Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, you should cook your carrots or tomatoes in some olive oil. Basically, you want to pair healthy fats with foods that contain vitamin A to help aid in the nutrient’s digestion.

Get a dose of vitamin A with our Carrot Ginger Sweet Potato Soup.

Healthy Oils for Youthful Skin

Fatty acids are important when producing new skin cells as they’re the vital building blocks for healthy cell membranes. Healthy cell membranes act as a barrier to block harmful things from getting into the skin cells, and they also help transport skin-boosting nutrients into the cells. Our cell membranes also help keep water within the cells. The stronger the cell membrane, the better the cell can keep moisture in. More moisture translates to healthier, more youthful and plumper skin.

Make sure you’re getting your fatty acids from the unsaturated fats like omega-3s and omega-6s. Salmon, nuts and seeds are just a few great sources.

Get an omega-3 boost with our Seared Salmon with Green Peppercorn Sauce.

Vitamin C for Firm Skin

You probably already know that vitamin C is essential in boosting your immunity, but did you also know that it’s got powerful antioxidant properties that can also protect your skin cells from the damage that free radicals cause? Vitamin C is also essential in collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps our skin stay firm and elastic. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, tropical fruits (kiwi, papaya and pineapple) as well as broccoli.

Start your morning with a collagen-boosting Pineapple Green Smoothie.

Lastly, don’t forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated is important in maintaining good skin health and keeping your skin looking youthful. If you’re not thrilled about drinking water, try going with seltzer water or unsweetened, herbal tea. 

Jason is Zipongo’s registered dietitian and product manager. During his off hours, you’ll find him browsing the local farmer’s markets or hosting dinner with friends. For more nutrition tips, follow him @jasonlauRD and @zipongo.

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