Great skin is a sign of great health. In order to have great looking skin you have to give your body all of the important nutrients that contribute to clear, healthy skin. A diet that is lacking in essential nutrients will not provide your skin with what it needs to be its best. This is often glaringly obvious in the skin of those who use crash dieting techniques to lose weight. Dry, sallow or broken out skin is often the end result of extreme dieting.
The following are some of the important nutrients that your body needs to keep your skin looking its best:
Your skin, hair and nails, as well as your muscles and major organs, are made up of protein. One tenth of the protein in the body is found in the skin. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is essential for firm, supple skin.
Though experts disagree in the amount of protein needed in a healthy diet, there is no debate that regular protein intake is required for health and beauty. Taking in small to moderate amounts of protein with every meal will help to ensure that you are meeting your daily protein requirements. It's important to consume protein regularly, because skin cells replace themselves approximately every 24 days. This is why a protein deficiency can show up so quickly in the look of your skin.
Adequate fat intake is needed for soft, supple skin. Diets lacking in this important nutrient will likely result in dry and brittle skin, hair and nails. It's important to take in the right kinds of fats. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats will nourish the cells in your body without contributing to coronary artery disease. These healthy fats can be found in fish, nuts and certain vegetable oils. For a healthy, skin-friendly diet, make sure that 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories are coming from healthy fats.
Vitamin C is an significant component in the production of collagen. Adequate collagen is needed to keep the skin firm. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that fights against free radical damage which can cause sagging and wrinkles. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is the best way to get adequate vitamin C into your diet.
Zinc is a mineral that plays a major role in skin health. Like vitamin C, zinc is essential for collagen synthesis. One of the important factors of zinc is its role in wound healing. Not only is zinc essential for proper wound healing, it has also been found to heal and prevent acne and dandruff. Good sources of zinc include beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken and shellfish.
These are just a few of the nutrients needed for healthy, radiant skin. Eating a well rounded diet that focuses on whole foods is the easiest way to ensure that your skin has everything it needs for optimal health and beauty.