Let’s face it…your face is one of the first places you can see physical signs of aging. I’d be willing to bet that a majority of women don’t take good enough care of their skin until it’s almost too late.
Notice I said “almost.”
Fortunately, even if you have been lax in your skincare regimen, there are ways to slow down the effects of aging on your skin. Of course, the usual suggestions still apply. Drink plenty of water. Use good sunscreen. Take off your makeup every night before bed.
Many people don’t realize how important diet can be to your skin, and if they do, it’s usually in the context of a negative (i.e. greasy or sugary foods can cause acne). But what if I told you that there are foods that contain certain nutrients that can keep your skin looking young?
It might get a little bit science-y, but I promise it’ll be easy to understand.
Crash course. Nutrients are vital contributors to how our bodies grow and get stronger. There are seven essential nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Each one plays an important part in the body’s growth.
It would take volumes to fully cover each of them, and not all of them have noticeable effects on the skin. While minerals such as copper, zinc, and selenium are thought to have an impact, those are most often found in creams or mineral water.
As I mentioned, each of the nutrients listed has its own job in keeping your body healthy. While they all need to work together, vitamins seem to be a key factor in skin health. Of the 13 essential vitamins, there are four that I think will give you a full DECK to younger looking skin.
NOTE: The dosages mentioned here are general Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Please speak with your doctor about the proper dosages for you, especially if you are planning to take supplements to boost the levels of any of these vitamins.
This is made when sunlight is absorbed by your skin, and it helps create healthy cells. It is also pivotal in skin pigmentation. People with darker skin pigmentation require longer exposure to synthesize vitamin D.
Some of the best food sources for vitamin D include oily fish (like salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines) and egg yolks. Red meat also contains small doses of vitamin D.
Similar to vitamin C, this one is an antioxidant as well. Its job is to prevent skin damage by absorbing harmful UV rays. It is usually produced through sebum, the oil that is secreted by your pores. This one is a little tricky because excess sebum is usually the cause of acne. Balanced sebum prevents dry, flaky skin.
It can be found primarily in nuts and seeds, such as almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. If your eating habits don’t allow for those, vitamin E can also be found in leafy, green vegetables like broccoli and spinach.
You’ve heard about this one probably for most of your life, usually in reference to your immune system. It is found in both the outer and inner layers of skin. It is a major player in the production of collagen, which improves skin elasticity. In other words, it’s what helps keep those wrinkles away. Vitamin C can also help reduce age spots and redness, as well as preventing and healing dry skin.
An orange a day…
…keeps the skin health-ay. (Sorry, I know that was bad). Citrus fruits, especially oranges, are one of the most prevalent sources of vitamin C. However, spinach, broccoli, and strawberries are also foods that have adequate levels of vitamin C.
This one is last because its effects on the skin aren’t quite as noticeable as the other three, but it does contribute in a different way. Vitamin K is vital to the blood clotting process of the body. As such, it is thought to help reduce the appearance of spider veins, scars, and those dark circles under your eyes.
K is for…
…kale. That’s an easy one to remember. But other green, leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and lettuce are also good sources of vitamin K.
The wonder food.
I just want to give a little shout-out to spinach. You probably noticed that it was mentioned as an excellent source of three of the four vitamins that can help skin look younger. Fresh spinach is the best choice, but you can also cook it in healthy oils. Popeye knew his stuff.
So, there you have it. Nutrients help your body grow strong. Vitamins are one of the essential nutrients, and vitamins D, E, C, and K specifically contribute to younger skin.
From healing dry skin and reducing the appearance of dark or reddened skin to improving skin elasticity and producing antioxidants, your DECK of vitamins can help your skin look younger.
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