It seems like the expression “natural beauty” is being used with less and less certainty these days. Everything from human bodies to what we put in them seems to have been enhanced with some chemical or a surgery; nothing is beyond suspicion. It has gotten so that one cannot even declare an apple naturally lovely with complete confidence. However, despite the seeming invasion of the unnatural, there are still some earthly ingredients which may still rival the synthetic. Here are some natural ways of replenishing your skin’s nutrients through the foods you eat.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and as such, it can help lower cancer risk and reduce oxidative stress. Vitamin C is also involved in the production of collagen, the protein responsible for maintaining the skin’s elasticity. Fruits and veggies are great C sources, so be sure to look for the vitamin in kale, Brussels sprouts, guava, grapefruit, strawberries, bell peppers, and beet greens.
Another antioxidant, selenium is a trace mineral which helps to keep the skin firm and supple, prevents acne, and aids in the prevention of skin cancer. Selenium also assists with vitamin E absorption, enhancing the antioxidant properties of the vitamin, resulting in radiant skin and lower deterioration of collagen. Food sources of selenium include walnuts, brazil nuts, herring, onion, brown rice, seafood, and poultry.
Much hailed for as a key component in skin health, vitamin E is very effective, particularly in combination with vitamin A, for prevention of skin cancer. Vitamin E ‘s antioxidant properties help to fight free radicals which are catalysts to aging skin. You can get your vitamin E in eggs, avocados, walnuts, spinach, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and olives.
Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are known for their healing benefits in managing inflammatory skin conditions like eczema while controlling overexposure of cortisol levels which help to keep skin supple and reduce wrinkles. They are also responsible for moisture content and flexibility. Because the human body doesn’t produce Omega-3s on its own, they must be obtained through food sources such as salmon, walnuts, sardines, mackerel, and flax and chia seeds, or by taking a fish oil supplement.
Beta Carotene and Vitamin A
If you’ve got dry or flaky skin, you may be suffering from a deficiency in Vitamin A. Beta carotene is an antioxidant found in brightly colored food, and is the precursor to vitamin A, helping to reduce free radical damage from the sun. Beta-carotene and Vitamin A are found in collard greens, peaches, asparagus, beet green sweet potato, cantaloupe, and red peppers.
Zinc is a trace mineral that can heal wounds and help repair tissue damage while protecting skin from ultraviolet rays. It has also been linked to acne prevention, and it is suspected that breakouts may occur as a result of a zinc deficiency. Foods rich in zinc include pecans, oysters, poultry, ginger, pumpkin seeds, legumes, mushrooms, and whole grains.
What are your natural beauty secrets? Let us know in comments and suggestions! We love to hear it!