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We are what we eat is a commonly accepted adage and as new research emerges the truth of this saying becomes blatantly evident. To keep food choices simple, be sure to eat a rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables. It turns out that all those pigments have their own plethora of phytonutrients nutrition science is just beginning to understand. So what do we know? Certain nutrients have big pay offs for skin health.
A Study reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming just 4 milligrams of vitamin C daily for 3 years decreased the appearance of wrinkles by 11%. One kiwi has 84 mg. Other foods rich in vitamin C are: dark leafy greens, hot peppers, sweet peppers, most fruits and berries. Sea buckthorn berries contain 395 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Sea buckthorn has 15 times more vitamin C than oranges.
Want smooth skin? Current research indicates that individuals with higher skin concentrations of lycopene had smoother skin. Lycopene also protects skin from sunburn. This nutrient needs to be consumed from foods, supplementing with lycopene did not demonstrate the same results. Lycopene can be found in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, carrots, red peppers and sea buckthorn. Look for red and orange pigmented fruits and vegetables.
Isoflavones, like those found in soy, may help to preserve skin-firming collagen. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition published a study demonstrating that mice fed an isoflavone-rich diet had fewer wrinkles and smoother skin when exposed to ultraviolet light than the control group. Try adding some tofu, miso or edamame to your diet.
Chocolate lovers rejoice. Cocoa contains a flavonoid called epicatechin. In a study published by the Journal of Nutrition, those who consumed an epicatechin-rich cocoa beverage daily for 12 weeks showed noticeably improved skin texture. This flavonoid increased blood flow to the skin, boosting nutrient and oxygen supply. Tea, red wine and sea buckthorn also contain epicatechin.
Vitamin E, a fat soluble antioxidant, protects skin from UV exposure, has an anti-inflammatory effect and decelerates the aging of skin cells. Vitamin E taken in conjunction with Vitamin C demonstrated a synergistic and more powerful affect for protecting skin from UV induced DNA damage in skin. So, along with your vitamin C-rich foods, include foods with higher concentrations of vitamin E such as: sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, spinach, broccoli and sea buckthorn berries.
Want to maintain collagen and elastin fibers from the inside out? Be sure to include zinc-rich foods. Studies also indicate a correlation between blemishes and low zinc levels. Vegetarian sources of zinc are baked beans, cashews and chickpeas.
Promote elasticity and protect your skin from environmental damage with selenium. This mineral actually has the ability to regenerate vitamin E and C in the body so they can recirculate to free radical scavenge. It’s best to get your selenium from natural sources. High-dose supplements can cause health problems. Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and bran (wheat, oat and rice) are excellent vegan sources. Selenium is even found in small quantities in sea buckthorn.
Essential Fatty Acids and Omega-7
Essential fatty acids or EFA’s are essential due to the fact that our bodies cannot produce these lipids on their own. EFA’s must be consumed from the foods we eat. Omega 3 and 6 are two essential fatty acids that have a significant impact on skin health. Forming a matrix to support skin structure, EFA’s provide a moisture and insulating barrier for skin. Skin low in EFA’s results in water loss through the skin, dermatitis and inflammation in skin tissue. Inflammatory conditions lead to eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. To ensure a steady supply of EFA’s choose flax seeds, chia seeds or sea buckthorn for Omega 3 and wheat germ, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, soy and sea buckthorn for Omega 6.
Omega 7 is another fatty acid that heals skin and supports the integrity of our skin’s natural lipid barrier. While our bodies produce omega 7, this process slows down as we age. Eating foods rich in Omega 7 supports the mucous membranes of the body, boosts collagen production, protects against oxidative damage, and rejuvenates skin cell membranes. Omega 7 can be found in wild salmon, macadamia nuts and most abundantly in sea buckthorn.
Infuse your skin from the inside out with these 9 nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seed. Seven of these 9 nutrients are found naturally in sea buckthorn. To get your daily dose of sea buckthorn try Sibu Sea Buckthorn Liquid Supplement.