Proper Nutrition = Beautiful, Healthy Skin

By Mikala Ewald

Do you have ongoing skin problems (i.e. breakouts, dryness, excessive oiliness), and can’t seem to get them under control no matter how much money you spend on facial treatments and products? Although taking care of your skin on the outside is crucial to maintaining proper skin health and beauty, perhaps you should also consider your diet. Taking care of your skin from the inside out is equally important as it is to take care of it on the outside. Just as you must consume certain nutrients to keep your inner organs functioning efficiently, your skin is also an organ so you must treat it in the same manner. The body requires certain amounts of nutrients in order to function properly, so if you are not adequately obtaining these nutrients the evidence may show up on your skin.

As they say, you are what you eat! It is also proven that your skin and your hair can be an indicator of your body’s overall health. With the holiday’s right around the corner it is important to monitor what you eat in order to maintain a nutritional diet and healthy skin. Make sure you are consuming adequate amounts (according to the food pyramid recommendations) of the nutrients listed below. Making healthy food choices will help you maintain a beautiful, well functioning body inside and out.

Macronutrients are necessary for all bodily functions, including the skin. They include all proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It is important to consume the recommended intake per day that is put forth for each macronutrient by the United States Department of Agriculture’s DASH Eating Plan. Proteins are needed to make the keratin and collagen that make up your skin. Carbohydrates, when combined with proteins, produce water binding chemicals in the body that are important to the hydration and structure of the skin. Fats are responsible for producing sebum (oil) in the sebaceous glands that protect and lubricate the skin. Fats also absorb the fat soluble vitamins that are essential to maintaining skin health.

Micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, are necessary to properly process many nutrients by the body. Vitamins play a role in achieving healthy skin by helping heal and soften the skin, form collagen, and resisting skin diseases. Many vitamins are also antioxidants which assist in fight free radicals that may be cancer causing. Vitamins A, C, and E have antioxidant properties and have proven to be very beneficial in treating aging skin and sun damaged skin both when consumed internally and applied to the skin topically. The body requires minerals as well as vitamins, although only small amounts are usually necessary they are vital to human life.

Water is the one essential nutrient that the human body cannot survive without. Water is relied on heavily by the body and the skin because it sustains cell health, aid in elimination of toxins and waste, helps regulate body temperature, and aids in proper digestion. When the body is receiving enough water, and these functions are properly carried out, the skin remains healthy and attractive. It is recommended that every person drink at least 8 glasses of pure water each day, but the amount does vary based on each person’s body weight and activity level.

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