- DR LIBBY WEAVER
From the soil, health and beauty are born. The soil contains minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which we need to live. But we can’t eat the soil, so we need a medium that is able to supply us with the Earth’s nutrients. The middlemen are plants, as they absorb nutrients from the soil and make them available to us as food.
However, if the soil is deficient in nutrients, then those nutrients are not in the food. So the quality of the soil where our food is grown plays an enormous role in our health and therefore the clarity and health of our skin.
You have probably noticed that certain nutrients appear in skincare products for topical application. I am a fan of supplying all of the cells inside the body with those nutrients so that they can be distributed where they need to go, including to nourishing your skin.
Here are some of the top nutrients for clear, luminous skin:
This essential mineral is critical for wound healing—whether that’s a cut on your finger or the aftermath of a pimple. Zinc is necessary for the skin involved in these traumas to heal, and it helps prevent scar formation. It acts in the control of the production of oil in the skin and it also helps balance some of the hormones that can be involved in driving acne. Zinc even nourishes the scalp, helping to maintain the integrity and strength of hair. Many soils in the world are now zinc-deficient so many people today are deficient in this vital mineral. Boost your zinc food intake with oysters from clean waters, red meat, eggs, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds or you may like to take a supplement.
This superstar nutrient is highly effective at reducing free radical damage, such as that caused by overexposure to the sun or pollution. Free radicals consume collagen and elastic, promoting wrinkles and other signs of premature ageing. Vitamin C is also involved in the production of collagen, the elastic tissue that is found in the skin, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and blood vessels. Foods high in vitamin C include berries, capsicums, citrus fruits, kale, parsley and broccoli.
The various B-group vitamins are essential to skin health. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) increases blood flow to the cells and is therefore beneficial to hair and skin, vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) are helpful in the process of skin regeneration, and can help slow the signs of ageing skin when consumed daily via what you eat. Great energy and vitality also contribute significantly to our sparkle, and the only way we are able to get fuel out of our food is when we have optimal levels of B vitamins. Good food sources of vitamin B1 include seeds, legumes and nuts. Get vitamin B3 and B5 from meats, fish, chicken, eggs and most other protein-containing foods.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Dry, inflamed skin, or skin that suffers from the frequent appearance of whiteheads or blackheads, can benefit from a radical increase of EFAs. They play a major role in skin repair, moisture content and overall flexibility. Since the body can’t produce its own EFAs they must be obtained through the diet. There are two types of EFAs—omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats. The typical Western diet is overabundant in omega-6 fatty acids (found in many processed foods, baked goods and grains) and lacking in omega-3s. Increase your omega-3s with cold water, wild-caught fish or through chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts. Good sources of an essential omega-6 fat include evening primrose oil and blackcurrants (seed included).
A powerful antioxidant that can penetrate through layers of skin, assisting the body with the natural wound-healing process. Vitamin E also helps to renew skin cells, making them stronger by reducing oxidative stress. An optimal intake of vitamin E may also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Food sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, eggs, almonds and avocados.