Improved skin health is among the top reasons a person might choose to eat a more nutritious diet. Today, many people battle with skin disorders of all types, including chronic acne, aged skin, wrinkles, and more severe diseases like eczema and psoriasis. While invested “professionals” deny the healing ability of proper nutrition, there is strong proof and history that demonstrates the connection between our food choices and skin health. The fact of the matter is, the intake or deficiency of specific vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can have a strong positive or negative effect on the skin conditions. Behind most skin conditions is an underlying nutrient imbalance. Correcting these imbalances can result in better looking and healthier skin.
Nutrient Deficiencies resulting in Skin Problems
Of the many nutrients necessary for good health, there are a few key players that are necessary for the proper functioning and immunity of the skin. Getting a proper amount of these nutrients into your diet can help to improve the health of your skin and correct many skin disorders. Here are a few of the common nutrients that can be used therapeutically to treat acne, wrinkles, and other problem skin conditions:
Vitamin A is one of the most effective and recognized nutrients for improving the health of the skin. It has been used to treat chronic acne and psoriasis since as early as the 1980s. The way it works is by modulating the physiology of the skin; more specifically by modulating dermal growth factors, regulating sebaceous glands, and suppressing androgen formation. Additionally, vitamin A promotes cell regeneration within the skin, and prevents common acne.
In the case of vitamin A deficiency, the skin becomes “keratinized”, dry, rough and scaly, as sebum secretion is suppressed. Resolving this deficiency is best achieved by increasing the consumption of vitamin A rich foods. Food sources of vitamin A are best absorbed by the body and can be found in a variety of traditional foods. The most vitamin A-rich foods are grass-fed liver, cod liver oil, cream and butter from pastured cows, and egg yolks from pastured chickens.
Zinc is another essential nutrient that has important roles in managing the physiological functions of the skin. Particularly, zinc is responsible for the structure of certain proteins and enzymes that regulate gene expression. It has a major role in the functioning of the immune system, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. All of which affect the quality of the skin. Zinc aids the structure of proteins and cell membranes, is an anti-inflammatory, and protects the skin against UV radiation. There is even strong evidence that zinc can heal acne as effectively as antibiotics. Zinc also helps to increase vitamin A levels in the blood, which brings in the added benefits of vitamin A.
The best sources of zinc are from animal sources, which are absorbed most effectively by the body. Zinc in plant sources is bound to phytates and must be soaked, germinated and sprouted to make more bio-available. Good sources include organ meats such as kidney and liver, red meat like beef and lamb, and oysters.
Lastly, we have vitamin C, an important nutrient for skin health. It is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from oxidative damage and regulates the production of collagen. Collagen is important for extracellular strength of the skin. A deficiency in vitamin C causes scurvy, which is marked by rough, dry skin, twisting hair growth and hyperkeratosis pillaris. Increasing vitamin C intake can result in healthier skin and improved skin healing. Studies confirm that vitamin C consumption results in better looking skin, specifically less wrinkly and dry skin. Lastly, vitamin C’s ability to improve wound healing can help to prevent and eliminate scars by promoting proper healing. The highest food sources of vitamin C are gubinge, sauerkraut, citrus, berries, cherries, kiwi, bell, acerola cherry, amla, and cruciferous vegetables. These foods are best consumed raw as vitamin C is heat sensitive. A key component of the Alitura Clay Mask
is 10% L-Ascorbic Acid. This is the most immediately absorbable form of vitamin C on the market. It brightens the skin by radically reducing the effects of sun damage and spotting. You can find out more about it here