It always baffles me how people are more concerned with putting vitamins on their face than ingesting them. I have always been an advocate for supplements, and have been taking them for more than twenty five years. I am a big fan of vitamin C and vitamin E, both well known for their antioxidant properties; as well as essential fatty acids for it's benefits on the skin. I can personally attest that the benefits of taking supplements outweigh the benefits of using them topically when it comes to aging.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ANTI-OXIDANTS
Antioxidants are extremely important when it comes to protecting your skin. They fight against free radicals which are caused by pollution, UV radiation, and environmental toxins. Free radicals accelerate the aging process, damage the structure of your DNA, and cause inflammation. This ultimately leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in your skin, causing wrinkles and loss of firmness.
It 's important to take antioxidants on a daily basis, whether through food sources or taking supplements. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables are an excellent source, or you can choose to supplement your diet with vitamins for an extra boost. I personally eat whole foods that are nutrient dense to provide myself with the necessary antioxidants. But I also take vitamin C and vitamin E on a daily basis as well.
Apart from boosting your immunity, vitamin C is has many benefits for the skin. I take 2000mg-3000mg of vitamin C daily. Vitamin C is water-soluble, and not dangerous when taken in large quantities. The quantities of vitamin C not absorbed by your body will be flushed out when you urinate.
Here are some more benefits of Vitamin C:
Vitamin E is an another powerful antioxidant. This fat-soluble vitamin is produced in the sebaceous glands (the glands in the skin that produce sebum). Sebum is needed to keep the skin healthy and conditioned by preventing dryness. When combined together with vitamin C the duo make a potent pair, and the benefits of vitamin E are increased.
Benefits of Vitamin E:
THE IMPORTANCE OF ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs are needed to maintain the skin barrier, and help the skin function and look healthy. Without the presence of EFAs, the skin barrier would be compromised. Fatty acids are naturally present in your skin, and have three main functions:
Sources of EFAs
omega-3s: fish oils, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, canola oils, nuts, seeds, seaweed, algae, fish and other seafood
omega-6s: borage oil, evening primrose oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybeans, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, poultry and eggs
Benefits of EFA's on the skin:
I make sure to get a good dose of EFAs through maintaining a diet filled with nutritious whole foods. But I particularly like to take supplements as well. I've been taking EFAs for the last fifteen years or so. If you're searching for a good blend of omega 3- 6, there are many brands on the market (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian). I particularly like Borage Oil, as it helps treat PMS symptoms such as bloating and breast tenderness. Evening Primrose oil helps to smooth the skin, improve moisture, increase skin elasticity and firmness as well as combat fatigue.
If you are at the stage in life where you're experiencing the first sign of aging, and would like to prolong your youthful appearance or are trying to regain some of your skin's firmness and elasticity then adding supplements to your diet is an option. Remember to take an holistic approach to aging gracefully, because beauty starts from the inside out; not the outside in.
There’s so much that goes into preserving our skin and overall health. Diet plays an important role in increasing longevity. What you put into your body will eventually reflect outwardly.
I’ve always been concerned with optimising my health through lifestyle choices. A healthy lifestyle, with a diet full of fruits and vegetables has always been at the forefront. I definitely believe that a clean diet has impacted the way my skin ages.
As the old saying, “ you are what you eat.” If your diet consists of junk food, high amounts of sugar, and lots of salt, I bet your skin won’t look that great in 20 years. Not to talk of what it will you do to your insides. Changing one’s dietary habits can be hard for those who were raised eating junk food. But with a few changes, and incorporating certain foods into your diet you can not only improve your skin, but boost your health as well.
WHAT ARE SUPERFOODS?
Superfoods is a marketing term that is used to describe foods with a variety of health benefits. Superfoods are nutrient dense, unusually rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, fibre, and phytochemicals. They are mostly plant-based, but also include some fish and dairy products.
7 SUPERFOODS FOR HEALTHY GLOWING SKIN
Avocados are a well known superfood with an abundance of healthy fats. They are high in poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as omega 9s. Omega 9s keep your skin barrier moisturized, giving you noticeably hydrated and healthy looking skin. Omega 9s increase the skin’s firmness, regenerate damaged skin cells, reduce redness, and soothe irritation.
Avocados are also packed with antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E, which help combat free radicals, and protect the skin from photoaging. As we age, the skin losses elasticity and the dermal water content decreases, which can cause sagging. Avocados help prevent transepidermal water loss and the loss of skin elasticity.
Almonds are a natural source of 15 nutrients, adding them to your diet is an excellent way to boost your nutrient intake. Almonds are high in healthy fats, vitamin E, fibre, protein, magnesium and manganese. They also contain iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
The content of unsaturated fats in almonds promote cell function and nerve signaling. These fats also help maintain skin cell structure, protect against environmental aggressors and bacteria. The vitamin E and zinc content provide protection from UV rays, and inhibit the formation of cancer-causing compounds.
Who knew that just a hand full of almonds everyday can help you live longer and maintain your overall health? In a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people who ate nuts such as almonds, at least 7 times a week had a 20% lower all-cause mortality rate (death from any cause) than people who did not eat nuts.
Salmon is one of the most nutritious types of oily fish, known for its myriad of health benefits. This superfood, although not plant based, is packed with protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming salmon on a regular basis has wondrous effects on the body, both inside and out.
The omega 3 content in salmon does wonder for the skin, making it soft and supple. The polyunsaturated fatty acids helps repair damaged skin, reduces inflammation, protects the skin from harmful UV rays, and hydrates the cell membranes.
Blueberries are well known for their antioxidant properties, and have become a top choice among superfoods. These tiny berries are bursting with phytoflavinoids, potassium, and vitamin C.
They are not only good for the skin, but can help with cognitive performance, motor function, and ward off age related diseases. Blueberries also help maintain brain longevity, and sharp memory. Eat blueberries to lower your chances of developing Dementia or Alzheimers. According to a study by The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, blueberries can even help make the inevitable aging process much smoother overall.
If you want beautiful skin, then the high antioxidant content found in blueberries will help you attain it. All you have to do is eat them. Antioxidants help fight and neutralize free radicals. These nasty culprits can damage skin cells and break down collagen, which cause fine lines and wrinkles.
Blueberries are also loaded with vitamin A, which helps normalize the sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for producing and secreting oil in the skin. Eating blueberries is helpful for those with oily, acne-prone skin.
Eating kale helps improve your skin health. This superfood is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Kale is king of the green leafy vegetables, and contains high amounts of vitamin A, C, and K. Try adding it to salads, fresh juices, or even steamed as a side dish. It will help detoxify the body and skin, and boost your immune system.
The Vitamin C content in kale helps to build collagen fibres while protecting against free radicals, which slow down the aging process. Eating kale can also help repair skin tissue, because of its high vitamin A content.
Kale also contains vitamin K. Vitamin K tightens the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It is also good for people with dark circles, as vitamin K removes deep pigmentation.
Drinking green tea is a great way to fight against the signs of aging, and protect against skin cancer. This youth enhancing elixir is packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamins, giving it unique regenerating powers. Green tea is the way to go, if you’re looking for radiant, healthy skin.
Green tea works wonders on the skin. It has a multitude of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The antioxidants in green tea revitalize dying skin cells, making dull skin look healthier while defending against free radicals and the signs of aging.
Thanks to Vitamin B2, green tea can help you maintain a youthful appearance. Vitamin B2 is responsible for maintaining collagen levels, and improving the skin’s firmness.
Sometimes good things come in small packages. Do not underestimate the power of flaxseeds. These tiny powerhouses are packed with nutritional value. They contain an abundance of antioxidants, B vitamins, fatty acids, fiber and lignans.
Flaxseeds are the highest plant-based source of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help decrease dryness, keeping the skin well moisturized and smooth. The lignans and antioxidants in flaxseeds help prevent fine lines and wrinkles, by maintaining collagen levels and increasing firmness.
If you want healthy skin, try adding flaxseeds to your diet. Add a tablespoon of flaxseeds to your smoothie, or take flaxseed oil on a daily basis to reap the benefits.