Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body and skin by neutralising unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals consume collagen and elastin resulting in wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. Vit E thus protects the skin from damage, provides it with anti-aging nutrients and helps hydrate skin.
The best source of Vit E is wheat germ oil. But other good sources are sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, papaya and vegetable oils.
Good ‘ol Vit C has antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from UV rays, pollution and age. It also helps by forming and maintaining collagen and keeping the skin supple, giving it firmness and strength.
Lemons and fruits like guavas, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, papaya, cantaloupes; vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and tomatoes are the best sources. Yellow and red pepper has this vitamin in more quantity than most other sources.
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
The beauty of vitamin A is in helping skin tissues repair themselves as well as resist infection. It’s very important for growth and skin renewal. The human body converts beta-carotene into Vit A, thus it is the precursor to Vit A. It's an effective antioxidant that protects the skin from sun damage and effects of aging.
Vegetarians should make the sweet potato their best friend since it is the best source of Vit A as well as beta-carotene. Also carrots, spinach, broccoli and fruits like apricots and peaches. Dairy products, beef liver, kidney and egg yolk are also great sources of Vit A.
LRT Alert: The thing to remember though, about Vit A, is that excess of Vit A is toxic. So please be aware of this if taking supplements. Beta-carotene on the other hand has an advantage since the body only converts as much as it needs.
Zinc assists Vit A to produce collagen and elastin, playing an important role in cell growth and cell regeneration of the entire body and skin. It is also responsible for functioning of the sebaceous glands (these are glands that produce sebum or oil in the skin). One of the causes of acne is actually low level of zinc in the body.
Oysters are the best known source of Zinc. Also red meat and poultry and eggs. Vegetarians can get Zinc from pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts and oats.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids supplement our skin with essential fatty acids (EFAs). It helps protect the skin from frequent whiteheads and blackheads as well as dry and inflamed skin. It helps repair skin, hydrates it and takes care of overall flexibility of skin making sure that the top layer of skin is strong and intact, thus protecting the skin from eternal toxins and pollutants. Since the body does not synthesize EFAs, omega 3 fatty acids can only be achieved via diet.
Flax seeds, walnuts, walnut oil, wild salmon, sardines and fish oils are the sources. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in abundance in the regular food we eat whereas there is not so much of omega 3. It is very important to balance the intake of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids because only then can it lead to healthy, supple skin.
Need we say this?? The only absolute skin elixir is water! Drink enough of this miraculous liquid to keep your skin hydrated and supple from the inside and help clear the body of cellular waste.
Remember, after a consultation with your doctor, you can always take supplements. But it is much better to get your vitamins directly from food. So eat right, rest well and exercise your way to a fantastic body and great skin!
Stay pretty always!
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