Thursday, April 30, 2009

10 Essential Nutrients For Your Skin...and the 20 Foods They're In!

Yesterday, I let you in on a little secret....I'm not looking my best these days. I'm beyond tired. Sleep is usually at the bottom of my list of priorities, but in a few days, it's moving to the top! Even if all we can do is get on a boat without stopping at any ports, I'm still going!

When I get home, I'm hoping to be rejuvenated. But the sleep deprivation cycle will surely resume as scheduled! I definitely need to work on that...cuz mama's not the only one who suffers when mama's tired!

Besides my poor children and husband, my face also suffers when I'm tired. I look tired. My face is tired. My eyes are tired. So if I want to look my best, I need more sleep. Don't we all? But another way to look better--besides getting the ever-needed zzzz's--is by focusing on something else...feeding your face. That's right. We don't just need to eat more fruits and veggies for healthy bodies. We need them for healthy skin! Here are a few of the best skin-beautifying-nutrients, and the foods they're found in:
  1. Selenium: This vital nutrient helps preserve elastin, a skin-smoothing and tightening protein. The antioxidant may also protect against the sun (by stopping free radicals created by UV exposure from damaging skin cells). Face Foods: Canned Tuna, Brazil Nuts, Cottage Cheese
  2. Niacin (Vitamin B3): An anti-inflammatory that soothes red, blotchy, dry skin. Face Food: Avocados (Great to eat AND to use as a face mask for dry skin).
  3. Vitamin E: An amazing sunscreen booster that helps protect skin cells from UV light, or other cell-damaging free radicals in the environment. This powerful antioxidant also helps prevent dry skin! Face Food: Almonds (I'm going to pack some along for the trip...I can always use some extra sunscreen!)
  4. Vitamin A: Helps clear up breakouts by repairing skin cells. This important nutrient also reduces the development of skin cancer cells! Face Foods: Carrots, Mangoes
  5. Vitamin C: Smooths out wrinkles by aiding in the production of collagen--the skin's structural protein. Face Foods: Sweet Potatoes, oranges, acerola cherries, red peppers
  6. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The skin plumping, wrinkle reducing miracle workers! (Not to mention skin hydrators...) Face Foods: Flaxseeds (sprinkle on oatmeal or veggies), flaxseed oil (add to your smoothies), salmon, walnuts.
  7. Folate: Helps reduce the chance of cancer-cell growth. Also reduces wrinkles by plumping up skin as water penetrates cell membranes. Face Foods: Spinach, collard greens
  8. Zinc: A pimple-fighting mineral! Zinc also helps boost elastin production, and sebum production. Face Food: Oysters! (any oyster fans out there?)
  9. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Helps aid in tissue maintenance and repair, and also improves blemishes caused by rosacea. Post-surgery, or injury, the body uses large amounts of this vitamin to heal! Face Food: Mushrooms
  10. Flavonols: This antioxidant helps smooth the skin, and protects against sun damage. Face Food: Dark Chocolate (My favorite! This one should be a staple in your diet...just make sure it's the DARK variety! Yum!)

Fill your grocery cart with these foods to cleanse your body from the inside out. What are your best beauty tips?

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