While collagen plays a vital role as a building block of the skin, vitamins and minerals are also very important for skin health. Lets look at some of the vitamins and minerals important for skin health and the foods where we get them from.
Zinc is a mineral that promotes clear skin by regulating your hormonal balance. It is also important for those with acne as it helps the process of cell growth and replication. The outer layer of your skin has five times more zinc than the layer underneath.
Beef is one of the most zinc-rich foods. A single serving of around 100 grams provides about 4mg of zinc – just under half of the recommended intake of 10mg. Egg yolks are also rich in zinc; 100 grams of egg yolk equates to roughly to 5mg of zinc
Selenium is also a mineral and it helps the skin to remain firm. Selenium can stop free radical damage before premature wrinkles have a chance to form. It also helps to protect cell membranes against UV damage, inflammation and pigmentation.
Brazil,nuts are one of the best sources of selenium. Seafood, mushrooms, poultry and beans are also good sources of selenium.
Your skin can also suffer if you are lacking in iron. Skin may be very pale, become itchy, or there could be cracking at the side of the mouth.
Meat is the best source of iron: the redder the meat, the more iron it contains. If you don't eat meat, you can get iron from legumes and whole grains but it is less readily absorbed, so add vitamin C (from fruit juice and fruits) to meals to enhance absorption.
Vitamin C is essential to make collagen, the structural cement of the body. Under the skin, collagen is the fibrous tissue that plumps it up giving support and shape. As skin ages it loses collagen.
B vitamins could easily be called the skin vitamins because a deficiency often shows up as itchy, dry skin. Whole grains have all three parts of the grain the bran, endosperm and germ. Refined foods made with white flour miss out on the bran and germ, which is where all these goodies are.
It's the beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, that gives carrots, pumpkin, mango and spinach their healthy skin image. If you have dry skin, take a look at how much coloured fruit and vegetables and other vitamin A-rich foods you are eating. Also, go for liver, oily fish and egg yolk.