Does your complexion look less than stunning? Maybe your skin just looks a bit dull, or perhaps you have dry skin or some blemishes. In many cases, improving your nutrition may help. Here's a look at three specific nutrients that can help you achieve soft, glowing skin.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means that it helps your body's cells resist damage imparted by environmental pollutants and other toxins. Increasing your intake of vitamin E will help protect against dry, flaky skin and may even guard against scarring from blemishes. While you can certainly take a supplement to meet your vitamin E needs, you can also get what you need from vitamin E-rich foods like:
- Sunflower seeds (8.4 mg per ¼ cup)
- Almonds (7.4 mg per ounce)
- Spinach (6.7 mg per cup)
- Pumpkin (2.6 mg per cup)
Experts recommend eating 15 mg of vitamin E per day for good health.
Zinc is essential for the making of enzymes that your skin needs to heal and rejuvenate itself. So a zinc deficiency could easily be contributing to the dullness of your skin. Zinc also boosts immune function, and a shortage of it may increase your susceptibility to the bacteria that cause acne. Experts recommend getting about 11 mg per day if you're an adult male and 8 mg per day if you're an adult female. Many people don't get enough zinc since it's not found in a lot of foods, but good sources include:
- Oysters (74 mg per 3-ounce serving)
- Beef roast (7.0 mg per 3-ounce serving)
- Baked beans (2.9 mg per 3-ounce serving)
- Cashews (1.6 mg per 3-ounce serving)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a particular type of unsaturated fatty acids that help keep your tissues, including your skin, soft and supple. Many Americans don't get enough of these fatty acids, though experts recommend about 2.5 grams of omega-3s per day. You can increase your intake by eating more:
- Walnuts (2.7 grams per ¼ cup)
- Sardines (1.5 grams per 3-ounce serving)
- Salmon (1.3 grams per 4-ounce serving)
- Brussels sprouts (0.27 grams per cup)
To learn more about eating the right foods and nutrients for healthy, glowing skin, talk to a dermatologist in your area. They might be able to recommend some other nutrients you need to concentrate on, depending on the unique condition of your skin. Getting the right nutrition is an important step to glowing skin.