Speaking Point: Being an artist, I love the spectrum of colors that line the produce aisle — from robust red to vibrant orange to every shade of green — and instinctively imagine my grocery cart as an artist's palette. To get a broad range of nutrients, eat foods rich in all colors and varieties. On your next excursion to the supermarket, be sure to specifically include some orange produce as these sunny foods are essential for firm, youthful and healthy skin.
Speaking Point: 1. Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) rebuilds body tissues and helps control the production of sebum (oil) that lubricates the skin. Dry, scaly skin is a symptom of a vitamin A deficiency. It's an essential vitamin and antioxidant that destroys free radicals (by-products of oxidation from normal metabolic processing). Free radicals cause cellular damage and are responsible for aging skin. Their production is accelerated by environmental toxins, such as smoke, pollution, pesticides, and radiation. Free radicals break down the skin's elastin and collagen the vital components of youthful firm skin. Orange food sources: mango, persimmons, carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, papaya, and egg yolks.
Speaking Point: 2. Vitamin B: B vitamins are found in whole unprocessed foods. They are not a single vitamin like vitamin A or C, but consist of a group of eight B vitamins known as vitamin B complex. Vitamin B6 regulates hormone levels and helps women with acne flare-ups triggered by hormone changes during the menstrual cycle. B vitamins assist in cellular respiration and blood cell formation. Cracked skin and dermatitis are symptomatic of a B vitamin deficiency. These vitamins also maintain a healthy nervous system that helps the body cope with stress. Orange food sources: eggs, cheddar cheese, salmon, sweet potatoes, and oranges.
Speaking Point: 3. Vitamin C: This antioxidant is vital for healing wounds, resisting infection and collagen maintenance. Collagen is the fibrous protein found in connective tissue. It's the key to having firm and youthfully plump skin. Orange food sources: orange citrus fruits and their juices, cantaloupe, papaya, bell peppers, peaches, and guava.
Speaking Point: 4. Vitamin E: This antioxidant promotes cellular respiration and vitamin A absorption. It increases the flow of oxygen to the skin which speeds healing. Orange food sources: carrot juice, sweet potatoes, mango, papaya, and pumpkin.
Speaking Point: 5. Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids maintain skin moisture and resiliency. Acne has been associated with low levels of these fats. Orange food sources: salmon and Icelandic Artic char.
Artic char, also known as salmon trout, is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you haven’t tasted Artic char, it’s well worth giving it a try. Artic char tastes similar to salmon (even looks like salmon with its pinkish-orange flesh), but is milder in flavor. It's an excellent choice if you don’t like a strong tasting fish, but want to include fish in your diet for the health benefits. Be sure not to overcook this versatile delicacy or you’ll lose its natural moistness. A quick grilling on both sides is all you need.
Speaking Point: 6. Selenium: This antioxidant mineral protects body tissues against oxidative damage. It can reduce the risk of skin cancer and counteract the effects of premature aging. It also promotes the absorption of vitamin E. Orange food sources: eggs, salmon and Icelandic Artic char.